While a majority of MPs profoundly disagreed — like this newspaper — with the wisdom of leaving, many were ready to compromise to allow it to happen. Hardcore Brexit ultras would agree to nothing but the fantastical clean-break exit they craved. They cannot be allowed to take the country over the cliff into a no-deal crash-out, with perilous consequences for the UK’s prosperity and security.
The government must heed the will expressed more than once by a parliamentary majority, and avert that outcome on 12 April. Mrs May should request a lengthy extension, of a year or more, to the EU withdrawal process. This extension must not be used to prepare for what hardliners fancifully call a “managed” no-deal departure. Its purpose is to find a consensus around a softer Brexit involving closer economic and trade integration with the EU27. [Continue reading…]