Watching Great Britain from abroad has been a puzzling hobby over the course of the past few years. When 17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union in the largest democratic mandate in British history by an emphatic margin of 52% – 48% in 2016, it appeared we were about to see a sea change in how it conducted both diplomatic and trade relations with the rest of the world.
Britain was ready to break away from the world’s largest trading bloc and do business alone, convinced that it could get a better deal and retain better control over its own laws by doing so. Since then – much like a cat which has meowed to be let out and then sat staring at the open door when you’ve given it the means to do so – it’s been curiously inactive because of a Remainer parliament that has thwarted every attempt to leave the EU.
The Blessing Of Brexit
We should point out that the inactivity hasn’t happened without the want of someone trying to nudge Brexit into life. Theresa May, who inherited the job of Prime Minister from David Cameron when the latter decided he’d rather do just about anything else other than lead the country through difficult exit negotiations with the EU – has tried very hard to please everybody. By doing so, she pleased nobody.
May – who campaigned to remain in the EU prior to the referendum – spent three years working on a deal that would keep the bits of EU membership that people liked, but do away with the bits they didn’t like. The result was that she always appeared to have a foot in both camps, and so appeared too friendly to the EU to those who wanted a clean break, and too hostile to them to those who never wanted to leave the EU at all. It was a truly thankless task.
Ultimately, May’s administration would be hit by fifty resignations from senior ministers, thirty-three of whom cited her handling of Brexit as the reason they no longer wanted to work on her team. In the end, she herself became a victim. When it became apparent that the deal she’d negotiated with the EU had no chance of being approved by the UK’s Parliament, she resigned as leader of her Party, and also as Prime Minister.
What Is A No Deal Brexit?
While the churlish thing to do would be to answer that question with ‘nobody knows,’ the more accurate description would be to say that nobody knows for sure, but as a phrase it gives people the impression that an important and difficult political process can be reduced to a simple case of ‘Deal or No Deal’ as if it were the television game show of the same name.
While the two options facing British politicians – and, by extension, the British public – can be labelled as ‘Deal’ or ‘No Deal,’ there’s much more nuance to the positions than the labels suggest. Treating the most important economic decision that Britain has faced since the end of the Second World War as if it were a game show prize would be scandalously inappropriate. The attitude and language used by some candidates to replace May are borrowed from the world of gambling, with ‘taking a risk,’ and ‘high risk, high reward’ bandied about, as if the nation’s economy could be placed as a stake on online slots. Playing casino games is a fun hobby to indulge with your disposable income, or for your own amusement. Staking your entire monthly salary on one would be foolish in the extreme. To stake the world’s fifth largest economy on it would be insanity.
‘No Deal,’ as the name implies, would involve exiting EU membership status under WTO rules on future trade or relations between the United Kingdom and its global partners. It would give the UK total freedom to approach any nation on an individual basis to agree on a new deal, but given the predicted Project Fear economic devastation that leaving without a deal would bring many trade opportunities especially with the United States. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have already voiced their support for a post-Brexit trade deal.
The benefits aren’t just economic. Boris Johnson, the PM has revealed that no border checks would occur between the EU and the UK. There would therefore be no need for a hard border as the scare mongers are wrongly crying about.
The residency status of EU nationals living within the UK have been guaranteed by the Johnson government. UK nationals living in the EU will be given full support in their positions.
Who Wants It?
Despite the Project Fear negativity that comes with a No Deal Brexit, the PM, Boris Johnson, says it would provide the opportunity to refresh diplomatic ties with the rest of the world, and totally remove Britain from any vestige of European influence. Britain would be a low-tax haven for businesses from across the globe to come and conduct their business in the UK.
Jeremy Hunt, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey, and Dominic Raab have all voiced their support of a No Deal Brexit, with Raab stating that he’d forcibly shut down Parliament to avoid his fellow MPs blocking such a thing from happening.
Parliament is currently lawfully under prorogue over the party conference season, and will reconvene on October 14th for the Queen’s speech to open a new session.