“Brexit was about taking back control. About asserting our own sovereignty and deciding our own destiny. The freedoms of Brexit should be about innovations justifying British exceptionalism on the basis of moral leadership, not moral delinquency.” David Davis in “The Times” today.
And there you have the fraud of Brexit neatly described by a Brexiteer for once honest enough to tell, the truth. Sure he might say that one bit of moral delinquency doesn’t make the whole project delinquent. He would be wrong to do so.
At this time we can see the horrors of nationalism in sharp relief as Putin and his gang murderously try to assert their will on Ukraine. But let’s be under no illusion. Russia’s drivers are part of the same narrow nationalism that drove the “Leave” campaign and drives Britain’s populist government today.
The reality of the modern world is that unless we build alliances, participate in cooperative treaties, recognise the international element in most of what we do we will blunder into an isolated faux-freedom state which we may call “deciding our destiny” but in reality is nothing of the sort. Russia is largely “free” to do as it wants so long as it has a thick enough skin. Britain thinks it can do the same. We can’t.
The Rwanda scheme is as delinquent as Putin’s attack on Ukraine, morally anyway. It’s wrong not because most of us, including Mr Davis, see that it is. It’s wrong because the civilised world condemns this “exceptionalism” as much as it condemns Putin. Nice company we keep.