This Brexit deal. It’s as good as done isn’t it? And done we have been.
MPs have their careers to think about, after all. Tories who don’t want to go into an election as ‘Brexit blockers’ will back it. Labour MPs who are in Brexit constituencies will seize the opportunity, whatever their ‘leader’ says. They’ll sell it to Brexiters as a good deal for leavers, and to Remainers as a good deal for them. It’ll be neither.
The public have reached a point of such fatigue with the whole merry dance that, punch drunk, enough of them will sign up to just about anything that ends all this turmoil.
I have to admit that Boris’s team have wrung more in the way of concessions out of the EU than I expected. But it’s not enough.
They have been rowing back from such a compromised starting position – courtesy of May’s ‘deal’ – that it would be almost impossible to get from there to anything I might consider a satisfactory conclusion.
Some people of my acquantance are very much minded to accept that this deal is as good as it’s going to get, and that there is no chance we will be exiting on a WTO basis, so it’s this or it’s remain in the EU.
Well, I think I’d prefer to remain than accept this deal that inevitably means the EU will have us by the goolies in ways that are doubtless yet to be uncovered, and will lead either to our ultimate acquiescence, or to years of arguing in the ECJ under rules made up by our opponent while we’re locked out of the room.
To me, nothing fundamental has changed. The UK would still be left in a position where it has no influence over EU policy, but would be bound to give them powers and jurisdiction whereby they will prevent the UK becoming a meaningful export competitor to EU countries and, by the way, the EU would still own the fish stocks in UK territorial waters, which I suspect is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we’ll be giving up.
Something that every outlet has been notably silent on so-far is the question of free movement. Is it in or out? the only media noise about the ending of free movement relates to the no-deal scenario, which we ain’t going to get.
Fast forward 6 months: the deal will be done, we’ll be into a transition period, and slowly the gremlins will begin to emerge from the nuance and interpretations of the text of the agreement. As negotiations move forward with the EU on trade, it will become increasingly clear that the UK and the EU are reading each and every paragraph in very different ways from one another and in all likelihood, the UK will get nary a timely hearing from the adjudicating courts. The remainers’ next phase of action will be well underway, and their practice at binding the hands of the PM will be put to good use making sure the free trade agreement carries all sorts of remainer baggage
Meanwhile, Boris will have gotten his election and will sweep to victory – of sorts – restoring the slender but workable majority that Cameron won in 2015. The Brexit party will, mostly by accident, end up with maybe 2 MPs, who will turn out to be patently unsuited to the task. The UK having been ejected from the EU parliament, the Brexit party’s powerbase (and income) will disintegrate. The incipient disagreement we see today about whether to support Boris’s deal will have degenerated into civil war on several fronts. The election will have caused pretty much everyone in the party to disagree with everyone else in the party about matters of economics, welfare, the NHS, defence, the environment, education, aid, foreign policy etc.
People complaining about the terms we’re under with the EU will be reduced to a rump, portrayed by media as Meldrewish malcontents who haven’t moved on from the eurosceptic days of the nineties, and the establishment will be at liberty to get back their traditional all-party fart-sniffing competition, during which time they can workshop ideas about how next to screw with the lives of us plebs, a good many of whom will again have no meaningful representation in parliament or public life.
Notice, by the way, that Delingpole is telling us not to blame his chum Boris for this being a dog’s breakfast, and that his chum Jacob Rees Mogg is selling this deal hard. Which very much aligns with what I’ve said previously about this pair.
The Spectator – which has been softening and moving to the woke left for a while now – has gone all in on Boris’s deal, as has the Telegraph. These being the only ever serious pro-Brexit organs, and both being former stomping grounds for Boris, wherein he no-doubt retains chummy connections, leaves those of us who still want what we voted for without any medium of support at all.
So I reject Boris’s deal, and all that flows from it, because it’s just a differently-dressed dogshit sandwich.
Death or glory!
P.S. All that said, if the long-term outcome of this is that the UK breaks up, shedding Northern Ireland and Scotland, then I’ll consider that a decent enough consolation prize.