Tuesday 13 November 2018

Brexit - Reloaded

Image result for blue pill

The Blue Pill Option

The Tories are in a right bind now, their Prime Minister has played her really shit hand quite badly. However, a deal has been struck with the EU. One that creates a meaningful path away from the EU over the next 5-7 years, with little disruption to the economy or country in the meantime. Yes, lots of caveats where the EU have had their way and lots of anger that we can't strike trade deals and other such stuff for a few years yet. But Brexit is done and no Government is going to have the willingness or political capital to change this course back once set in stone.

Taking the Blue Pill is this option, the Government with the help of a few rebels passes the Deal, life goes on, May gets another year as Prime Minister and the government can take a look at some domestic issues for a change and maybe even try to legislate in a few areas and make a real difference.

The Red Pill Option

The Tories are in a bind right now, their Prime Minister has played her shit hand very badly. The Deal on offer is not a go-er for the ERG or Remainers. Sensing the winds of change, cabinet ministers start resigning to plot their own coup attempts. The deal does not get voted on and May is gone. Chaos ensues, the EU are exasperated that all this effort was for naught and walk off the stage. The Tories have no credible replacement for May who can deliver a deal when the EU won't play ball. Instead we head for the certainties of a no deal Brexit. The Tory brand looks in a worse place than 1992 - having decided on a referendum they can't deliver the result. So we get a Hard Brexit and a Corbyn Government to boot. Once we let the commies in they will prove very troublesome to remove and in any event the brain drain will knacker the economy even more than Brexit. Northern Ireland becomes a scene of the troubles again too as the gangsters sense their moment for a bit of larceny and extortion. Scotland too fancies another referendum and the SNP gain much support.

So really, when you think about it for more than a few seconds, the choice now a deal has been agreed is not hard. Eat horrid sandwich, the alternative does not bear thinking about.  


andrew said...

I will be interested to see the insider accounts we will be seeing over the next few years.

The fictional ones will be fun to read ( looking at you boris ) but of no informational use.

The more serious ones may well tell us that TM did a s*** job but in the face of a rule based organisation where the path of exit is governed by rules set by that organisation, there was almost nothing anyone could have done better.

This was not a field where personality and intelligence could help. You just needed to know the rulebook as well or better than the other side.

Nick Drew said...

Now it comes down to the Tory Whips' operation

would like to be a fly on some of those walls

andrew said...

... and just after I clicked post I reminded myself she was the person who picked david davis and so I apologise, yes, she played a s*** hand rather s*******.

Timbo614 said...

I saw the news today, oh boy,
about a lucky girl who made a deal
and though the deal was rather bad,
well I just had to laugh about some paragraphs
She blew her party all apart,
she didn't notice Europe's rules had changed
The EU countries stood and stared
They'd seen this farce before
Nobody's allowed to put one over on the EU Lords!

I'd love to take... the Blue Pill

It's really all that's left there was never a red pill on offer was there?

Charlie said...

Excellent work Timbo.

Brexit day
NI's troubles seemed so far away
Uncle Corbyn loves the IRA
Oh I believe in Treeza May

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed. I hope they have a second referendum and I will hold my nose and vote for whatever crap deal they have haggled without reading it.

E-K said...

I think we're getting Corbyn anyway. It really is up to the back benchers/1922/ERG to explain why we must have this deal. Only then might Corbyn be avoided because no-one trusts May.

Ironic that pro EU nationalists are threatening violence if we leave the EU. Pro EU terrorism. English home rule denied by the IRA.

The past two years has seen the vilest insults over anti EU nationalism.

Raedwald said...

"One that creates a meaningful path away from the EU over the next 5-7 years .."

That's the crunch for me. A door that we can open from our side. If it turns out that we're locked into a CU by treaty with no way to leave unless the EU permits it, then it's war.

personalmusing said...

Most of this analysis is "no-deal will be terrible so take the deal". Which is just the boring bbc line from the past 2 years - no-deal is terrible so reverse course and go back into the EU or sign a crappy agreement.

Plenty of serious people I know don't see no-deal as a problem. Indeed you have 2 years of things improving to the next election, rather than 2 years of realising how bad the deal is.

