A Government intent on giving itself sweeping new powers to bypass Parliament. 50 studies on the future of the country witheld from the public. And now Universities told to disclose what professors are saying to their students. This is not a fictional world invented by George Orwell. This is Brexit Britain.
The intervention by Chris Heaton-Harris, the whip who asked universities to tell him what they were teaching students about Brexit and who it was delivering those lessons, is chilling.
The fact that leaving the EU was trumpeted as a way to give power back to the people, rather than limiting their freedoms, seems not to bother Mr Heaton-Harris or his other Brexiteer colleagues. It’s still not entirely clear why he wanted the details of university teaching programmes. But the fact he is a committed Brexit extremist doesn’t bode well. Perhaps in keeping with the Brexit zeitgeist he hoped there it would pave the way to a clampdown.
The move appears to have angered politicians on both sides of Brexit in a way that the unpublished studies on its impact, the secrecy surrounding the talks, and the government’s refusal to grant a referendum on the terms of the deal hasn’t.