By Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East
The arrival of Boris Johnson in Downing Street has all the hallmarks of a bull entering a china shop; a larger-than-life figure blustering around oblivious, of the damage being done around him.
Some people suppose that there is method in this madness, that there is a clever strategy here to frighten the other EU27 countries into ditching the existing Withdrawal Agreement. I doubt it.
The truth is that the hard Brexiteers are so blinded by their ideological fervour to leave the EU that they have lost touch with reality, now putting their faith in ‘optimism’ and ‘can-do spirit’ rather than evidence and facts. It’s as though they don’t – or won’t – recognise there are two sides in this negotiation.
We need access to European markets for the benefits of a modern global economy to operate. Brexit with a deal is bad enough. And we should be focusing on how damaging this will be in itself. But Brexit without any deal at all is acutely harmful. Not just in terms of tariffs and barriers but in social terms too, with uncertainty on citizen rights and of course the risks with the border in Ireland.
While many in the media may relish the exciting bravura of Boris confidently promising everything will be fine, the real world will very soon start to bite. You can see this already with the market reaction hitting the pound sterling, as holiday-makers gradually realise that their savings are dwindling in what they can now be exchanged for.
Nottinghamshire MPs including myself, Ken Clarke, Anna Soubry and others will have to step up in September and October to assert the importance of our parliamentary democracy to stop this madness.
There isn’t a majority for a no-deal Brexit in the Commons and we will need to express this. But as important is the message championed by the People’s Vote campaigners on the question of any Brexit at all; the time is surely now for this to go back to the public so they can decide once and for all.