In what has been described as an ‘extraordinary’ cross-party meeting, senior figures representing both the Conservatives and Labour reportedly gathered this weekend to discuss the shortcomings of Brexit.
Brexit failures addressed by Leave campaigners
In the first move of its kind, ardent Brexiteers – including the likes of Michael Gove and Michael Howard – took part in the discussions at Ditchley Park. As detailed by The Observer, all those involved were keen on finding solutions to the friction created by Britain exiting the European Union.
David Lammy and Peter Mandelson were also present, as both sides apparently agreed to work co-operatively ‘in the national interest’. This couldn’t be any further from those sunlit uplands we were promised back in 2016.
What was up for discussion?
It’s said that the agenda was dominated by issues such as the Northern Ireland protocol, the drag Brexit is having on UK growth, and how both sides can work together to counter global threats from Russia and China.
Although economic concerns were prevalent, much of the meeting revolved around rebuilding strategic partnerships between Britain and the EU. It’s understand that tensions have thawed in recent months, and all sides are now grasping the realities of the situation.
Cross-party talks on Brexit: Is rejoining an option?
However, it seems one rather obvious approach has already been ruled out. Rejoining the EU is allegedly ‘not on the table’, and there is a very much a focus on making Brexit work – no matter how difficult that may prove to be.
The stakes are particularly high for Mr. Gove himself. Alongside Boris Johnson, he was – and arguably still remains – one of the most public backers of the Brexit project. He has defended the result of the referendum for the past six years.
With much of his reputation riding on the success and failures of Brexit, Gove is in desperate need of some tangible Brexit dividends – even if that means rowing backwards from his current position, and accepting closer ties with the European Union.