Deal or no deal?
Leave or Remain were the two options offered to UK voters two years ago. However, the act of putting pen to paper at Chequers has underscored the diversity of perspectives on both sides of this debate, and in turn cast light on the wide continuum of viewpoints on the issue. Seemingly few other than the PM and a small band of supporters are happy with the deal on offer. Leavers (and those Remainers that accept the referendum result) are split between those who interpret the only real Brexit as a no deal one (Johnson, Rees-Mogg), and those who take a more nuanced view, favouring a customs union (Soubry – ‘nobody voted to be poorer’); whilst committed Remainers (e.g. Cooper) reject the Chequers agreement on the basis that the customs integration doesn’t go far enough. Meanwhile, with the whiff of blood in the air, Michel Barnier is entrenched in his position that the Chequers deal would not work for the EU. Where does this leave us? If there is no practical and workable solution proposed by the Article 50 deadline, then despite of the plurality of positions, the outcome can only be binary; namely either a clean break and fall back to WTO rules, or a second referendum (3/1 odds), the result of which would likely reverse the previous one (54:46 Remain; YouGov). Spare a thought for Theresa May; occupying probably the most thankless job in the world. The odds are that she will leave her post in the next 8 months (4/7). If I were her, it would be sooner and through personal choice.