Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

We Did Know What We Were Voting For And The Next Step Is No Deal

The difference between Leaving and Remaining is where we end up in 10-20 years. Once in a lifetime, see, so the viewpoint is some significant portion of a lifetime. Describing those long term outcomes and testing against them can tell us what to do next.

A vote for Remain was to endorse the EU project. It is a self declared one way ticket to a massive federal superstate. That is what you would have voted for – more and more control from Superstate HQ in Brussels, less local control over taxation, wealth redistribution, trade policies, movement of population, currency, foreign policy including military forces. A big open market, with lots and lots of rules and a wall around the outside to keep out strangers.

A vote to Leave was to disentangle ourselves and move away from the EU to reclaim UK control over as many aspects of our lives as possible. Those include law making, immigration policy, trade policy, foreign policy and so on. It meant finding new markets and trying to break into them. But also losing being a part of that big, protected, regulated, market. It was taking a risk with both bigger upside and downside.

There was a choice between 2 very different directions for our future and we collectively chose the Leave option.

Our relationship with the EU has been getting more entangled for the last 20 years. We were constantly informed by Cameron et al. that smoothly undoing all of that instantly was never possible.  A reasonable timeframe for completion might therefore be roughly 10 years.

We now have a nice simple test as to whether something delivers on “Brexit”. Does it get us along that disentanglement path, and at a quick enough pace to complete within the scope of 2 parliamentary terms?

Having carelessly thrown away a bunch of other alternatives the options are the following:

  • No Deal WTO exit – Definite Pass.  Fast and hard and with a high adrenaline ride;
  • EFTA membership – Pass. Although not the target it could be a viable stepping stone;
  • Common Market 2.0 – Scrapes a Pass. A baby step instantly requiring another move;
  • Extending A50 – Fails. Achieves nothing other than delay;
  • Single Market membership – Fails.  Little or No disentaglement;
  • Labour Customs Union plan – Fails.   Little or No disentaglement;
  • Mays’ WA – Fails.  In 10 years time we could still be stuck in the backstop;
  • Staying in – Totally Fails.


Asking the EU for “EFTA” is the softest available route consistent with the referendum result.  It requires EU permission, which they have declined to give.

“No Deal” with the hope of some rapid relationship building and a free trade deal is the only other viable option.

Why is that so difficult for MP’s to understand?

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4 years ago

It’s hard to get someone to understand something when their place at the trough depends on their not understanding it.

Michael Bolingbroke
Michael Bolingbroke
4 years ago

Michel Barnier has said the EU would refuse to open trade talks until the Irish border problem, citizens rights and the UK handing over £39 billion are sorted. Does that sound like a blackmail threat? Sod them, I’m boycotting anything with an EU label on (err…except primitivo wine, somethings are a step to far) from today then.

4 years ago

It’s mildly amusing to read in the financial press the reasons given for falling sales of EU products in the UK, apparently we have cut our spending because of fear and the weak pound, nobody ever mentions all the boycotting that must be happening.

4 years ago

The UK Upper Ten Thousand (see Wikipedia) wish to remain connected with the Upper Ten Thousand in Brussels, Berlin, Paris etc., not caring that their courtiers’ dance of privilege and patronage leaves the Lower Tens of Millions behind. In their eyes a vote for Leave is a vote for leaving the trough. No wonder they will do anything to avoid it.

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