Saturday 18 November 2017

The Leave campaign is selling Britain's electorate short over its most crucial decision since 1945


Andrew Hammond

The British electorate decides on Thursday, in the most important decision facing the country since 1945, whether to leave the European Union after some four decades of membership. In a campaign that has been high on hyperbole, the 'Leave' leaders have failed - remarkably - to address the single most important question that it needs to answer.

That is the alternative that it wishes Britain to adopt instead of membership of the EU. The fact that it hasn't been able to articulate this with clarity sells the electorate short at such an important moment in Britain's history.

To be sure, former London mayor Boris Johnson had seemed to advocate in March for the United Kingdom to have the type of bilateral deal that Canada may be on the cusp of concluding with the EU after around seven years of negotiations. Yet he has since appeared to row back from this after not appearing to know that the agreement, which is still to be concluded, has taken some seven years to negotiate and does not cover services, which represent around 80pc of the UK economy.

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