No Deal Nonsense

Woman Queen Human Horse Animal
Standard

There’s a lot of huffing and puffing going on at the moment about how the Government is ‘actively pursuing a No Deal Brexit’, as if Boris and his team have no other plan in mind.

Even this morning in the paper Ruth Davison (apparently no fan of Boris), was saying how she couldn’t remember anyone in the referendum debate saying they wanted to actively crash out (that fabulous phrase) with No Deal, and she didn’t think the Government should pursue a No Deal Brexit.

Yet, at no point has any of the current or previous leadership said that No Deal was their preferred choice. In fact, the only reason No Deal is even an option is because, a) it’s the legal default under Article 50 if no deal is arranged in the specific time, b) the Government voted in Article 50 by a large majority knowing this to be the case, and c) then continued to repeatedly reject Theresa May’s deal. Who are the ones actively pursuing No Deal?

For what it’s worth, here’s how I think it way play out (based on Martin Howe QC’s article in the latest Spectator):

1) No Deal preparations will go through the the roof, which we’re already starting to see in the activities of Sajid Javid, Liz Truss, Michael Gove, and (presumably) Dominic Cummings with the huge planned No Deal media blitz.

2) This will have a two-fold effect, first it will enrage both Remainers politicians and the media, helpfully keeping No Deal front and centre in people’s minds and, secondly, put the fear of Jeebubs up the EU, who, in their current financial state (particularly in Germany), simply cannot afford No Deal. Mrs von der Layen is already offering an extension.

3) Meanwhile, the UK Government will work on their own free-trade deal in secret (along with other FTAs with America etc. Not so secretly). This new agreement, based on GATT, will include a tariff-free interim agreement to get us over 31st October and out of the Union. The Government will present to the EU ‘at a time of their choosing’ (to borrow a phrase). This will allow both the EU, specifically Messrs. Barnier, Junker et al, plus the Irish Government a way of backing down from the precipitous and unstable ledge they have stepped up on to, as well as unify those divided by the current deal, which I’m fairly sure is regarded as dead in the water by the present administration. The first step in doing this would be to settle the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK Expats in the EU. The first thing Boris did in his Thursday was to guarantee the rights of EU Citizens (and I agree, it should have been done three years ago), so we’re already off to a good start there…

4) We will leave on (if not before) the 31st October and everyone will be happy and think Boris is the best thing since pay-as-you-go bikes.

Inconsequential words

Lectern Politician Policy Speakers
Standard

Well, I just watched the hustings show on the BBC and quite frankly I think it was a huge waste of time.

Emily Maitlis seemed to spend most of the limited time Boris Johnson was given talking over him trying to remind him of things he said. Indeed, most of the questions seemed deliberately worded to allow Emily to go on the BoJo offensive – she had all her embarrassing Boris quotes lined up ready – although in fairness she did once do the same to Jeremy Hunt. Both Jeremy and Boris did a great job of ignoring her, although Boris realised this and his apology to her was one of the lighter moments of the show.

I’m not sure any of them came out of it particularly well. Rory Stewart seemed a bit vague and waffly at times (but did talk some sense), and Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt were competent, but in the most part didn’t say much of consequence. Michael Gove seemed to have a lot of air-time, and as a result may stick more in people’s minds, but his heart-felt thanks to each person who asked a question (when perhaps he should have just been answering the question) made me cringe.

I don’t think any of them said anything we didn’t already know, and none of them really properly answered any of the questions, or for that matter, really interacted with the people asking questions. None of them, for example, had the courage to tell the young lady who asked them to commit to cutting carbon to Net 0 by 2025 that it just isn’t economically possible. The poor Imam who asked the question about ‘words having consequences’ just looked like he’d been set up by the BBC to have a poke at Boris. The woman from Southampton mentioned that her husband’s job was at threat from a No Deal Brexit, but no-one asked exactly how that would happen (I couldn’t figure it out, and presumably neither could they from their answers).

I’m not sure what was worse, the BBC’s efforts to make them look daft, or their own inability to add anything useful to the ongoing debate. Either way, as I’m not a member of the Conservative Party, so don’t get to vote, it’s just an hour of my life I won’t get back…

Not so Sweet Like Honey

Omr Sheet Fill Paper Hand Young
Standard

I’ve never had much time for Michael Gove. I’m still of the opinion that his actions in the last leadership contest, stitching Boris up as he did, was the catalyst that got us to where we are now with Brexit. (I realise that may be a little unfair, and the fact that 17.4 million people voted for Brexit in the first place also had a lot to do with it, but who was one of the leaders of the Leave campaign…)

Anyhow, now he appears to have gone one better. My son is just taking his GCSE exams, exams we parents have been warned from the outset would be much harder than the ones we sat, with no coursework to soften the blow. And whose bright idea was that? Our good friend Mr Gove.

So what an appalling time to confess to dabbling with class A drugs, just as thousands of stressed out kids are battling their way through new, tougher exams (with an incomprehensible marking system), and he’s swanning about looking to become PM. Admittedly, his experiments with cocaine appear to pre-date the plans to change GCSEs, but that hasn’t stopped a raft of humourous memes flying about the Internet.

If he does succeed, there will be a whole generation of people coming to voting age at the next scheduled election who will be less than impressed with the incumbent Prime Minister.