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Brexit weekly briefing: ‘dementia tax’ debacle sidelines divorce talks

Written by The Guardian

Theresa May wobbles over social care plans as it is announced that long-awaited Brexit talks will begin 10 days after election

Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, a summary of developments as the UK heads towards the EU door marked “exit”. If you’d like to receive it as a weekly early morning email, please sign up here.

You can listen to our latest Brexit Means podcast, updated every Wednesday, here. And with the general election under way in the UK, you can also sign up to the Snap, our daily email election briefing, here.

It is the UK which is leaving the EU and not vice-versa. We have clearly, the 27, confirmed that position that we must defend … From the day the UK decided to leave, the EU has gone through an intense preparatory process. We are ready and well-prepared.

We don’t need to just look like we can walk away, we need to be able to walk away. Under the circumstances, if that was necessary, we would be in a position to do it.

The top priority of European business is the integrity of the single market; the second priority is making good business with the UK. We will see if there is a conflict, but the message is: do not harm the single market by cherrypicking deals.

The EU has been at the core of the party’s being since it took shape in the wake of the first euro vote; anything else must have risked appearing a betrayal of fundamental principle. It seemed, too, to point to a way out of the 2015 catastrophe … The trouble is that the remain vote has turned out to be much flakier than it felt last June. Polling now suggests as many as half of those who wanted to stay in the EU are ready to get on with leaving … Unsurprisingly, this is not turning out well for the party. The Lib Dem manifesto is a defence of the essence of liberal Britain: open, tolerant and outward-looking. Fabulous, but not necessarily in a good way.

Labour policies are popular. On many doorsteps it is Labour that is dealing with the issues that matter most to voters. But they are all on that long list of promises that many voters assume will never be delivered whoever gets in. Brexit, on the other hand, is a decision that we the people, the people of this country and this place have taken, and we took it together. To go back on last year’s vote would be to surrender the power ‘we’ took for ourselves. The one thing we can make sure on its that our decision is followed through. To that end, voters will choose the leader and party most likely to keep faith with their decision.

Latest U-turn again confirms May as entirely reactive to events, not in command of them. Which again means really bad news for Brexit.

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