Sunday, 12 June 2016

Pull the other one

The europhiles are in full spin mode saying the EU member states would never allow a soft departure from the EU with preferential access to the single market. Let me put this notion firmly in the bin.

And no, I am not going to bombard you with trade figures or nonsense about trade deficits. It's just that they will be confronted with the same reality I have been trying to hammer into the Leave campaign for the last eighteen months. It comes down to one basic fact of life. Brexit is complicated.

We've had Ukippers and the Breitbart loons telling us that we can just replace it all with a free trade deal over beer and sandwiches in a single afternoon. Except of course it would take ten years to devise a replacement policy for the CAP. We have joint ownership of several assets belonging to various cooperation programmes. That will all have to be sorted out. Think how tricky a corporate merger is. Imagine how hard that is in reverse.

And then if we are kicked out of the single market they will actually have to physically do roadworks to redirect trucks into different customs channels. It's just not going to happen. And this is before we look at aviation issues, fishing, and the whole universe of integration issues. There is only one way to leave the EU. The same way we went in. Gradually.

Consequently an Article 50 agreement will simply be a symbolic moment as nothing will change the following day. It will just be a pulling of the lever to set the process into reverse gear. That's it. From there we will gradually develop our domestic systems so that we can dispense with shared policies. Along the way we will discover areas where we will need to retain cooperation programmes and because we're paying a large part of their budget they will be only too happy to let us.

And since this is so complex, we ain't gonna be sewing up any creative bespoke deals. It's the least headache inducing if we just take a ready made deal off the shelf. That's the EEA. Anyone asserting otherwise you should really ask... what are you smoking?

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