Mrs May didn't play a bad hand badly. She purposefully threw the game. Everyone who thinks about this knows that the base case should have been no-deal since June 16 - that we get to Nov 18 with no proper no-deal planning is why the UK will have a more rushed transition than could have been the case.

She broke every fundamental rule of
1. strategic planning (plan for the default scenario),
2. of negotiation (improve your negotiating position by improving your no-deal option)
3. take certain things off the table early to stop the other side asking for them) - e.g. if she has declared fishing devolved to fishing communities 2 years ago the EU couldn't ask for it now
4. debate - don't accept your opponents premises as then you concede the debate - see how Irish border issue was handled

Why? Because the rule of the civil service is to make sure that the alternative to what they want is terrible, so that there is no real choice. Yes Minister was a guide not a comedy. And May is weak, has no political view other than keep her in power somehow. The Irony being she fights so hard for power but has no clue or vision what she wants to do with it.

Nick Drew said...

good summary, pesonalmusing

E-K said...

Down to the weakness and inaction of the Leavers in Parliament, I'm afraid, Nick.

Since 2016 a well funded and well organised Remain have had control of the battlefield.

There is no leadership to take us out of the EU. That's what's killed Brexit.

Nick Drew said...

EK - yes, DD has been a massive disappointment (I never expected anything of Boris; and as for Fox ...)

In a quiet moment, it does give pause to reflect what it means when a palpable cause has no leader to be found: cometh the hour, cometh a half-dozen mice

(I know your answer, Kev - we should rather have stayed, with veto-power and disruption-power)

Y Ddraig Goch said...

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but in the film I thought the blue pill was for people who were content to go on living in a fantasy world while the red pill was for people who chose to wake up and face reality.

E-K said...

Nick - It's not the cause I'm disappointed with. It's the fact that all of these strident people who made such good arguments seemed to scuttle away. They led the troops into No Man's Land and left them there.

As I've said before, the in-and-against stance was lost as soon as the referendum was called.

Remainers are in for a shock if they think a second referendum Remain result is going to put us back to where we were. We'll be getting EU membership on steroids.

E-K said...


Who can argue ?

CityUnslicker said...

Y Draig Goch - yes, I was still right, the blue pill is the fantasy!

personalmusing - Great insight, my position comes from we are where we are, not where we should be or could be. Lack of no deal prep has indeed shafted us as regards how challenging no deal will be in 2019.

One reason the deal has to be this week, is with no deal planning the Government has to rent 14 ferries and ships for 2 years to keep Dover and other ports going - at £80k each per day. With time, this could have been arranged, now the lessors will ream the government with us over a barrel.....

so TODAY, these are the choices as they are, not as we would wish them. All your points re May screw-ups and the civil service are 100% right.

Elby the Beserk said...

Is this simplistic? I do not understand why May's first move way back was to say - we're going, no deal - what have you got, EU? Instead she crawled to Brussels on her hands and knees, supplicating for any small crumbs we could get.

History will not look kindly on May. Nor will the voter. Part of me is with Sebastian. No deal and Corbyn would be better than the "deal" as it stands (complete submission) and May.

Wonder how many voters will not bother next time round; we are being told clearly by Maqy, your vote is irrelevant. OK.

Anonymous said...

Lets have "no deal" and take a leap into the unknown. It can't be worse than what's on offer. Jacob Rees-Mogg could lead us over the precipice. We should have faith and it will all work out in the end. One benefit would be to shut out the Blairite remoaners for a generation. Many heads would be lost over time at the BBC too as an added bonus!

Nil desperandum......

Nick Drew said...

I still don't think some of you chaps realise how serious 24 months of Corbyn would be

DJK said...

ND: Some of us are that angry we no longer care. I'm sorry but I need a slightly better reason for voting Tory than "...but at least we're better than Corbyn."

Thud said...

