Brexit – The Outcome?

Brexit – The Outcome?

July 30th, 2018 // 11:09 am @

The Brexit negotiations rumble on, but as the date for British departure looms closer, it seems the UK government and the EU have still not found common ground on even the principles of a deal.

To try and assess what will happen it is worthwhile to look at the UK electorates expectations, the reality of negotiations with the EU, and the two main political parties positions.

Firstly the expectations of the UK electorate, who were sold during the debate prior to the vote to leave, a utopian view of the post Brexit world. The electorate were told of all the money we would no longer have to pay to the EU. The great new trade deals that the rest of the world would want to do with the UK, and the myth that the EU really needs the UK and would give us a great exit deal. This leaves much of the UK electorate with extravagant expectations of what Brexit will deliver.

It was all to easy in a campaign that was driven very much by emotion with few people really having any hard information on what a UK exit might actually mean, for politicians to make claims for Brexit they could not support.

Sadly the EU does not “need” the UK, they would prefer a sensible trading arrangement, but the UK is only 15% of the EU’s GDP, so we have limited negotiation leverage. The EU is legally committed to its four key principles, free movement of goods, capital, people and services, they will not compromise these without damaging the foundations of the EU. The cold reality is when negotiating to enter the EU or to leave it, one has little option but to take the terms offered by the EU.

Politically our relationship with Europe has been an issue for the UK for hundreds of years, and the EU has been controversial since its inception. It is worth remembering when the UK electorate voted to join the EU; it was sold not as European Integration but as a “Common Market” this left resentment in many as we became part of the ever-closer union, which the UK electorate had never signed up to. Governments of both parties have taken us down the route of greater EU integration, whether you believe this was right or wrong, no government really had a mandate to do so.

Teresa May has the responsibility of implementing Brexit despite the fact she personally is against Brexit, and she leads a party bitterly divided between passionate leavers who want us to break from the EU completely, and those who wish to remain in the EU to the greatest possible extent.

Many in the team who are responsible for implementing Brexit do not believe in it, but must negotitate it, and will be held responsible for it. And those who passionately believe in what is called a “hard” exit are not in power and cannot implement their view of Brexit, or can they be held accountable for its success.

The team negotiating Brexit are I am sure well aware that the final deal will be a disappointment to the electorate, and they have little power to influence the EU, but post the exit vote they will be held accountable for a deal that could never live up to the hype of the exit campaign.

The labour party is astutely staying as far out of Brexit as it can, it knows the final deal is likely to be disappointing to much of the electorate, who bought into the extravagant promises of the leave campaign, and the conservatives will be held responsible for what will be seen as a poor deal.

Jeremy Corbyn has moved his image form the scruffy rebel backbencher to the suited sensible alternative, and stays quiet on Brexit believing all he has to do is let the conservatives take the blame for a poor deal, before he steps into number 10.

The probability is a deal will be done, as a no deal exit would be calamitous. The reality is the deal will be largely dictated by the EU and will be worse than what we have now.

This will leave much of the electorate disappointed and they are likely to hold the PM and the conservative party responsible, for failing to deliver the impossible promises made by the leave campaign.

A divided and bitter conservative party, held responsible for a poor Brexit deal will face a Labour Party unsullied by the Brexit failure and with a leader who has transformed his personal image to a prime minister in waiting, with his hard left leanings well hidden.

A deal with the EU, which is worse than we have now, and a hard left Labour government. Sadly not an impossibility!


Category : Blog &The Future

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