Saturday, 8 October 2016

Hard Brexit is media mythology

I've been a prolific social media user for several years and I have been hyperactive over the course of the referendum, but lately I've slowed down considerably. There's just nothing worth getting worked up about. The media has decided that Brexit will be a hard Brexit purely on the basis that Mrs May has made a big deal about fixing immigration. In the binary world of the media this means an exit from the single market.

In reality though, we would have a hard time leaving the single market and whatever we come away with will be close to membership of it if not actual membership of it. It's simply a matter of doing the math. Mrs May's "great repeal bill" adopts all EU law for the time being. That tells you that we will maintain regulatory equivalence with the EU. That is the foundation of a comprehensive agreement. Meanwhile if you read the words of Mrs May with any skill you can see that she has crafted every statement to mean everything and nothing. There is nothing concrete to suggest a hard Brexit.

The problem for us is that when the media decides that Brexit will be a hard Brexit the markets tend to follow. A lot of harm is done by way of misinterpreting the signals. Meanwhile it serves the interests of remainers to catastrophise Brexit in a last ditch effort to avert it. There's really nothing left to do except sit back and watch them make prats of themselves.

I am now confident that Brexit will be a fairly pedestrian affair where the worst effects of Brexit will be more a consequence of the hyperventilation surrounding it than any actual political transaction. The real effects of Brexit won't be felt for quite some time and will manifest themselves in more subtle ways. As to the short term effects it's difficult to know what is attributable to Brexit and what is part of an unfolding global economic retrenchment. It rather looks to me like the whole world is going to hell in a hardcart at the moment.

For the time being one might as well withdraw from the field and enjoy the chaos. Watching the pathetic remainers gear up for a hard Brexit fight that isn't going to happen is truly hilarious. They're going to dash around like headless chickens making something of nothing. Victims of their own incompetence. The hard Brexiteers have written themselves out of the script with their infantile ideas and the worst of them are now shoved to the margins. Mrs May's broadside at libertarians was an indicator.

In this you can try and argue the toss but there's no real way to explain it properly through tweets and in the end what difference does it make? The narrative survives because they need it to survive. Without an imaginary threat there is no "cabinet splits" pantomime to play out. As usual we are witnessing a politico-media class living in a parallel dimension. The only "cabinet rifts" we will see will be bickering between the extremes of the losers who dont say in it. Mrs May is the boss. Nobody else matters.

But then you can see why this parallel universe exists can't you? If you take a cold and sober analysis of events there is actually very little to report on. Nothing tangible has actually happened and is not going to happen any time soon. The Brexit immigration debate is merely a vehicle for virtue signallers and the noise from the Tory conference will be forgotten by this time next week. I am sorely tempted to close down all of the Twitter accounts because it's all so mind-numbingly tedious.

For the time being all we can do is speculate but the idle ill-informed speculation of the media simply isnt worth the bother. For as long as there is a financial incentive to remain ignorant there is little chance of the debate progressing and nothing is served by engaging. I can think of better ways to waste time.

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