Blue pill works for me (not the ones for a wild night) I'm only concerned with getting past this and keeping corby out as all the shit up to now will seem as nothing when the commie loons get in, they will destroy more in 5 years than anyone could possibly imagine.In America Obama never achieved much of a substantial nature but his divisive legacy poisons all levels of life now with his treacherous democratic socialist offspring threatening everything that has made America what it is....we will get the same on steroids.

Thud said...

DJK, people said the same at the end of the Major govt and then we got blair etc, was that better than voting tory? the next lot will make Brown etc look like towering figures of moral and financial rectitude.

personalmusing said...

thank you for the kind words

I agree that we should look at where we are, not where we should be. Though I think it is worth summarising how we got here as if this is the best deal possible you should take it, if it is a shit deal due to a failure to negotiate then you have clear hope for doing (much) better by leaving and negotiating anew. It also speaks to how urgent it is for May to go.

I disagree that the disruption would be as bad as you fear and for 39bn you can buy the ferries. But why would they be needed - UK doesn't need additional inward inspection so no delay there. On the outward side the continental ports are doing the work to keep things flowing.

All companies I speak to are working on the basis of no-deal - they don't care about whatever she has negotiated. They are not just planning but have implemented the changes needed to keep things moving (e.g. create a european subsidiary, move a salesguy, etc).

You also see a lot of government side being ready for no deal. The BOE and the EU have separately stated that they would use mutual recog to keep things moving (don't need a deal, it is in each parties interests to unilaterally recog). Most continental ports have full plans in place to keep things going - and they compete so no one port can choose to be a dick without losing business. etc etc

I have yet to see a no-deal scenario that is both credible and worse than say that volcano which shut down flights for a week.

Playing up no-deal fears benefits May (she keeps her job for another week), and pushes people to accept a terrible deal.

DJK said...

Thud: A Corbyn government is emphatically not the end of the world. Yes, it will make us all poorer but then it will probably collapse in recrimination and poison hard left politics for a generation. Permanent government by the present set of 'tory' globalists is not good for anyone either. A harsh electoral lesson, followed by a spell in opposition will benefit the Tories no end.

Nick Drew said...

DJK - you are not exercising your imagination sufficiently, IMHO

you may be sure McDonnell is exercising his

Charlie said...

Nick Drew said...
"I still don't think some of you chaps realise how serious 24 months of Corbyn would be"

The Tories are going to have to come up with something better than "but Corbyn" to win my vote at the next GE, when I will have as little of my wealth as possible in GBP - because he's going to win.

personalmusing said...

path dependency

An awful lot of UK tax is paid by the top top earners. An awful lot of those are not UK citizens. Most of the very high earners I know are in teams that have offices in 3-4 locations and the senior guys can pick which of those offices they work from. Stick up taxes, they are going, they aren't coming back when taxes are lowered again, the entire eco system around them is also destroyed (growth / expansion happens near the decision maker).

Add in debt ballooning, currency falling, stupid regulation (even worse than May). Then when power switches again trying to claw back the rights and pay that have been granted to Labour voters is a wall of pain to fight through.

It would not be pretty

andrew said...


So, to be clear, you would choose no deal as it is worse than the deal on offer ?

I have the feeling you are right.

personalmusing said...

Definitely no deal.

1. any big problems will be fixed quickly, any little problems will drag but
are little. Things get better with time.

2. the deal proposed locks you under a hostile non-economic actor. The EU have been pretty bad through this process, imagine what they could do to the UK if they get to write large parts of our laws (which is what May proposes). The EU have stated they want to show leaving is a mistake - you can't let them write your laws.

MyLongTimeNoSeeName said...

The solution you are all grappling for is for England to leave the UK.
Nothing to negotiate.
(The UK is the EU member, not England.)

Anonymous said...

"the deal proposed locks you under a hostile non-economic actor"

I presume you mean the EU. If we do the "meaningful path away" they have 6 years to screw us in i.e. change rules to disadvantage us, prise London away etc - all with a huge campaign for a second referendum at the end.

Hindsight is a wonder, but from the beginning I've said we should have planned for no deal from the start, real planning with lots of bodies and cash thrown at it, cost is almost not an issue. Instead the EU have never taken May's threats seriously.

