LeaveHQ, 12/10/2017  


It would seem that for some in the bubble the penny is starting to drop. A no deal Brexit is not the minor inconvenience that the Tory ultras pretend it is. The Leave Alliance has long warned that no responsible government should even consider leaving the EU without a deal, but it would appear that is where we are drifting as a consequence of Tory incoherence.

We should not, however, be surprised. It has taken until now for the media to properly focus on the consequences. Until now the debate has largely been confined to the FT and occasional Times articles with no real sense of urgency. The public is largely still in the dark as to what no deal actually entails and due to the histrionics of the remain campaign last year, many won't believe it until they see it.

Effectively a no deal Brexit is the severing of all of our external trade relations and the deletion of all of our single market permissions. It is as though a system administrator changed your mainframe password. Yes, you might still have a computer, but without being able to log on, all you can do is play Minesweeper.

Many assume we exaggerate as to the effects, and believe a traffic jam at Dover is hardly a show stopper. This is a naive view. The damage comes from the ripple effects where small interruptions to supply chains are multiplied and magnified across every sector. We are so deeply integrated with the EU that it is impossible to map all of the possible consequences. A no deal Brexit is akin with performing separation surgery on conjoined twins with a hammer and chisel without anaesthetic, hoping that the weaker one will live.

The longer term ramifications of this are incalculable. We can say with confidence that it would lead to a substantial loss of trade along with our international standing. Living standards will very rapidly fall. Recovery will not come soon.

As to whether this can be avoided is all in the hands of the gods. Events seem to have taken on a life of their own. Westminster seems incapable of acknowledging the immediate peril. It would seem that the event horizon has already been crossed and unless talks are extended we will run out of time.

If this is to be prevented the there is only a short window for politicians to act. The Prime Minister has made her play. She has extended her offer to the EU - knowing that the EU cannot indulge her. The Tory machine spinning hard to make it seem like EU intransigence is at fault rather than the refusal to engage in phase one issues. This sets the stage for a walkout where the Tories believe the EU will come chasing after us.

The EU is unlikely to respond well to such blackmail. If the UK is determined to walk out then the EU will do little to stop us. We cannot expect the EU to save us from ourselves. That is why this is the most crucial time of all. The domestic political impasse must be resolved. May must be prevented from pulling her stunt and we must make people wise to this cynical trickery.

If parliament gets its act together there is the possibility of salvaging the situation. This government would have to fall and in its place we would need a pragmatic and cooperative approach. For all that many have been keen to dismiss the EEA option, none be able to offer a more realistic approach. If we want to leave with the minimum of economic harm and legal difficulty it still presents itself as the only viable path.

This is is a fundamental test of British politics. It is a test of whether MPs can put the nation's interests before their tribal loyalties and whether reason can permeate the Westminster fog. Should they fail us in this then there is no turning back. They will have started something quite ugly and we will all pay the price.

For the moment it does not look good. We do not have confidence that there are sufficient numbers (or any) MPs who have enough grasp of the subject to be able to intervene effectively. Even the very best of them are lacklustre, and will miss the point. It may well be that this must play out to the disaster it has become. 

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