No Deal? Nonsense

The idea that, in order to strengthen its position in the Brexit negotiations, Britain must show that it is prepared to walk away without a deal, is a load of nonsense.

It is a negotiating strategy that can work if the other side want more from you than you want from them. But in these negotiations, Britain is the supplicant.

We are the ones leaving EU but nonetheless wanting access to its market, the ability to ignore a new customs border of our own creation in Northern Ireland, and the right to pull out mid-stream of various joint projects and spending commitments.

In addition, we still want to benefit from the European framework for air travel, from European research programmes, from security cooperation and much else – despite walking out.

Unlike most negotiations, ‘no deal’ doesn’t retain the status quo. ‘No deal’ results in a sudden and complete exclusion from a legal framework which is vital for our nation’s economy and for people’s lives in hundreds of practical ways.

The negotiating leverage we would acquire by threatening to leave without a deal is equivalent to the leverage of the bank robber standing at the counter and pointing a gun to his own head, saying “Give me the money or I’ll shoot myself!”

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  1. One can only wonder when the reality of the situation and the relative weakness of our negotiating position will be accepted on our side. It may take the relocation of some significant banking or manufacturing operations to mainland Europe before the truth dawns.

    Keep up the good work Mr Corbett. I am a reformed lifelong Conservative voter now supporting Labour. I finally see the Tories for what they are.

  2. “Give me the money or I’ll shoot myself!”
    Very bright, Richard!
    Or, a capricious child, saying to his/her playmates: “Give me what I want or I destroy your toys… and mine.”

  3. ‘No deal’ is Russian roulette minus the empty chambers, but the Brits’ inexplicable enthusiasm for it (74% preferred it to a ‘bad’ deal in a recent poll) chimes with our curious ability to take pride in acts that are patently futile, illogical and inhumane.

    Unfortunately, this vainglorious Charge of the Light Brigade sequel would hurt the living standards and life prospects of generation upon generation of our children.
    Perhaps some sober consideration for them might be in order, you 74 per cent?

  4. As somebody mentioned the other day on Twitter, it is much like poker: if you have a good hand, then you don’t threaten to fold and leave the table.

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