John Key “quite shocked”

Our Prime Minister is talking trade and terrorism with Indonesia but his incredulity about Brexit has spilled over.

Mr Key is in Indonesia leading a high-level trade mission following a week of meetings with leaders in London, Rome and Paris.

He told a business breakfast in Jakarta that in the aftermath of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, there’s plenty of uncertainty about what will happen next.

“The most significant takeaway message is no one has a clue what it’s going to look like,” Mr Key said on Monday morning.

“We were quite shocked, we really thought when we got up there that there would be this plan that we had just missed in the New Zealand media – there is no plan.”

Mr Key went on to say that the UK government hasn’t done any work on what Brexit will involve and officials were in fact stopped from doing such work.

There are also difficulties for both Britain and the EU because negotiations on new free trade deals can’t get under way until the UK has finished its “divorce proceedings” from the EU, Mr Key said.

British officialdom didn’t expect it to happen, didn’t want it to happen and therefore refused to plan for it to happen.  That is, of course, quite irresponsible for any government that needs to do risk assessments and contingency planning for all sorts of possibilities.

The lessons that can be learned from this are similar to John Key’s flag debate: be careful what you ask the voters to decide.  The voters remain unpredictable.  In fact, apart from being returned to government instead of a Dotcom-funded collection of misfits, the electorate has punished Key ever since.  First in Northland and then his flag folly.

Electorates are remarkably intolerant of frivolous referenda and love using by-elections as a chance to tug on the government’s leash to remind it who is ultimately in charge; a lesson that the Dream Team may not have heeded.

Thank goodness for an incompetent opposition.  Anyone half capable would have taken National out by now.


– NZN via Yahoo! News

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