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The Spectator Podcast: Is the Brexit drama just beginning?

12 July 2018

12:40 PM

12 July 2018

12:40 PM

Is Brexit going in circles? With the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson – and widespread unhappiness at the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan – it is hard to pretend that things are going well. But is the drama only just getting started? In this week’s cover piece, James Forsyth says that a no-deal Brexit, or calling the whole thing off altogether, are now distinct possibilities. On the podcast, James says that this week’s events show that it is not only the Brexit ultras who could cause the PM trouble; ‘this rebellion goes far deeper into the Conservative party,’ he argues. Paul Goodman, editor of ConservativeHome and John Springford, deputy director at the Centre for European Reform, join James for the discussion. Paul says that it is too difficult to tell which way Brexit will go. But John Springford disagrees. On the podcast, he says:

‘I think that no deal is actually very difficult to deliver. The volume of trade that goes across the English Channel is so huge that suddenly ripping up the legal underpinnings (that enable it) would cause such chaos it would be very difficult for the government to survive.’

In Britain, pitbulls, staffies, and their crosses are some of our favourite dog breeds. But they’re also the ones with the worst reputation. Julia Lewis argues in this week’s magazine that certain breeds are bad news, whatever the animal charities might say. Mary Wakefield, who grew up with a pitbull, disagrees – and points out that dog attacks are very rare:

‘There are horrific examples, and the minute you mention them everyone has the picture of the devil dog. But it’s only two deaths a year.’

And is being English fashionable again? England’s World Cup final run has sparked a wave of national pride. Robert Tombs says in this week’s issue that it is time for us to reclaim English identity. On the podcast, Harry Mount says:

 

‘There has been a wonderful feeling of patriotism in this tournament free of any far-right nastiness and that is something to celebrate.’

But Yasmin Alibhai-Brown disagrees:

‘My fear is that I don’t think we have seen of the nastiness yet. If we lose, I think it will get quite nasty – (people) will lay the blame at mixed-race players. If we win, I fear that there is a kind of, not the nice Englishness, but the aggressive English-ness which may erupt.’

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