In the third piece in our mini-series evaluating the EEA, our columnist wonders how both sides managed to become so hostile to moderate concepts.
What may count most today is not whether the water simmers over, but whether his temper and patience do instead – or first.
“Showing a combination of angry rhetoric and then irresolution in the talks has been the worst possible combination.”
Either a new dispute resolution mechanism will be required, or the UK could dock into part of the EFTA court to resolve disputes over goods.
Within EFTA, there are already two models of relationship with the EU – the EEA and the Swiss model. There is no reason why there could not be a third.
Not being able to blame Brussels for our problems nor look to the EU for solutions will be immensely reinvigorating.
Do we really want them either to declare independence, or else become benefit claimants, funded by British taxpayers?
“I’m not saying that there would be an organised push, but the letters would just go in to Graham Brady,” one senior pro-Leave backbencher told this site yesterday.
Can we really imagine ministers rejecting Justin Trudeau’s trade deal offer, or one from the American administration, or from Australia and New Zealand?
The Government should back the fastest growing sector of the economy, demand transparency and send clear policy signals.
The Treasury should be saved from itself by bringing the Party Chairman in to scrutinise the Autumn Budget before it is finalised.
From its range of tailor-made trade deals to its habit of allowing Member States to break the rules, Brussels is more flexible than Barnier’s rhetoric might suggest.
Whatever you think of the latter idea, it can’t fairly be said that, in the minds of a significant tranche of Party members, the door to it is firmly closed.
To shut off consideration of realistic and achievable ways of supporting the Government’s Brexit objectives would be irresponsible.
When ministers meet at Chequers this week, they must find a solution to the seemingly intractable question of whether to align or diverge from the EU.