PERHAPS Michael Gove did have a point when he noted, in the aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum, that “people in this country have had enough of experts” – the trading of statistics, and insults, about Brexit, and the wider economy, appears to vindicate the Environment Secretary.
After all, leaked policy papers suggesting that Leave-supporting areas in the North of England are likely to pay the heaviest price of all when Britain leaves the EU is at odds with the Bank of England’s latest assessment of the wider economy.
Though interest rates remain unchanged, it signalled that borrowers should brace themselves for further and faster rate rises after stronger-than-expected economic growth that is at odds with the pre-referendum forecasts of Bank governor Mark Carney who was central to the Remain campaign’s so-called ‘Project Fear’.
These contradictions, nevertheless, make it even harder for Theresa May – and her Cabinet – to plan an effective negotiating strategy. To her credit, the Tory leader is doing her best to lead in the national interest – she was a Remain supporter who came to power because she accepted the referendum result – and could do with some more loyalty from her colleagues.
Perhaps this is the moment for the Prime Minister to follow her convictions rather than allow her stance to be shaped by experts whose views do appear to change as frequently as the respective policy positions adopted by the Tory and Labour front benches.