The EU has effectively told the UK, after that much-hyped period of “intense” negotiations, that the deal is there, and the UK has to sign on the dotted line if it wants to take it up. This, effectively, despite all the spin, is what happened with the Japan deal. Simon Usherwood has laid out the options facing the PM in a straightforward table.
This shows that the least worst outcome comes after Bozo “Make[s] a number of substantive compromises, in order to secure a deal”. The long-term economic trend would see GDP 3.7% below the long term trend without Brexit (A No Deal outcome would increase that 3.7% decline to 5.7%). But back benchers would be seriously unhappy.
After all, they have been led to believe that we had our red lines, would not back down, that the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier would be somehow sidelined, that we would be able to pick off some EU member states, that those “more moderate” countries would come to our rescue. But like the German car manufacturers' cavalry, it isn’t going to happen.
Now, the spin and detachment from reality has to stop. As Jon Worth has put it, “This week, just has been the case for the past 2 months or so: EU to UK, this is broadly what we would need to do a Deal. EU stands together on this. A little room for changes at the margin, but take it or leave it. UK to EU, ummm, ahh, sovereignty, no ratchet clauses, fish”.
He pointed out “The EU essentially knows it can survive No Deal better than the UK can. That its economy will take a lesser hit, and populations in the Member States will not blame the EU but will point the finger at Johnson … The UK meanwhile, if it believed its own public rhetoric, ought to have walked away already - but it hasn't, because it doesn't (or not completely anyway). This isn't Frost's fault, but Johnson’s”. Point, indeed.
“The pros and cons of a deal are known. How much the EU can move it pretty well known. So UK Government - basically Johnson - make up your mind and stop prevaricating”. Bozo knows that hardline Tory Brexiteers will crucify him if he does the deal, because there will be compromises and the UK will have been shown to be the weaker partner.
But they could not have done any better: this is reality. There are no upsides to Brexit. There is no dividend. There will not be any more money for the NHS. There will be no mass repatriation of people who are not white, or speak foreign. There will be no overnight abandonment of EU rules and standards. There is only damage limitation.
Or he could just make his excuses, ask for an extension to the transition period (because Covid), and kick the can down the road. But he has to make a decision. And very soon.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at