The Devil makes work for idle hands to do. It’s holiday time, Parliament is in recess and the air is thicker than a pea soup fog with talk of Tory Brexit betrayals. “Broad agreement on a transition period”, says Hammond. “No there isn’t”, says Liam Fox. “Boris to resign as Foreign Secretary” says Cable. “No I won’t!”, says Boris. Can it be long before a Tory Brutus turns up in some form, announcing: “I come to praise Theresa not to bury her”? Perhaps Jacob Rees-Mogg will say it in the original Latin.

Whatever the technicalities, the truth is that the spirit of Brexit was betrayed as soon as the Theresa May was crowned as Tory leader. You could not have picked a worse person for the job: visionless and cautious, she had the exact opposite of the qualities needed in the situation. As we all know, her failure immediately to trigger Article 50 left stunned Remainers time to regroup and mount a ferocious rearguard action.

However, a far more serious problem than the incessant public whining of embittered Remoaners is that delay has allowed the Brussels-centred deep web of lobbying networks, representing the globalist transnational corporations, bureaucracies and third sector charities, to reorientate themselves to London. We shall never know the extent of the conversations, the subtle threats and arm-twisting these have and will continue to exert on the British government. However, we can guess, and Hammond’s mooted transitionary arrangements are surely an early product of it.

A failure to strike when the iron was hot is Britain’s tragedy. As Gisela Stuart puts it, this is an “unfrozen moment” in British history: the state of flux Brexit represents and the revolutionary passions it has unleashed can be channeled to transform our society’s many ills. Sadly, there is no sign that the elites have genuinely embraced Brexit – like the Bourbons they have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing – and are plainly unwilling to change course unless forced. On social policy they are content not just to follow but reinforce the politically correct fashions that have landed us in this mess in the first place.

Thus, control of immigration becomes even more key to Brexit’s success: turning off the immigration tap would force government to confront the deep social problems in our society caused by the denudation of its social capital, now clearly damaging long term economic growth. If the immigration tide goes out, then the politically correct emperor will be standing stark naked on the beach for all to see. A betrayal on immigration is a betrayal of Brexit. We cannot allow either to succeed.

(Image: Marcus Meissner)

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