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Brexit is irrelevant to the gravest problems facing Britain

One entirely foreseeable consequence of Brexit is that although it is irrelevant to the gravest problems facing the nation, the government talks about nothing else. There is a black hole in the defence budget: instead of reshaping policy to address this, starting by mothballing the Royal Navy’s absurd new aircraftless-carrier, ministers merely scrabble to keep the crisis away from the Commons and front pages. My wife Penny says, with her accustomed good sense: ‘People only really care about terrorism and cyber-attacks. They are not interested in the Russian threat to the Baltic states.’ Yet real political leaders, as distinct from placemen, would aspire to inform voters, rather than merely chortle because they can scrap soldiers without losing by-elections.

This is an extract from Max Hastings’ Diary, which appears in this week’s issue of The Spectator

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