What we are seeing in Parliament now is panic, the sudden realisation that we really could leave the EU without any sort of deal and the potential economic damage that could cause worries a lot of MP’s.
They see the EU holding fast to the deal they have put on the table or no deal and they see the Prime Minister holding fast to deliver on the result of the EU Referendum, which in all honesty is the honourable thing to do.
You can feel the panic as the bickering continues and MP’s come up with unrealistic proposals that will never fly with the EU and that would require changes to existing legislation. The EU will not budge on the backstop, not because it’s Ireland but because post Brexit it will be the EU’s land border with a third country. Even Rees-Mogg is suddenly beginning to see the reality of what he and his colleagues started but he’ll get no joy on the backstop, so we are still stuck with no deal.
The first mistake was to call a referendum on the basis of 50% past the post and the second mistake was for our original negotiators to take the view that if we did nothing after invoking article 50 the EU would eventually cave in and let us have our cake and eat it. The first mistake was David Cameron’s and the second mistake is down to David Davis’s, with the prime minister complicit.
Financial Markets are backing a Brexit delay, but I can’t see the EU buying a 9-month delay on the Article 50 process which takes us past the EU Parliamentary elections. Such a delay would have to have the agreement of the EU 27 and I can’t imagine that the EU will want to see anti-European MEP’s from the UK re-elected, that could hold up progress in the EU. I think I’d be a seller of Sterling at this level because the market’s too optimistic.
To my mind there are only four options and two of them are unrealistic really. Either we accept the deal that’s on the table or we leave without a deal. To hold another referendum would be questioning the peoples first decision, and to cancel Brexit, which some MP’s want to do, would be to go against the people and the principals of democracy. Delaying Brexit would also drag out the uncertainty for business and then those large corporates and large financial institutions who have made contingency plans to move their European businesses out of the UK will start pushing the buttons. That has of course started happening, Sony being the latest.
The mistakes have been made and arch Tory Brexiters have opened Pandora’s Box so we are all going to have to live with it and wait for better times as we adjust to life after Brexit and work our way through the short-term disruption that leaving without a deal could cause. Perhaps the Prime Minister’s deal will pass Parliament second time round as MP’s from all parties realise that the alternative is unpalatable.