Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker

The British Government still understands nothing

I am really, really looking forward to writing about things that aren't Brexit, but as it's a disaster I can't stop thinking about, and possibly the defining moment of the UK in my lifetime, I'm afraid you're stuck with it for the moment. Rest assured that my life does include other things*.

So*, the new Brexit minister has said that Britain will refuse to pay the money it owes if it doesn't get the trade deal it wants. And Theresa May is sending MPs all over Europe to try and bypass the central negotiation that they've completely fucked up.

This takes us back to 2016, when we first had to deal with this kind of nonsense. And even then the Chancellor off the Exchequer said:

“That is not a credible scenario. That is not the kind of country we are. Frankly it would not make us a credible partner for future international agreements.”

And they're right. If you step into negotiations at the last minute, threaten to not pay your debts, and try to bypass the systems which the negotiation is based around - why on earth would anyone treat you as a trustworthy trading partner? I wouldn't go into a contract with a person who had previously refused to pay their share of a previous contract, and nor will any country which can avoid it.

Which leaves us with the UK refusing to live up to its previous obligations - including the Good Friday agreement. We've** refused the EU's suggestion for how we fulfil our part in this contract. And not come up with a credible alternative. Which leaves, as far as I can see, either keeping us completely in the EFTA, or betraying that obligation too***.

We have a branching path ahead of us. The government is going to face, in the not-too-distant future a choice between No Deal and EFTA. And then parliament will have to vote on whether to support that choice. Or possibly to kick it to the public in the form of another referendum.

Unless anyone see any deal which the government can get through which would uphold the Good Friday agreement _and_ get agreed with the EU in less than three months? We don't have five years for a Japan-style trade deal. We have three months to agree a backstop. And if we can't do that, something is going to have to break. I just hope it's the Conservative Government.

*Mostly the cutest 11-week old in the world, and Dark Souls: Remastered.
**And how I wish I wasn't tarnished as part of this "we".
***Which means No Deal (because the EU has made it very clear that not violating the Good Friday agreement has to be part of a withdrawal settlement, and Ireland gets a veto).

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

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