Brexit, aka, the UK Shoots Itself


I think there will inevitably be multiple rounds of votes as parliament thrashes around attempting to find an approach it will actually support.

I’m certainly in the “no brexit is better than this deal” camp. The challenge then is somehow preventing a massive populist surge on the right if no brexit occurs. With the left already fallen to populism, we can’t afford that in any circumstances.


Can “no Brexit” be a threat when there doesn’t seem to be any clear political mechanism for canceling Brexit?

Won’t Brexiters rally around the idea that clearly demonstrating a willingness to exit without a deal (by voting this down) will force the EU to show more flexibility?


If they really believed that, they’d have got their 48 letters.


I’m not understanding why the EU would react this way. Their main purpose has to be making sure the rest of Europe sees that leaving hurts. If the UK tries to play hardball in the negotiations, why wouldn’t the EU just stand firm? I suppose Ireland won’t be happy, but there’s not an alternative to “no deal” that’s better from their perspective unless the UK caves on the customs stuff. As long as the UK is holding the line against staying aligned with EU customs, I don’t see why the EU has any incentive to offer anything but “no deal”.


It’s a bad deal because Brexit is a bad idea. Once you decide Brexit is what you want, this is the kind of exit deal you end up with. Also, too, shooting down a deal is easy; I note that all the people carping about this one are deadly silent when it comes to offering up any tangible alternative, one which the EU could possible accept.

The EU will not give any non-member a better relationship than the EU members get; and they will certainly not give such a better deal to a departing member.

Given that, the UK on exit will either be like Norway (transition period) or it will be like any WTA country, albeit one with very few direct agreements in place with anyone (no transition period or hard Brexit).

Given time, the UK could be like Canada, but that’s about the best you can hope for if Norway is a non-starter. And that agreement will take years. So, if you’re a Brexiter, what do you hope to get from an exit agreement that is better than what May has delivered? That’s the question.


I suspect many Brexiters were hoping for a deal more or less like what Canada has. But Canada doesn’t share a border with Ireland.


Certainly at the start of the process, the Brexiteers were all saying we’d get a much better deal than Canada, that included all sorts of things on services, financial included, because EU companies needed access to our capital markets. As it happens, the deal includes fuck all on financial services.


Sure, but those deals take years to hammer out. This May deal isn’t a trade deal; it’s an exit deal, with a transition period to work on a Canada deal. No one can reasonably have expected to get a Canada deal as their exit deal. So what did they really expect, and are they actually opposed to a transition to get what they want?

For my money, this is the reason I think the deal will be approved. If you’re a Brexiter of any flavor, this is the only reasonable way to get to where you want (never mind that you probably can’t even articulate what you want). So Brexiter parties will be for it, and it seems there really are no non-Brexit parties of any substantial size.


Many of them are, and until maybe 12 months ago, almost all of them were. The transition was hugely controversial among Brexiteers when it was first proposed, because they saw any nod toward sanity — namely that it’s completely impossible to extricate yourself cleanly from an arrangement like the single market in a few months — as being treacherous backsliding. Very few of them would take a longer transition to secure a better (in a Brexiteer sense) long-term deal. They seem spectacularly unable to play the long game, considering how long some of them have been waiting to do this. If they’re right, we’ll be living with the new status quo for decades or more, yet even a couple of extra years transition to get to that end point is intolerable to them.


Here we go…

Not at all surprising to see the Spanish flex wrt Gibraltar - I’m almost surprised that it hasn’t come up before now.


No they’re not and this is really bad faith stuff.

I’m living in Spain and my reaction is to tell the Spanish to go fuck themselves.

edit- actually if Spain blocks any deal then this is good news, even if the motivation is pure greed and hypocrisy.


my understanding is that Article 50 was unilaterally declared but there never was a mechanism discussing cancelling it or not, only that any deal had to be EU ratified.

I believe it means the UK can unilaterally cancel it, and the EU can’t do shit about that.


I think they should cancel Article 50, take a step back, form a Brexit ministry to negotiate, for years if need be, until an actual workable solution occurs.

edit: and take the time to figure out exactly what people who voted Brexit are ungaooy about, and see if there are any solutions not requiring leaving the EU. A pretty simple and obvious one woukd be variable tax rates. Citizens pay x, non citizens pay x^1.

Trying to force through such a massive change based on 2 years thinking and a few months negotiating when the country is clearly reunited and where the whole thing was founded on lies and snake oil is just fuxking stupid.


You might be right or you might be wrong, the issue needs ECJ clarification, and until then, it’s up in the air.


Good faith, bad faith, it’s all about who has the power. And as long as the Spanish government believes it’s “suicide” for Britain to crash out of the EU, well, why not push your luck?

Even if it’s entirely unnecessary (and I don’t know enough about the subject to say), it might prove to be a vote getter, so… entirely predictable that it might turn up. Mind El País says the UK and Spain have achieved some agreement, so it might all be moot by now, just a politician commenting on a possible alternate reality.


The Gibraltarthing is weird. For months Spain and the UK have been negotiating and Spain was purportedly ok with how the negotiations were going. When the Brexit deal was first published the exterior minister was on record saying they were not 100% happy with it but would not block the agreement over it.

So something changed in those 2-3 days between the release of the draft deal and Pedro Sanchez comment. What it was is hard to say, either the UK changed their position or Spain discovered some new angle they were not considering.

But anyway, there seems to be a new agreement already.


At least ostensibly, it’s not the Gibraltar deal that Spain is objecting to, but Gibraltar’s status in the future talks.


This is the only sane solution as far as I can see.


Why is/was May too chicken to push this?


I think its simply a lack of leadership.

There are times when the leader of a nation must do the right thing for the country instead of drifting with the tides within their own party. John Major, Tony Blair & I must admit, Margret Thatcher all did this.

Sadly May has failed this test.