We need to wake up to reality. We’re not going to be leaving the EU without a deal. We’ll have to take a deal, any deal, good or bad. What’s more, every penny of the billions we’ve pledged are as good as in the EU’s pocket, says Peter Divey.
The EU’s message is clear. They will not be rushed. A trade deal by the end of the transition period is nothing but a UK pipe-dream. The defeat last December of the May Government’s noble plan to legislate for a guaranteed Brexit was scuppered by a Labour/SNP alliance supported by Remainer Tory MP’s; and in doing so has wrecked any notion of a No-Deal being preferable to a Bad-Deal and the EU knows it. Those promised multi-billions are now almost unconditionally safe.
Slow is good. Every moment of delay costs the UK millions and confirms the near impossibility of the task. Why would the EU hurry? The next General Election is increasingly likely to be a more nuanced examination of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Soft is the new Hard and the only offer will be a variation upon the intensity of convergence. Those potential advantages of a clean Brexit are already lost. That Cliff Edge was just too scary.
A formal amendment to enshrine a Brexit leaving date in law may be the next sacrifice to this has been dashed. The EU continue to believe that Brexit can be reversed and ripples from the UK Parliament only serve to sustain hope. It is not too late to turn is the cry. The first revolt likely begets another and more pressure will be consistently applied to PM May from home as well as abroad.
The idea of a newly independent Scotland then rejoining the Federalist EU was rightly mocked, and the same needs to be said about the Tory Remainer rebels who used Parliamentary sovereignty as cloud cover for their revolt. The real motive is obvious. Weaken May, weaken Brexit and bolster the EU. Keep chipping away and the Brexit facade could yet crumble, and indeed there are now cracks in the mortar.
The End Game is not yet in sight but the framework is appearing from the fog. A No-Deal has been finessed off the table. The Commons will support any deal that best mimics EU membership and the Lords will only hammer further upon that nail. The EU may be worried about their unity but, in the meantime, will continue to exploit Tory divisions as well as a useful British ambivalence towards project Brexit. The EU intend to slow-walk the UK into a cul-de-sac and the vast majority of MP’s do not seem to mind because then there is only one option left. You must turn around. And go back from where you came.