There have been times during the Brexit saga when the First Minister has seemed to be saying something different and more helpful than his partyâ€™s leader in London. He has generally managed, in particular, to give the impression that he is much more open to continuing membership of the single market and customs union. But his last week put him right back in the same position as both Corbyn and May.
Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with asking the EU to â€˜help us avoid a catastrophic Brexit no-dealâ€™, as the headline put it. Indeed, it seems to me that the EU27 have had that as an objective from the outset but have been hampered by the utter inability of the UK Government to agree on what it actually wants. But in asking the EU to â€˜blur its red linesâ€™, he is effectively asking for exactly the same thing as May, Corbyn and the rest â€“ a deal in which the UK gains some or all of the benefits whilst avoiding compliance with the rules. The semblance of reasonableness is once again lost in the demand for exceptional treatment for the UK.
Itâ€™s important, of course, that he does what he can to get the best deal for Wales from the increasingly shambolic process which Cameron kicked off; but heâ€™d stand a better chance of doing that if he were willing to explain, clearly and repeatedly to the people of Wales, why the Brexit fantasy they were sold was never an option, instead of joining the fantasists in pretending that it, or something like it, can be implemented as they expected. He’s as much an Anglo-British nationalist as the rest of them.