Were Queen Elizabeth II to break her Scottish holiday and call a press conference on a Balmoral patio, corgis quartering the ground at her feet, to encourage Britain’s politicians to pause and very carefully consider the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, she would be dismissed as a project-fear agent, an EU collaborator and, worst of all, Remoaner.
The situation has become so bizarre, so emotional, that even her advice would be seen through one polarised prism or other. How the views in a leaked British government paper will be seen is not hard to imagine.
The paper predicted that a no-deal exit would mean a three-month meltdown at Britain’s ports, and food and medicine shortages. Boris Johnson’s government’s “reasonable worst-case scenarios” forwarned, almost as an afterthought, a hard border on this island.
Yet we are told that when the hyper-booster Mr Johnson visits Paris and Berlin this week, and speaks with Taoiseach Leo Vardakar, he will make clear that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. He will insist there must be a new deal, despite innumerable EU assertions that the deal is closed, but may be “clarified”.
Whether Mr Johnson’s harrumphing is mere electioneering, gunboat diplomacy without the cordite, or his usual testosterone overload, it seems insane and certain to end badly for everyone. If Queen Elizabeth II has a number for a contemporary Sir Galahad, it may be time to share it.