Monday 24 December 2018

No deal is the least bad deal but I do not think it will happen


'If the EU has – for whatever reasons - decided that it’s time to treat Britain like the captive in a Stephen King novel, isn’t it best to tiptoe away when we still have the chance? Mrs May’s proposed transition deal and the accompanying backstop would, as the Attorney General has established, be indefinite. We’d have to accept the EU’s trade terms, or leave Northern Ireland behind. And if we think Brexit looks like a mess now, just wait until we have been through two more years of these talks - but this time, having given away the money.
'This, I suspect, is why the Cabinet is now coming around to the idea of leaving the EU without a trade agreement: the no-deal option.The World Trade Organisation rules we would default to keep tariffs pretty low. To Brussels, payment of tariffs might be punishment enough. Before too long, we could soon be in talks about upgrading to a Canada-style free trade deal - but, crucially, on our terms. We can offer scholarships, generous immigration quotas and, in general, start rebuilding relations with Europe and skip the two years (or more) of punishment beatings masquerading as trade talks.
'And the scale of the no-deal disruption? It’s hard to tell because of hysteria, claim and counter-claim. Border chaos is not inevitable if, as French officials have said, fewer than one in a hundred trucks would have to be checked at Calais. Common sense arrangements on aircraft, driving licenses and even expat pensioners have already been agreed. In its list of disaster scenarios, the Irish government this week considers the possibility that British companies thrive under no-deal, especially if the pound becomes more competitive, posing a risk to Irish rivals. Its “highest priority” is not building a hard border, and we would not build one either. Technology would do the work.'

I agree with Fraser Nelson, who wrote the above, that leaving the EU with no deal is the least bad option. I could however live with Norway, for a time, though not Norway plus. I fear though that Mrs May's deal which is not a deal at all will win. She has persistence. Along with vindictiveness and a wish to boss the country around it is her salient characteristic.


  1. Up With This We Will Not Put

    Speech to Their Lordships House by Baroness Deech

    But that good faith requirement is absent from the EU negotiators and aims. For them it has been about survival, holding on to the former eastern bloc states that have reverted to the authoritarianism that marked their 20th century history; it has been about beating down the competition, making life as difficult for the UK as it has done for Greece, Italy and Cyprus, in order that Germany may prosper. The Brussels bureaucrats fight for the federal illusion, and go on drawing powers into the centre, never to return them. Above all it a deterrent strategy: rebellion must be put down (les gilets jaunes contre Macron on a broader scale?) Similar competitive negotiations are taking place within our country. The true believers of Remain continue to cling to the myth of EU continuity and superiority. They have nothing to offer the nation, even if there were a second referendum, except self interest and no change

    This is not about the economy. It is not even about whether we will speculatively be poorer. It is about the recovery of self determination, and self respect, democratic governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights, all of which have been under attack by and within the EU.

    If we do not leave now, we will be chained to a corpse. The EU Empire is collapsing, as empires do. Poland, Hungary and Italy are breaking all the rules; the EU is unable to face up to Russia, fund Nato, or deal with crises. Its rulers treat their subjects as ignorant or stupid, make them vote again if they come up with the wrong result the first time or ignore their votes. It is the opposite of self confidence when the EU belittles, bullies and disheartens this country in order to deter other prospective escapees and to punish us for our decision. We are getting out in the nick of time.

    We cannot accept an agreement about the future of the country which forbids us to leave without the permission of the other party. That is exactly the situation which Leavers have been trying to escape from for decades. We want to live under a safe, legitimate rule of law. If the Government cannot or will not drop the backstop, and is not prepared to rely on the international law of treaties to assure a way out, then we must have a clean break. After the transition period we will abide by WTO rules, and let the EU discover that their greed will ultimately lead to their losses.

    Ruth Deech is a member of the House of Lords, and has served as Principal of St Anne’s College, University of Oxford.

  2. Mrs May has been saddled with a very complicated situation for which the people who created it have taken no responsibility, preening and directing on the sidelines and tossing up failed no-confidence votes. It is no wonder she is not in a very good mood and wants to resolve this situation one way or another.

  3. Anyone who eggs on the gilets jaunes should be forced to watch as her car is torched by a mob.

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