Coronavirus exposes the Brexit myth that Britain can ‘go it alone’

Delegates hold "Get Brexit Done" posters during the first day of Conservative Party Conference 2019.

Delegates hold "Get Brexit Done" posters during the first day of Conservative Party Conference 2019. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images

Readers have their say on how the government's handling of the coronavirus exposes the myths surrounding Brexit.

One myth that has been exploded by coronavirus is the notion of British exceptionalism. The fiascos over ventilators, testing, PPE and the rules of lockdown has exposed the UK as not-really-that-special after all. How could such a country really think it could go it alone in the world?

The UK remains a great nation, but it ain't that great. The public – including Leavers – now know it.

I don't know exactly what will happen after Covid-19, but it is highly unlikely to be (the full) Brexit.

Will Goble

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As this Ahab government continues its pursuit of the Brexit whale previously known as Moby Dick, as we stand listlessly in queues waiting to buy food, I wonder, are we united by despair?

Kathy Erasmus


Even the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who is the partner of the Brexit Party's founder Richard Tice, now concedes, 'I now think it is inevitable the Brexit transition period will be extended and as a Brexiteer I am cool with this. The corona catastrophe changes everything. We have enough to deal with.' When will the government be realistic and strong enough to admit the truth?

David Smith


Alastair Campbell recently discussed competence (TNE #188) and the current crisis could not more starkly expose the divide between able, competent leaders and the stuffed shirts.

For me, two examples of the former stand out: New York governor Andrew Cuomo (how did he not get to be president?), and Kang Kyung-wha, South Korea's foreign minister. For the latter, look to our daily briefings as one Brexiter after another plays at being PM.

Martin Lewthwaite

Welwyn Garden City

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