If we get out with no deal my fear is that the Clarks and Rudds will bring down the goverment, aided by the Starmers, and we could be straight into either Referendum 2 or a Corbyn government. Funnily enough Corbyn and McDonnnell see that EU rules would knock their Year Zero plans on the head so I'm not so worried about Ref2.

It's a poor choice either way. Let's leave now. As PM says, any big problems will be fixed quickly, any little problems will drag but are little. And if Vardkar plays sillies with Sinn Fein starting up we can get our troops out of Afghanistan and Syria where they are wasting their time.

E-K said...

Plus No Deal will make me respect and vote for the Tories again.

We have to get out of the EU. There is no going back - certainly not on the same terms.

Anonymous said...

"Get our troops out of Afghanistan and Syria..."

And more important, get our troops out of Europe.

The Europeans have behaved with the utmost boorishness and arrogance towards us over the past few decades, not just since the referendum.

It is time to ask ourselves: "Why are we defending these people?" And to do something about the answer.

Anonymous said...

Corbyn is coming anyway. I’m not going to vote tory again. All the project commie fear in the world won’t make me vote for the blues.
Simply won’t vote at all.

Cameron’s win was by buying off the UKIP votes. they will never vote blue again. No sane person wants the communists. But no sane person can ignore the utter betrayal.

So Corbyn it is.

CityUnslicker said...

Blue pill for cabinet, let’s see tomorrow though

Thud said...

Sad to see all the spitting out of dummies here,no tory govt is as bad as corby and his commies will be, never, ever.Being angry and pissed off is one thing but wanting to sit by and watch corby destroy everything just to teach May a lesson? as if she would notice.

hovis said...

CU why did you say "The Tory brand looks in a worse place than 1992" only in the Red Pill option?

I think this underestimates how this will break the Tories -the only question is how long it takes them to hemorrhage support and bleed out - the only question is timing.

Enough will conclude no point in voting - never changes anything anyway - which either sees apathy or a different darker conclusion.

E-K said...

Thud - How did it come to this ? But I'm not voting Tory again and that's it.

It's not about punishing May.

E-K said...

Where's our Trump ?

Nick Drew said...

There must indeed be the possibility this breaks the Conservative Party (Peel-style)

Question is, when does the next GE take place? Next 12 months or so & we probably get Corbyn. 2022? Not so obvious he survives that long.

Charlie said...

Thud- what do you propose we do? Keep voting for a Conservative party that is anything but? Carry on being disenfranchised by a political class who think you're thick if you don't agree with them? Simply acquiesce?

If 5 years of Corbyn is what it takes to give us a right-of-centre party worth voting for, let's do it.

Anonymous said...

The DUP might pull the plug tonight. The election could be very soon.

andrew said...

I do ask myself :

What is the conservative party for?

It seems to be representing no-one in particular at the moment.

Paddy McGinty's Goat said...

A neat side swerve on the Irish question? A People's Vote on whether to hold to the EU rules - but only the Northern Irish being asked the question.

Seems the DUP have served their purpose and can now be dispensed with.

Thud said...

I'd still sooner work with a seriously flawed tory party in the hope of getting better leadership, maybe more members voting and putting on pressure would help (worked for the momentum commies).What makes people think corby Etc would only last 5 years? why not 10? you can bribe a lot of idiots in that time with stolen money and never underestimate some peoples joy in seeing things 'equaled' out....eat the rich!

E-K said...

Most of us aren't rich but have been working class Tory voters.

The officer class have been extremely rude to us since we dared to vote the wrong way. Some exemptions of course. They have made it very clear what they think of us.

BlokeInBrum said...

I held my nose and voted Tory last time in the vain hope that the political class might actually represent voters like me.

Unless there are a slew of resignations from the cabinet and stiff opposition from the backbenches against this terrible deal, it's clear that there are no more conservatives in the Conservative & Union Party.

Who gains from this deal?

Not our fishermen,
not our farmers,
not our exporters.
not Northern Ireland,
not Scotland,
not the City of London.

Can somebody explain to me what benefit 2 years of negotiations have bestowed upon us?

Genuinely Curious.

andrew said...

... Lawyers?