Viral 90-second rant nails exactly how our politicians ignore Brexit reality

PUBLISHED: 17:45 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:52 10 June 2019

Rafael Behr's answer on BBC Politics Live has gone viral, outlining in just 90 seconds how politicians are ignoring Brexit reality. Picture: BBC

Rafael Behr's answer on BBC Politics Live has gone viral, outlining in just 90 seconds how politicians are ignoring Brexit reality. Picture: BBC

BBC

A blistering 90-second polemic about how Labour, the Tories and the Brexit Party have ignored the reality of what leaving the EU means has gone viral.

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Guardian columnist Rafael Behr let loose on BBC's Politics Live when presenter Jo Coburn asked him whether Labour's position on Brexit had become more clear since the party's victory at the Peterborough by-election.

Behr's answer - in the negative - has taken off on Twitter and looked at far more than the electoral moment.

"I think we need to zoom out a little bit and ask what's happened here," he said, before pointing out that in 2016 nobody, whether Remain or Leave, understood what leaving the EU would entail.

The "broadly fact-free" debate that followed the triggering of Article 50 was brought up sharp as soon as officials actually had to go and negotiate with Michel Barnier and "get schooled in the reality", he continued.

"And now, after the sort of brush-by with reality, our European Union debate has just sort of sailed off, and now you have the Brexit Party essentially talking about the process just like it's 2016 again," he said.

And, he said, Labour are looking on and allowing the Tories to mess it up, thinking "'we can walk across the ashes and become a government'."

"It's basically embarrassing for every other country in the world just looking at this, and going 'that's a country that basically doesn't even beliebe in political or economic gravity any more."

The comments were made as part of a panel discussion alongside MEP Ben Habib, Labour candidate Faiza Shaheen, and the Daily Telegraph's Madeline Grant.

A clip of the video shared by blogger I Am Incorrigible on Twitter has had over 2.7 million views - a million of them accrued within 12 hours.

Re-sharing it again at the 1.5 million views mark, Buzzfeed News editor Alan White said: "I think people may feel he has a point."

Exhausted Twitter user @toobad shared it, saying: "Struggling with 'disinformation fatigue', was feeling like I was in danger of being overwhelmed in the numpty media landscape, awash with false narratives - until Rafael Behr came along. This is just so, so good."

Twitter user Lindsay Richards shared it saying simply: "Hammer. Nail. Head."

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