Monday, 11 March 2019

Exactly what you'd expect

The withdrawal agreement was a non-amendable instrument. Being that it is non-amendable, it has not been amended. As anticipated though, by just about everybody, Mrs May has flown out to Strasbourg at the last minute to create the pretense that there has been a breakthrough - when what we actually have is "additional reassurances" which do not really amount to much. We are all now to pretend that black is white.

But then everybody was anticipating this ploy and nobody is buying it. The PM even knew nobody would buy it. But all the same, this is politics and she has to go through the motions. So at some point, perhaps this week, perhaps not, MPs will have to vote and decide whether it is going to be this deal, no deal or very possibly no Brexit.

At this point it is totally futile trying to persuade anybody that this deal is the best way forward. Brexiters hate it and the ERG won't vote for any deal. There is no debate to be had. More to the point, such a debate is a waste of time since it does not impact on the decision makers who are living in their own alternate realities and playing their own little games. For as long as each extreme believes they have a chance at getting what they want, they will push it all the way to the wire just the same as the PM.

So while we notionally have an event to churn over, the situation is pretty much as it has been for some time and any analysis will add nothing new. We are now only seventeen days to Brexit day and we still have no idea which way this goes. We can perhaps kick the can down the road for a while longer but the message from Brussels is clear - this is the deal - take it or leave it. It is up to the UK to decide what it is we are doing.

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