Saturday, 8 December 2018

A dose of what we deserve

Economically, no deal is suicidal. It is possible that we can avoid many of the headline impacts with adequate preparation but I seriously doubt we have made adequate preparations not least because our own government has not fully understood the scope and scale of the problems. I don't put any stock in government reassurances.

I base my assessment on the EU's Notices to Stakeholders which clearly outline how UK exports will be affected and which cooperation frameworks will end. It's going to cause major problems end to end. The severity will depend a lot on the remedial measures taken by the government and whatever residual cooperation we can secure from the EU - which won't be much.

I could outline the possible problems but we've now had months of warnings and they are taken no more seriously now as before. It is a total waste of breath. Most people in this game believe what they want to believe from sources that align with their prejudices and they are not inclined to examine the facts for themselves. Many simply believe that the worst effects won't be allowed to happen or that we will somehow muddle through.

Supposing our response to the first wave of problems is adequate we can avoid jams at the ports, but only by putting strict controls in place which will see a rapid decline in the volumes of exports. Talk of a "managed no deal" is closer to civil contingency than international relations.

Nobody should be willing this situation into being. It's a last resort and it does not pan out well long term. More than likely it sees the UK grovelling to Brussels for whatever scraps it feels inclined to give us and entirely on their terms.

The reason the Brexiteers want it so badly is because they don't understand the EU and they do not understand trade. They do not understand that border controls are made up of several layers of regulatory systems all of which have evolved over decades. They see this only as costly red tape. they do not understand that this red tape eliminates trade friction and that it facilitates high volumes of exports.

They also think that we will have a leaner economy if we scrap all this red tape and believe our exports will continue as normal. They do not understand that much of our trade is only possible because of various tiers of cooperation. If the EU no longer recognises things like safety certifications then much of our services trade is hit as hard as our exports in goods.

I have tried to explain this. I've pointed people to detailed articles explaining how the system works. I've tried breaking it down into colourful analogies. I've written countless articles on the subject. But Brexiters don't want to know. They will ferret into the bowels of BrexitCentral for an article written by a London Toryboy economist or a businessman who claims to understand the system - and their word trumps mine because it's all about title and prestige - and it fits in with what they want to believe.

Here, though, I am not going to single out leavers because this is pretty normal human behaviour - which is why I tend to avoid humans wherever possible. People are generally quite stupid and when there's a group of them their collective IQ does not rival a potato. Remainers are every bit as bad for arrogance, petulance and galactic ignorance.

What's interesting about both sides is that they've each constructed their own elaborate fictions and will tell virtually any lie in support of them. The right wing think tanks have taken their fair share of flak but the remain think tanks are every bit as crooked and dishonest. This is why if we crash out of the EU without a deal I'm not going to have any sympathy at all. In fact, I'm going to love it.

I'm going to enjoy watching the government fall to bits but I'm especially going to enjoy the bluster and deflection from the likes of Redwood, Baker and Hoey. They are never going to take responsibility or own up to their ignorance and though they will attempt to blame the EU, it will be brutally apparent that Tory "fwee twade" theories were a crock. Politically it will cost them. They will hand Number Ten to Corbyn.

What I'm going to enjoy most of all is the wailing of remainers. Ordinarily they would be entitled to complain since they never wanted any form of Brexit, but they have told lies as big as those of the ERG and have spent the whole time coordinating outrageous propaganda against the Norway option which could have preserved much fo what they value about EU membership. On that score they are singing from the same hymn sheet as the ERG. There is no difference in their rhetoric.

We've seen all the classic canards trotted out, especially over the last week about Norway being a passive rule taker, and the origin of all this traces back to a handful of self-serving academics and EU focussed think tanks. They've been operating a scorched earth policy from the beginning and they'd rather see the UK crash and burn that see an orderly exit. They won't be able to complain because no deal is exactly what they've been rooting for. 

The best part about this is that the internet never forgets. I know roughly who has said what and when and I'm going to take enormous pleasure in reminding people what they said. It's going to be a huge humiliation for the pig-ignorant bubble dwellers and the snidey toads who've given me so much grief over the last four years.

If nothing else, a no deal Brexit will be a huge humiliation for our political class on both sides and they will all get the misery they richly deserve. They'll be scraping egg off their faces for years to come. A big part of me thinks that's probably going to be the biggest benefit to Brexit of all. It's going to be a huge bucket of cold water splashed over the delusions of our political class and a hard slap in the face to remainers who refused to act with honour. Politically it's a massive dose of disinfectant.

As it happens I would rather not see the UK heading into serious economic hardship, but a very big part of me thinks it might well be worth it for the public to wake up and realise how badly served they are by their media and their politicians and how wrong they were to take any of them on trust. As a basis for rebuilding a post-Brexit Britain, that's a bloody good place to start.

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