Thursday, 13 February 2020

Back online

Flooding up the back lane.

I'm in the process of moving house and until today have been without proper broadband (hence the lack of blogging). Frankly I'm not surprised so few people are bothered about losing freedom of movement. It's cost us a pretty penny just to go a hundred miles up the A1 to a rather soggy North Yorkshire - and the bureaucracy has been head-melting. I'm not in a hurry to repeat the experience any time soon. 

I picked a good week to go offline though. I really don't think I missed anything. Until negotiations kick off, most of what we are seeing is noise. Nothing much to go on. If there is one takeaway lesson from the last four years it's that you shouldn't make predictions as regards to Brexit. I've made plenty and most of them have turned out wrong. Thinking rationally about an irrational government will lead you to all the wrong conclusions. This is especially true of now when even the most abstract thinking would not bring you any closer to understanding just what the hell the government is playing at.

We've gone from promises of having the exact same access to the single market to now erecting customs controls to incoming goods. No doubt this is an ill-conceived negotiating ploy based on the "German car makers" shtick, and nobody sane thinks it can work, but there seems to be a darker insanity at work. I just can't put my finger on it. It will become apparent in due course. Things don't get serious until March so we might as well keep the speculation to a minimum. 

Then there's this reshuffle. One group of deadbeats I barely recognise has been replaced by another set of anonymous deadbeats. I don't think it matters. The one thing that does matter is securing a viable trade relationship with the EU. There was zero chance of that yesterday and zero chance of it today. A reshuffle might give our third rate media something to do but it's not worth a nanosecond of my time.

It certainly doesn't help that the new chancellor doesn't think we need a deal and it looks like the new cabinet is an even more obsequious pack of yes men and diversity hires but since the general trajectory is towards a bare bones deal that in no way serves the national requirement, all this really does is remove all doubt. 

But then we have seen this before. Farage exchanged talent for loyalists and look where that got him. For sure we have left the EU but there is no longer an insurgent movement capable of calling the shots. The Brexit Party in the end became a dustbin at the imbecile end of the eurosceptic movement. And that now is where the Tories are headed. All the seeds are now sown for a Tory implosion the likes of which we have never seen. 

In the meantime there is nothing any of us can say or do. We are all powerless spectators just waiting for it all to fold in on itself. For sure, predictions are a mug's game but there are no indicators that any of this is going to go well. The foundations simply aren't there. This government's idea of a trade strategy is freeports and sporadic FTAs. They're just playing at it. Their comprehension is nowhere near sophisticated enough, all the while they're playing silly buggers with the EU expecting it to make concessions it simply cannot make.

At this point, anyone with a basic grounding in the mechanics of trade knows this is going to be a trainwreck. The only real debate is the pace. Sudden death or slow motion implosion. Either way, it's looking pretty grim. 

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