After more than a year of fantasising that Brexit would be a replay of Agincourt with less mud, after which snivelling Europeans would pay obeisance to the mighty arm of British commerce (unwilling to forego the market for Prosecco and BMWs), Brexit minister David Davis has now gone to the other extreme, making a promise so minimal that we can be pretty sure he can keep it:
Britain will not be “plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction” after it leaves the EU, the Brexit secretary will say in a speech.
Although, when you look at the actual text, he’s not even promising that, merely that
They fear that Brexit could lead to an Anglo-Saxon race to the bottom… with Britain plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction. These fears about a race to the bottom are based on nothing, not history, not intention, nor interest.
So, while he’s trying to discount this extreme scenario that no one but him has actually suggested, he won’t commit to saying it won’t happen, only that it never happened before (“history”), he’s not trying to make happen (“intention”), and he doesn’t think it would be a good thing if it did (“interest”).
It does remind us all that we must provide reassurance.
So here is the government’s reassuring promise: If Mad Max does play out in Britain it may be our fault, but we’ll regret it.