It’s tempting for an ex-MP like me to claim that things wouldn’t be in such a mess if I was still there. Sadly it’s also daft. Though I might have been in the Shadow Cabinet for at least a week, for backbenchers impotence is a way of life. So like those other pundits, our new ruling elite of little Sir (and Lady) echoes who see Brexit as a peasants’ revolt against their superior wisdom, I have the right to treat prejudice as eternal truth. So here’s mine. It’s pretty daft to change horses in midstream by getting rid of Theresa. Yet it is sensible to reject the half-baked deal she’s cooked up on the advice of her posse of Sir Humphreys. That would send us naked into the conference chamber to become a permanent Brer Rabbit to the EU tar baby. Rejection means there’s no soft option of a People’s vote against the People’s decision because there’s no treaty to vote on. It sends Britain back into negotiation with or without Theresa, puts some lead in our pencil, allows us to withhold the £39 billion Euro-geld as a negotiating counter and forces the EU to extend the two year deadline. If they treat us as if they’ve got us over a self-built barrel and refuse to extend, then we face an exit with no deal. That’s is why the rampant Remainers have embarked on a massive campaign of fear about the horrors of departure. For them it’s “jumping off a cliff”, suicide, an end to pills and prescriptions, an open door for terrorism and bubonic plague, economic Armageddon, death for the car industry, disaster for those ailing regions which were stupid enough to vote for Brexit, and for all the babies who can’t get EU nannies. It’s an unimaginable horror. Worse than George Osborne. It’s all designed to produce national panic. It’s also nonsense. It’s inconceivable that an EU which loves us so much, will suddenly seek to destroy us. It’s silly to assume that our capitalism is so feeble it has no regenerative energy, or that other EU ports won’t welcome British business if the French block Calais. Most of all it’s insane to argue that we can’t trade on WTO terms. The rest of the world does. We do so in markets outside the EU where we still trade with a surplus, unlike our horrendous deficit with the EU. Those markets are growing while the EU stagnates. We’d have cheaper food instead having to protect France’s expensive agriculture. Even the car industry, which would face 10% duties, can overcome them. The pound will fall in value (as it must anyway with our deficit) boosting exports, taxing imports. What’s to fear from all that? There would be transient problems of adjustment but capitalism has strong regenerative power, particularly if it’s helped to develop domestic supply chains by state aid, an industrial policy and the boost of Keynesian spending, instead of being held back by austerity. Most appealing for a Yorkshire man, WTO tariffs on EU goods would produce over £10 billion for the Exchequer and avoid the folly of handing over £39 billion for nowt.