Brexit Observations

What exactly is the Proper Brexit of which Nigel Farage speaks? Pre-referendum, Nige declared that even the worst case scenario would leave Britain better off economically. He now believes that the Brexit we are heading for will leave us worse off that we currently are within the EU. The truth of the matter is this: Farage’s entire premise was entirely dependent on the EU ‘banging on Britain’s door to do a free trade deal’. And this would happen because ‘the German car industry would force the politicians to do so’. There was no real Plan B (as detailed in one of my most prescient posts of the last decade) should it transpire that the German car industry would not be leading the Brexit negotiations.

Was there ever a way to do a ‘Proper Brexit’? Possibly, but that opportunity was blown in March 2017. Brexiters liked to repeatedly declare that ‘the UK holds all the cards’. But the moment we triggered Article 50, the UK showed its hand – and there was a distinct lack of Queens, Kings or Aces. The clock started, the pressure was on the UK – the EU were, and remain, in control.  Things might have worked out better, for the UK at least, had they not invoked Article 50 quite so quickly. Things might have worked out better had the UK dedicated itself – from its place within the EU – to forcing the EU to develop an exit process as a supplement to Article 50, which in itself is simply the mechanism for leaving.

I’m aware that the EU would not negotiate Brexit prior to Article 50 being invoked. For good reason – see above. But within the EU, the UK could have been a stifling presence, blocking progress, cutting budgets and making itself a pain.  The sort of pain that the EU would eventually like to see the back of. The sort of pain that would likely lead to a much better deal than we’ll get now. Such a policy would have provided a much more reasonable timeframe to unravel forty years worth of partnership. The trouble, from the Brexiters point of view, is that this would take years, multiple governments and much conversation amongst a population with an increasingly pro-EU demographic. As a result, Brexit done properly would in all likelihood, mean no Brexit at all.

Which is why Nigel and Co urged for Article 50 immediately. Which is why ‘no deal’ is acceptable to them. This is ideology at play, and consequences be damned. The only plausible Brexit is and always has been a Bad Brexit. And I’m sure they know it. Let us cross our fingers that there is another referendum. One hopes that a sufficient proportion of the population now knows it too.

People on Twitter with something intelligent to say that I recommend following: Carole Cadwalladr, Steve Bullock, Ian Dunt, David Allen Green, Gina Miller, Jo Maugham, Steve Analyst, The Columnist, The Secret Barrister, Steve Peers,



7 thoughts on “Brexit Observations

  1. norm says:

    “As a result, Brexit done properly would in all likelihood, mean no Brexit at all.”Pretty much my take on this whole subject. The foot dragging started on day one, anchors are being deployed in the present. I just don’t see it going down. Too much time for buyers remorse to set in-you’ll all vote again and GB will end up being a cornerstone of the European Federation in less than 50 years, might be less than 20. Hold me to it Gary, I can wait.


    • You might be right on the outcome. As for the plan, there may be some in the cabinet who think along those lines too. But the cabinet is split between Remainers and Leavers, and the latter don’t seem to care too much for consequence. Perhaps there is one that will have a last minute change of heart, stand up and declare the whole thing to be the most dreadfully stupid mistake. I live in hope, without holding my breath.

      There have been three stories about trade over the last week. The first was the statement of intent by Airbus et al to abandon the UK. The Tory response? Mostly silence. Except for Boris. His opinion, and I quote – ‘Fuck business’.

      The Leavers have made great play on two other trade stories though. A deal by BAE to build ships for the Aussie navy, and what a boost for our economy is. What they don’t mention is the the ships will be entirely built in Australia. There is no tangible boost to the economy. The second: exports to Canada, India and China are up by bigger percentages than our exports to the EU! Yay! Proof that there’s more to be had in the outside world. What goes unmentioned, is that we are still actually in the EU. So why the need to leave to do business overseas? And then there is this…


    • Another really important thing to note: Article 50 has been invoked. The default now is that we will leave the EU in March. Something fairly dramatic will need to happen to reverse that. I would suggest that the only acceptable mechanism for revoking Article 50 will be through a second referendum. There’s no guarantee that Leave wouldn’t win a second time, although I personally consider that unlikely.

      The Remainers in the cabinet can drag out the deal/no deal side of things. The Leavers can equally drag out any plan to stay within the EU till after March – when it will be too late.

      So what is the dramatic thing that could precipitate a reversal of Article 50? My long held opinion is that the government must fall. And that the subsequent election must either:
      a) produce a coalition requiring the support of the Lib Dems and/or SNP.
      b) be won by a Labour party who have dispensed with Jeremy Corbyn’s services as leader.

      The latter is unlikely. Some might suggest that b) could apply, if Corbyn be persuaded to support a second referendum. But the chap is as hardcore a Leaver as Gove, Davis and Farage. Corbyn at present is pretty much the only thing propping this government up. I rather despise him.


    • Norm, the crux of it is in this letter. Without the support of the Hard Brexiteers, and they number between 30 to 60 (depending on the specified level of hardness, but there’s over 30 Viagra strength MPs there) May’s government falls. Anything other than a clean break, and they’ll likely do for her.

      If May has the support of the Hard Brexiteers, then she is unlikely to have a deal with EU. If she has no deal with the EU, then she loses the support of the rest of the party. And May’s government falls.

      This is why the whole affair has been dragged out this long, and why there is seemingly no resolution. She must choose between red or black, inspite of the fact that we already know the ball will land on the green double zero.

      There is a slim chance she’ll get something that passes muster in everyones eyes. But it is slim. The most likely outcome as things stand, is that May’s government will fall. It’s simply a question of when. And of what happenes then.

      An interesting read for you. Robert Peston is always an interesting read…


  2. norm says:

    “there is this…”
    Bigly number there! As in holy shit, holy cow and holy mackerel kind of number. I thought I had it bad with the GOP and Trump gutting the Treasury. Give Trump time, I’m sure he can crash our trade numbers with his slapdash policy decisions, just as well as your political class. .


    • That graph is why the Leave campaign were forced to boast that we’d get exactly the same benefits outside the EU as in, because ‘they need us more than we need them’ and ‘the German car industry’. Because it was universally accepted that any major disruption to our trade with the EU would be disastrous at best, catastrophic at worst. That graph is also what makes an absolute mockery of Liam Fox’s boasts of how well our exports are doing with China, Canada and India.

      It’s also since become clear that we are not going to get the exact same benefits outside the EU. Remainers knew this. Leavers did not. They were duped. The blame game has begun on the Leave side. Everyone is to blame, except of course for the Leave side. Yet the facts were clearly stated before the first vote was cast – the EU was not going to let the UK cherry pick its deal. And we are in fact going to get a shit deal at best, no deal at worst. We’re going to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs – this is the best case scenario.

      Potentially, we may lose millions. Which makes a mockery of Corbyn’s ‘Jobs First Brexit’ mantra. Trump may succeed in trashing your economy, given time. The Leavers may have done for ours within the next nine months.


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