Leave aside for a moment what should happen here – they c’n bugger off ‘n’all – and what we want to happen here – they c’n bugger off ‘n’all – and think for a moment about the specifics of the language being used here. A no deal Brexit is still a deal.
This is one part that Jonathan Portes has got wrong here:
And, according to No 10 sources quoted in the Sunday Times, the deal would be on terms dictated by the hardline Brexiteers, meaning no “level playing field” provisions that would stop the UK setting its own course on labour rights, environmental protection and state aid.
There’s just one problem. There’s no chance of the EU agreeing to such a deal. No level playing field – not to mention concessions in other politically sensitive areas, such as fisheries – means no trade deal.
We’ve two different meanings of “deal” here. There’s the specific and colloquial, where “no deal” means a reversion to WTO terms. Then there’s the wider definition, “a deal” and trading on WTO terms is, of course, a deal. It’s an agreement about the rules under which trade would take place, it’s a trade deal.
Entirely agreed, it may well be a deal that some to many won’t like, it could even be the wrong deal. But “we’ll accept all your regulatory gubbins in return for tariff free access” is a deal and so is “we’ll accept the tariffs as the price of being free of your regulatory gubbins” a deal.
They’re both deals, unnerstan’?
The correct deal to be aiming for is that they c’n bugger off ‘n’all with their regulations and their red lines along with the horse they rode in on. For whatever we get on top of that is just icing on that economic cake.