by Jonathan Todd
Labour is over. The UK is over. The EU is over. For sake of something that Daniel Hannan now concedes won’t necessarily happen: a fall in immigration.
We have conspired to legitimise Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second Scottish referendum: a vote that seems likely to precipitate the UK’s breakup. Another vote in Northern Ireland may create a united Ireland around 100 years after partition.
While Jeremy Corbyn may be pleased by Ireland’s reunification, the breakup of the UK, closing off any Scottish Labour recovery within the union, reduces the prospect of Labour government. And this may not even be Labour’s biggest problem. Within England, the referendum exposed the perhaps unbridgeable divide between Labour’s liberal, metropolitan and socially conservative, provincial supporters.
The French cousins of that latter group dance to Marie Le Pen’s tune. The EU will muddle through Brexit but not Frexit, as President Le Pen threatens.
It is hard to believe that Boris Johnson – a Conservative and Unionist MP – intends the UK’s breakup; that Gisela Stuart wishes Labour to be so weakened; that the usually Whiggish Michael Gove wants the Europe that historian Sir Ian Kershaw sees opening up: “28 competing countries and in the hands of Le Pen, Orban, Kaczynski and the nationalists, a Europe breaking up.”
But that is where Johnson, Stuart and Gove – by acquiescing with the poison of Nigel Farage – have left us, which is unforgivable.