Monday 5 September 2016

If "Brexit means Brexit" what does Brexit mean?

Theresa May is incredibly fond of the expression "Brexit means Brexit", It's obviously a good sound bite that plays well with focus groups, because if it wasn't she wouldn't keep repeating it. The obvious problem is that it's transparently meaningless gibberish,

Her advisers have told her that it plays well with the hard-right demographics the Tories need to target in order to maintain their grip on power, so she keeps repeating it despite the fact she knows that it's fatuous rubbish with no meaning whatever.


you don't have to be a genius to understand what a tautology is. A tautology is a meaningless phrase that imparts no knowledge whatever. An example of a tautological statement is the phrase "I like chocolate because chocolate tastes nice". This statement is completely meaningless because "I like chocolate" has the same basic meaning as "I think chocolate tastes nice", so saying "I like chocolate because chocolate tastes nice" is clearly just a reiteration of the same thing twice.

"Brexit means Brexit" is even worse than the chocolate tautology because it doesn't even impart any knowledge about what Brexit is, or what the person is saying it actually feels about about the subject.

It's insultingly meaningless rubbish.

What is Brexit?

We all know that Brexit means that the UK is going to quit the EU, but the question is "how?". There are all kinds of imaginable scenarios, some of them realistic and some of them ludicrous fantasy land nonsense.

You'd have to be utterly delusional to think that the 27 remaining EU states are going to just let the UK have its cake and eat it by staying part of the EU single market (the biggest free trade agreement in human history) without agreeing to free movement of labour. 

Just try to look at it from the EU perspective. If they let the UK quit the EU and keep the biggest benefit without agreeing to the other terms, it would obviously incentivise all of the other member states to quit the EU in the hope of keeping access to the single market and renegotiating all of the stuff they don't particularly like.

A "quit and get your cake and eat it" agreement for the UK would cause the collapse of the EU. You don't have to be pro-EU or anti-EU to understand this fact, it's just completely obvious.


The  Tories clearly didn't bother making a contingency plan for what to do if people actually voted for Brexit. If you didn't believe it before, the fact that Theresa May is still spouting fatuous tautologies like "Brexit means Brexit" ten weeks after the referendum is all the proof you need that the Tories are trying to wing it.

The choice is obvious, the UK government has to agree to free movement of labour in order to retain access to the single market, or they have to quit the single market in order to give the 'Kippers and Biffers their wet dream of slamming the door on European migrant workers.

The Tories know that quitting the single market would be an economic disaster because they've just had a dire warning from the Japanese that their significant investments in the UK are dependent on access to the single market, and also because they know that not slamming the door on EU  worker migration would infuriate the xenophobia infused hard-right demographic that Theresa May has repeatedly pandered to with her anti-migrant ranting.

The Tories know perfectly well that they can't have their cake and eat it by keeping access to the single market and fulfilling the xenophobic fantasies of one of their core demographics. So instead of explaining to the public whether they're going to get their cake or get to eat it, Theresa May and her Tory chums are intent on just repeating the platitudinous gibberish that "cake is cake" in the hope that the majority of Tory voters are incapable of spotting insultingly tautological guff for what it is.

What is the Brexit plan?

It's shocking that the Tory government didn't even bother devising a coherent contingency plan in case the public voted for Brexit. Several of David Cameron's own government ministers pleaded for the public to vote Brexit, and even more of Theresa May's cabinet were Brexiters. The fact that the Tories still haven't devised a coherent Brexit negotiation strategy after ten weeks is absolutely appalling.

It's remarkable that Theresa May and her Tory minions have taken to
 crowing that the economic fallout from the Brexit vote isn't as bad as predicted. They know perfectly well that the dire economic consequences were predicted on the understanding that David Cameron would invoke Article 50 on the day after the referendum (as he promised). They know that he chickened out and that the scenario was completely changed, but they still want to make as much political capital as they can out of Cameron's dishonesty.

In reality it's understandable that Cameron chickened out of pressing the economic self-destruct button because despite all his faults he knew it would be an atrocious idea. It's also perfectly understandable that Theresa May's government are clearly intent on stalling too.

The problem is that this feeble effort to try to spin their abject cowardice into a brilliant economic success story are a crystal clear demonstration of the contempt towards the general public shared by the Westminster establishment and their chums in the mainstream press.

As far as these self-entitled and aloof establishment insiders are concerned, some focus group-approved tautological gibberish about how "Brexit means Brexit" is easily sufficient to placate the masses over the lose-lose situation we're in. However to those of us who are not so easily distracted by vacuous tautologies, the ten weeks the Tory government have spent blatantly stalling and lamely propogandising about how Brexit isn't such a bad thing (despite the fact it hasn't happened yet) are absolute proof that the Westminster establishment club don't have the faintest idea what to do about the mess that David Cameron's reckless EU gamble has left them in.

The Tories can either either press the economic self-destruct button by quitting the single market, or they can infuriate one of their most fundamental demographics by agreeing to keep free movement of labour in order to avoid committing economic suicide.

The Tories know perfectly well that they're in a lose-lose situation, but they have such contempt for the general public that they think that if they keep repeating tautological crap like "Brexit means Brexit" instead of actually explaining what it is they're hoping to achieve out of this dire situation, that we'll all just eventually forget about the fact that lying Tories like Boris Johnson landed us in this situation in the first place.

They think you're an idiot

As long as Theresa May and the Tories keep talking in meaningless tautologies about how "Brexit means Brexit" it should serve as absolute confirmation that these people see you as a cognitively illiterate idiot who will continue, week after week, accepting a meaningless tautological platitude in lieu of anything even remotely resembling an actual plan of action for how the UK is going to quit the EU without either committing an act of reckless economic self-harm (by quitting the single market), or completely pissing off the xenophobic "make the furriners go away" hard-right demographic the Tory party are so intent on pandering to.

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