That Article 50 can be rescinded has always been known. It was featured in the Lords’ debate in February before Article 50 was even triggered (March).(http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/article-50-brexit-reversible-lord-kerr-a7592241.html).
The French and German statements, while not particularly revealing, do seem to be reminding people of that.
I do wish people would stop talking about ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit. The UK referendum was about leaving the EU, leaving the EU market and the free movement of EU nationals to and from Europe. Article 50 does not allow a tiered approach to exit. There is pretty much no ‘deal’ to have here; the EU will not allow concessions to a leaving member state that would in any way be seen as more favourable than to member states. It is just not going to happen.
The true horror of this goes right back to Cameron hoping to prop up the right wing of the Conservatives. He never thought he would lose (sound familiar now?). Cameron didn’t want Brexit. Boris didn’t want Brexit, he wanted to look glorious in defeat and move in to Number 10 (and still hopes to). Theatre May was a Remainer but had not campaigned (we know why now, she can’t. Hopeless at it). From the quiet shadows she pounced on the prospect of power.
So, we had a Government limping into a Brexit they did not want. Call a GE on the basis of a ‘hard’ Brexit (in reality, the only one possible). Get a resounding huge majority and at least you can take comfort of the ‘people’s will’ while you do the ridiculous. Then.. OOOPS. No majority.
Still infatuated with power, Theatre May grabs on to any rope in the water, no matter how slippery and covered in slime.
My only lament in this was that Corbyn didn’t stand up and say, “you know what? To hell with this referendum, we are not leaving the EU. We have been lied to and manipulated by successive Tory governments”. If Labour could have grasped this and really put their back in to supporting JC, there would have been a Labour landslide.
As it is I remain (pun intended) highly dubious about the future of the UK if we continue as we do. My only hope is that the negotiations begin to look so cataclysmic that someone stands up and screams STOP. Enough is enough (groan).
Another referendum?..hmm. I think it has left such a bad taste in the mouth that it will be a courageous call for any politician to make for another hundred years.
An unpredictable beast this thing called the electorate.