Mal Fletcher comments on the leadership of Brexit.

Mal Fletcher
Mal Fletcher

"We cannot make good news out of bad practice." So wrote famed American newsman Edward R. Murrow.

Another way of saying this is, of course: we cannot make bad practice into good news. This is especially true when it comes to something as historically significant as Brexit.

As a social commentator and futurist who is regularly engaged with the media, I consider myself - I hope not arrogantly - to be a relatively astute follower of the news.

Yet I, like many relatively informed British citizens, struggle to identify the key features of the 580-page Brexit deal document which will soon be put to the vote in the House of Commons.

Our media and press feature a lot of headlines about the political to-and-fro between London and Brussels and about the internal struggles within Parliament.

Most, however, give relatively little space to an accessible explanation of what the deal actually means in practical terms.

For all the punditry, few government or media outlets seem to be addressing what it means for the things people sought when they voted, albeit by a smallish margin, to part company with the EU.

These include our ability make trade deals and our ability to control migration and maintain - or recapture - independence in terms of our legal system.

Little is said or written, either, about what the proposed deal might mean for our standard of living in the medium-to-longer term.

Partly, of course, this is because nobody can definitively predict the future. This is generally true about any issue, but very specifically so in the case of something as convoluted as Brexit.

A good many Brits, I think, are waiting for the so-called "meaningful vote" debate in Westminster, hoping that it will provide some clarity on major points within the deal. Alongside that, we hope for a description of what still remains to be negotiated during the transition period over the next few years.

Yet, the political debate may come too late. People are not able to contact or instruct their MPs on specific areas of concern within the deal if they've not been informed about the deal's contents. In a way that is free of legal and administrative jargon.

I think the public is relying on Parliamentarians to actually "do the deal" and rightly so. Voters don't need to cross every "T" and dot every "I".

Yet everything is happening in a blur, as if we're in a desperate race to a finish line and don't have time to understand the big themes covered in the deal's fine print.