The Guardian view on silence about Brexit: time to talk turkey | Editorial

Labour and the Conservatives have both been happy to stay quiet about Brexit during the pandemic. That has to stop

Since the 2019 general election, there has been a mutually convenient conspiracy of silence between Britain’s two main parties about Brexit. Boris Johnson won the election on the soundbite promise to “get Brexit done”, and then behaved as though all aspects of the UK’s departure from Europe were now fully sorted. The Labour party, meanwhile, licked its wounds, tacitly accepted that Brexit was indeed settled, and decided not to mention the subject if it could be avoided.

The Covid emergency then provided understandable cover for both positions. Now, however, as Covid perhaps recedes and something akin to normal politics resumes, silence has become impossible to maintain. Many aspects of Brexit are neither done nor dusted. Some are contributing to increasingly serious national problems. These include issues of trade, movement, education and, above all, the status of Northern Ireland. It is high time that these again became part of national political debate, not least because mishandling them could have a dire effect on Britain’s ability to deliver an adequate climate crisis deal in Glasgow in November.

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