In short, the White Paper is not intended to be the final stage of a transition to a "softer Brexit", but rather the first stage in the establishment’s campaign – led by the senior civil servants at No. 10 – to reverse Brexit.
One strong piece of evidence for this comes from the fact that was an “alternative” White Paper being prepared by the Department for Exiting the European Union. This was developing the “Canada plus plus plus” free trade deal, the only sensible deal consistent with the referendum result. This proposal was trashed by the No.10 civil servants which led to David Davis’s resignation. The same civil servants now want to close DexEU down.
Then add in the deliberate incompetence of the UK’s negotiating strategy. Triggering Article 50 before we were fully prepared. Agreeing, in the context of the fixed two-year time frame for the negotiations, to the sequencing of the three stages of the negotiations (divorce, withdrawal and future relationship) where the EU alone determines when each stage is finished. Agreeing to pay a £39bn divorce bill before any trade deal was in place. This is all part of the Mad Hatter’s strategy. Lord Kerr, the British civil servant who drafted Article 50, said that he deliberately chose the short two-year time frame to make it virtually impossible for any country to leave the EU. Lord Heseltine said on the day after the referendum that Brexit would never happen.
The final piece of evidence was the immediate call from strong Remain supporters for a second referendum with three options – accept the terms of the White Paper, go for a “no deal” or stay in the EU – whose only purpose would be to split the Leave vote.The price of democracy is constant vigilance. US readers will wonder why these senior officials are not being dragged before Parliament; Congress or Senate would not be so lenient. But Westminster is not Capitol Hill. Despite 400 of 650 Commons seats having voted Brexit, and 82.4% of UK voters voting for the two main parties in 2017 both of which had Brexit as a manifesto commitment, most MPs quietly support the coup being attempted by our civil servants.
We leave the coup plotters a warning. You violate British democracy at your peril - so long as we preserve universal suffrage and the secret ballot, we can still have your heads on the block. Democratically and literally if we have to. And that applies to any guilty ex-MPs a new Brexit election displaces.