The sooner Johnson can draw a line under this unfortunate matter, the better. Nor would it require a u-turn. If the Prime Minister and he support academic freedom and free speech, then our petition's demands are an easy request to deliver. If they do not, their actions will speak much louder than their words with a chilling effect on our campuses.
There are several concerns I have about this letter. The first is why this information is being collected. If Heaton-Harris really wanted to know what modules on European matters are being taught in higher education, he could familiarise himself with them by simply going online.
The current impasse should make Remain and Leave supporters alike very nervous. Neither side argued for a result that would leave Britain worse off. Evidence is growing that the public doesn't approve of Brexit talks are going with increasing support for changing course. So if Brexit can be stopped, why won't the PM consider it?
For all the many attacks on Brexit sceptics for how they talk down Britain's potential, this very public spat at the heart of government is even worse for weakening the government's already poor hand. If the PM thought she had a difficult time before, it's only worse now. Ironically, it's mostly because of meddling by pro-Brexit ministers like Boris rather than criticisms from pro-Remain sceptics.
I suspect we're witnessing a combination of ignorance and deceit that does nothing to improve public confidence or achieve much success. We're watching a government out of ideas and out of their depths - I suspect things may only get worse.
Leave supporters will be least impressed of all. One by one virtually every promise made by Vote Leave looks set to be broken except for the vow to leave the EU. Empty promises will not be rewarded at the ballot box - and blaming Europe for failing to get Britain the best deal is not an option for Brexiteers who claimed their critics had nothing more than Project Fear. It's looking a lot more like Project Fact.
30/08/2017 16:59 BST
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