It seems awfully tempting for many Brexit-watchers to shrug off the importance of Boris Johnson’s sombre assertion in the present day, ordering the nation to arrange for an Australia-style exit.
It is true that the prime minister didn’t solely shut the door to additional talks with the EU.
It can also be true that the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier was already heading to London on Monday for recent discussions, and that the EU doesn’t consider this to have modified.
There are many in Whitehall even this week insisting the PM needs and wishes a deal with Brussels, and the remarks he has uttered in the present day will not change that.
But words have consequences in politics, and in the present day’s assertion was starker than many anticipated.
By saying the EU has “abandoned an idea of a free trade deal”, Mr Johnson has trashed a lot of the negotiations accomplished thus far, which consultants mentioned had made extra progress than they anticipated.
By saying the UK will not proceed talks except the EU make a “fundamental” change of strategy, the PM is making a hurdle which others will maintain him to.
That seems troublesome given the European Union’s 27 leaders’ council conclusions yesterday.
But most of all, the issue is that time is tight, and there are extra essential issues for folks to fret about.
The EU need to conclude a trade deal inside 14 days – the tip of the month – and whereas there could also be an additional week or two flexibility into November, that is about it.
All at a time when a second coronavirus spike is heading throughout Europe and proving harder to handle than the primary.
Getting a deal requires an enormous focus from Number 10 and vital choreography with the EU.
There is a large quantity of patching as much as do due to the Internal Market invoice, not to mention in the present day’s assertion.
Yet as intensive care beds refill, coronavirus mortality will increase and political issues pile up, it’s all too simple to permit Brexit to slide just a bit bit too far down the agenda.
Across Whitehall many are satisfied Mr Johnson can not afford to not have a deal, politically or due to the sensible implications. But will he have the singular focus to get it, at this troubled and busy time?