No, not a movie about a Queen who has difficulty speaking. But the annual speech written by the governing party which the Queen reads out before running off to the races. And it’s not annual this time, either. She’s taking a year off next year. Apparently Brexit is just so complicated that there won’t be time for her to stand up for half an hour and read out someone else’s homework.
We’ll come to Brexit in a moment. But apart from that there will be absolutely pivotal, life-improving measures to make car insurance fairer. And there might be some help for those who suffer domestic violence. Yes, that’s right, none of those terrible, ill-considered manifesto highlights will be implemented. Nothing on social care, no dementia tax, no pensions triple-lock changes, no grammar schools, no changes to free school meals.
There is no public deal with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland either. That will have to wait a few more days, as they are characteristically overplaying their hand. Surely they know any preferential treatment will either need to be matched in Scotland and Wales, or face fury on all sides. This is a tightrope, and the PM could fall at any moment.
Remember those polls that are always wrong? Well some of them are showing that another election held now would see a proper majority for Jeremy Corbyn of Labour. If that doesn’t scare the Conservatives into getting on with the job, nothing will. As our friend and mentor James Forsyth has pointed out, if the only role of the Tory party is to keep the hard left out of power, then they are in danger of failing at their main task.
And so we come to Brexit. Not Hard Brexit, not Soft Brexit, but Open Brexit. In a phrase first heard in Scotland and repeated by the BoJo, we are now returning to openness. But what does it mean? Well, as keen-eyed readers will know, it means what it means. Brexit does mean Brexit.
Come off it! Well, okay. You asked a fair question. What does it mean?
It still means no free movement. That is right out. As is the single market. The two things, we are told, are glued together as one. So that leaves the Customs Union. Does anyone even know what that means?
Also known as the EUCU, but not by anybody we know, the Customs Union consists of all EU member states plus some weird additionals like the tax haven known as Monaco. Oddly, it even contains parts of the UK that are not in the EU like Guernsey. And some EU nations, although formally members, do not in practice participate. Great. All clear.
One of the practical ‘advantages’ of EUCU is that the EU Commission negotiates trade deals on behalf of all members with those states which are not members. Still clear?
This is right out of the question for the UK post-Brexit. One of the very few perceived benefits of Brexit is the ability to negotiate our own deals with whoever we bloody well like. So the Customs Union is off too.
So if this isn’t a Hard Brexit, it is utterly indistinguishable from one. Whatever the placations coming out of Downing Street on this amazing, and truly spectacular day of glory for the British Establishment, we are heading for the only Brexit which makes any sense. And that is one that means Brexit.