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Amazingly, It’s Michel Barnier Who Gets No Deal Brexit Right

Part of the point of Brexit is that we leave the warm embrace of European and European Union politicians who have no clue about us and our system and return to the lighter touch of our domestic peeps, those who do in fact have some vague connection with our situations, desires and hopes. At which point it becomes slightly disconcerting to find that it’s one of the federasts who has the correct diagnosis of the basic Brexit political problem at present. Which is that we can all be against all sorts of things. But to prevent a no deal Brexit requires a positive majority in favour of something else. Which doesn’t in fact exist.

Thus Yvette and all the rest aren’t going to achieve all that much. We’ve pointed this out around here before of course:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Yvette Cooper’s Brexit Bill – But More Time To Do What?[/perfectpullquote]

Quite, what is it that can be agreed upon?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]That is, she’s still not solved the basic problem which is there is no majority in the Commons – nor in fact anywhere else if we’re honest about it – for the specific deal that should be signed up to. The only majority we’ve in fact got is the one that says Leave even as that has splits in it about how. We’ve just not got a majority in favour of anything more detailed than that.[/perfectpullquote]

Today we get Michel Barnier making exactly the same point:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Michel Barnier has warned that the move led by Labour MP Yvette Cooper to block the prime minister from delivering a no-deal Brexit is doomed to fail unless a majority for an alternative agreement is found. The EU’s chief negotiator, in a speech in Brussels, said the “default” for the UK was still crashing out if MPs could not coalesce around a new vision of its future outside the bloc. “There appears to be a majority in the Commons to oppose a no-deal but opposing a no-deal will not stop a no-deal from happening at the end of March”, he said. “To stop ‘no deal’, a positive majority for another solution will need to emerge.” [/perfectpullquote]

We’re all against bad things and we can gain a majority against bad things any time we like. It’s always the arguments over what is a good thing and how, precisely, we’ll achieve sugar and spice which causes the disagreements. So it is here.

Now, we here are all in favour of no deal. Crash out, WTO terms, move to unilateral free trade and bugger the rest. She’ll be right. And at least half of that is the current default position. Everyone else’s problem is that there is no positive majority in favour of anything different but exactly such a majority is needed. Diddums, eh?

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Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
5 years ago

‘Crash out’ has been very successfully deployed by Continuity Remain in order to link our trading with the EU on WTO terms to inevitable disaster (‘crashing’ the economy, etc.) The BBC, Guardian and the other usual suspects avidly lap it all up, of course.

5 years ago

I find all this chatter a bit of a puzzle.

On the one hand we have the default situation (European Union Withdrawal Act 2018) which is that UK automatically leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 at 11pm without a deal.

On the other hand we are told the default position is that the UK cannot leave without a deal and departure can be delayed until there is one, or even cancelled altogether.

I used to think an Act of Parliament had legal, binding force but clearly I am wrong.

5 years ago
Reply to  Q46

that’s your problem in Britannia : you are so self-centered and megalomaniac that you even don’t realize applying no-deal brexit doesn’t depends on the will of YOU brits, but on the will of UE. If on 30.03.2019 your astonishing (really !) Parliament haven’t agree about a kind of something approximately precise – and of course agreeing the EU – about what kind of stuff they desire or accept for their citizens, then the EU nations will collectively apply “no-deal” at THEIR borders. And then ? What will do your amusing MPs ? Launch war against the continentals ? That points… Read more »

5 years ago

No-deal is getting a bad rap imv. It’s just a short hand way of saying it won’t be the May withdrawal agreement, but deals on specific areas of cooperation are already planned for.
Anyone saying things like ‘no deal’ and ‘crash out’ should be made to stay in a B&B for a night in 2001 before tripadvisor reviews and big time free movement raised standards, or something. I think a better wording is needed – ‘basic deals on specific areas’ perhaps, but that’s not snappy.

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