Saturday 9 February 2019

Theresa May's policy will take us to hell in a handcart - no deal is far better

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Donald Tusk's expectation that a place in hell has been reserved by Brexiteers was not as shocking as it would have been sixty years ago, when many people still believed in hell, but it was considered by many impolite coming from a foreigner.  

Others agreed with Mr Tusk. An academic in Northern Ireland, where people still believe in hell and who specialises in conflict resolution, said that hell was too good for them.

This is a distraction from the real issues, of course, but the backstop itself is a very bigger distraction. 

As is the Malthouse compromise and all other attempts now or to come to improve Mrs May's and Olly Robbins' proposals.

I agree with Kathy Gyngell who argues this in Conservative Woman, one of the very few good places to find British political analysis (the Spectator is another).

She points out the:

... unacceptability of the rest of the Withdrawal Agreement, against which remain huge unanswered questions. Let’s remind ourselves. Remember the Top 40 horrors lurking in it, set out at the time of its publication? And the triple lock Caroline Bell warned it would entrap the UK in? (See here and here.)
This is all apart from the unnecessary backstop and indefinite customs union commitment, based on a bluff about the Good Friday agreement that Evans-Pritchard gives further evidence of in his article.
While this threat wears ever thinner, MPs have yet to be made to answer the many other specific questions the WA raises – on money (a transition bill of £89billion could be near the mark), control of our laws, tax, trade outside the EU, trade with the EU, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Commons Fisheries Policy (CFP), EU institutions and the questions about the economic consequences of ongoing uncertainty of years more transition and negotiation, which thanks to Mr Malthouse could extend the ghettoisation of the UK to three years, a period in which our economy would be greater in jeopardy than already and our position weaker from which to negotiate free trade deals.
These are the successful diversions that have allowed Mrs May to continue to slither, slide and threaten away from the showdown we must have, now, with the EU. It comes better late than never, though it is a tragedy she did not listen, two years ago, to the advice given by the former Greek Finance minister and economist, Yanis Varoufakis – and he should know. The last thing you do, he warned her, is to go in there and say: ‘I’m triggering Article 50 and I am going to get my way’. Make no mistake, he said, there will be no negotiation. He was right – there hasn’t been.
It is extremely necessary that we leave no with no deal. However, I think the chances of it happening are very small indeed. 

Editor of the Spectator Fraser Nelson also wants to leave with no deal and pointed out yesterday that:
'Even if Mrs May’s deal is approved, we ought not to expect relations to get much better. The Tusk inferno strategy could last another two years, as we try to negotiate a trade deal. It’s quite possible that Michel Barnier, the EU’s irritatingly effective Brexit negotiator, ends up succeeding Juncker. We might then discover that some free movement of people is seen as the price for free trade, and the £39 billion bill might just be the start. In many ways, the last two years have been the easy bit.'
No deal is far better then Mrs May's non-deal- if no deal is unacceptable to MPs, the Norway option could work at least for a time.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text that says "Donald Tusk @eucopresident 1d I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted #Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out out safely. 15K 87.2K Varoufakis @yanisvaroufakis Replying to @eucopresident Probably very similar to the place reserved for those who designed a monetary union without a proper banking union and, once banking crisis hit, transferred cynically the bankers' gigantic losses onto the shoulders of the weakest taxpayers."

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