The old saw about being careful what you wish for is manifestly coming home to roost on the shoulders of those whom Nigel Farage is bound to see as the Johnny Come Latelys of the Leave campaign leadership.
Boris Johnson’s face and stance in his televised address this morning spoke for a very sobered bunny.
He had been booed loudly and had had the side of his car hammered by hordes of angry Londoners beyond the media rough house outside his home in North London. Neither he nor his family will like that one – and, accustomed to affectionate attention, this can only have come as an unanticipated consequence of winning the vote to leave the EU.
He and his colleagues have seen the value of the pound thumped into the ground – in its greatest fall since the early 1970s – in the currency markets.
They have seen the FTSE tanking on the stock markets with billions wiped off share values.
Chris Grayling found himself deconstructed by the characteristically vigorous Andrew Neil who asked him:
‘When are we going to see all those saved extra millions put into our NHS?’
‘You’re seeing the pound and the FTSE fall as it was said they would. Was it worth it?’
They will have heard the Foreign Office calmly assess the scale of the parallel multiple and complex negotiations their staff would have to enable and support:
- one set is on the exit procedures to be processed – and EC President, Jean Claude Juncker has just said that he wants to activate the Article 50 disassociation protocol ‘immediately’;
- and another is on the new relationships to be negotiated and agreed between the non-EU UK and the EU – which will embrace a spectrum of very complex issues including, for example, trade, travel, intelligence, defence…
All in two years [?], during which senior civil servants will also be engaged in:
- whatever agreements which, having lost guaranteed freedom of movement under the EU, Gibraltar will need to be in place to protect its citizens from a repetition of the punitive border measures previously employed against them by Spain;
- a potential, and, if activated, an actual Scotland departure from the UK within that two year period;
- a potential Northern Ireland departure from the UK;
- the establishing of trade agreements with new partners outside the EU;
- and then some…
This is real now and the Brexit camp will have to manage and deliver on such responsibilities and in the shortest possible order to protect the economy and as many jobs as possible.
And if either or both of the civil service or the Brexit government fail…?