In the era of Brexit, the UK is becoming a mediocracy – rule by the mediocre.

For Dominic Raab, Brexit has been an education. “I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this but if you look at the UK and look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing,” the Brexit Secretary confessed at a tech industry event on Wednesday night.

Raab, an aspirant Conservative leader, has been duly ridiculed. Might it have been wise to grasp the “full extent” of UK-EU trade relations before the Brexit negotiations began? Or, indeed, before the EU referendum itself?

But Raab can console himself that he is far from alone. In September, Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland Secretary, confessed that she “didn’t understand things like when elections are fought, for example, in Northern Ireland – people who are nationalists don’t vote for unionist parties and vice versa. So, the parties fight for election within their own community.”

Ignorance of Northern Irish politics is hardly unique to Bradley. But her inability to grasp this fact even after the Conservatives signed a pact with the Democrat Unionist Party was still a rare feat (as was her decision to then reveal as much).

Then there was Jeremy Wright, the culture, media and sport secretary, who confessed on Monday that he subscribed to no British newspapers or magazines and was unable to name a sole female columnist (until, at the fifth time of asking, revealing that he enjoyed reading the Telegraph’s Allison Pearson).

But Brexit is still the field where Conservatives have most willfully displayed their ignorance. On 11 July 2016, David Davis, Raab’s predecessor as Brexit Secretary, wrote that within two years the UK could “negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU”. …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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