I admire my friends who think we will stay in the EU. I wish I shared any of their confidence. I can’t see it happening.
I suspect that Lord (Bob) Kerslake accurately reflected the opinion of the civil service at the weekend when he said that he believes they will advise ministers that they must put leaving on hold because of the damage it will cause to the country. I cannot, however, see them acting on the advice. The Tories are too fearful of Johnson and Rees-Mogg to do so. Nor will they call an election for fear of losing it, and no one else can force it. Nor I suspect does Labour have the willing: I am far from alone in thinking Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are entirely happy about leaving. In that case I can't see how March 29 can be avoided.
But nor can I see any agreement being reached beforehand: none of the key components, whether they be willing, competence, or the political capital to deliver any proposed settlement, exist to make that possible. We are, inevitably, and by default, heading for hard Brexit as far as I can see. I would love to think otherwise. I admire those who are willing to put their efforts into seeking to avoid this disaster, which might be the biggest self-imposed act of economic self-destruction in very many decades, if not centuries. But, it would appear that the only outcome of which we are capable is the worst, which is leaving without a deal. I would love to be wrong for once: I simply doubt that there is even the smallest chance that I am at present.
The best we might hope for is that this then might be the catalyst for the absolutely essential change that is required if British society is to be reformed. But even that may be optimistic. It may instead permit something much worse to develop.
If anyone has a way of avoiding disaster might they say so now? The time for avoiding it is fast running out.