A Point Of Terminology – No Deal Is Still A Deal

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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.

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Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Writing into law that there will be “no extension to the transition period” is a good marketing move, and sends the right signals to the EU negotiators (is that still Barnier under the new regime?) But it means little, as the government can still revoke the law on December 31st if they so wish – it would be embarrassing, but not illegal.

Jim
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Jim

Its a bit of a poke in the eye for all those who have been declaring that Boris is about to ‘sell out Brexit for a BRINO Deal’isn’t it? After all, why bother changing the legislation if you plan to agree whatever the EU demand come 1st Feb? The only reason to set in stone the 31st Dec 2020 date is if you want to use it as a lever to get what you want out of the other side. I’ve always said that Cummings hasn’t come this far to accept a BRINO, and as long as he’s on the… Read more »

john77
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@ Quentin Vole
+1
All the morons who tried to veto “No Deal” had failed to listen to Geoffrey Howe’s resignation speech (following which the colleague who had described himself as a “Thatcher Loyalist” bought and wore a tie saying “Agnus Redivivus”). If anyone wants to negotiate they have to be able to walk away from Barnier’s obscene alternatives.