Deal or No Deal?

I have been quiet for a few weeks, as I celebrated a very merry Christmas and a glorious New Year, and I send my regards to everyone, although it may already be a distant memory for many of you. 

Just before Christmas, we had a vote of no confidence in Theresa the Bruce from her own conservative party, which she won with a ‘massively convincing’ 200 votes to 117 – just over a third of her own party voted against her, well that is a resounding vote of confidence in today’s political world.  The Bruce though showed her resilience yet again by ignoring the ‘nay sayers’, and committed to continue ‘leading’ the party on, although the last minute concession of not taking them into the next election perhaps improved the result substantially.   The vote however is surely a liberator and the concession maybe even more so.  She no longer needs to pamper her Brexiteers if she can win support from any other quarter.   She doesn’t need them to support her in order to lead her party for a year at least, and doesn’t have to worry about their support for her next election campaign as there won’t be one.  The Sword of Damocles is removed and the threat has been neutralised.  This means that The Bruce will be defined and remembered by whatever happens with Brexit, that given, surely she wants her legacy to be a positive one.  The only question that remains therefore is what a positive one is; this is where the problem lies, who really knows?

Luckily, for me it appears that the political positioning pretty much went on hold over the festive period, allowing me a break.  Except for a few calls by Comrade One for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister and a few rebuffs of ‘Hokey Cokey’ politics from Theresa the Bruce, we appear to have not moved forward since the Tories vote of no confidence and are pretty much in limbo up until the vote on the Chequers deal sometime during the third week of January.  The Bruce has been active however drumming up support from European leaders to try and win some concessions, and Comrade One’s cynicism regarding the reducing timescale is also evident.  The vote definitely appears to be a decisive point in the process, and will define the next course of action.  A defeat for the Bruce is probably likely and therefore to an extent accepted, the question is what that means for the next step.  If the Bruce is true to her name, she will not resign, and therefore her next options appear to be; a managed ‘No Deal’ a second referendum on The Bruce’s deal, or just Brexit itself, a renegotiated deal, a rescinding of article 50, a general election, or a ‘No Deal’ which we are still told is the most unlikely, although it keeps creeping closer.

If anything therefore 2019 starts with more options than we had in 2018, but still none that appear to provide achievable solutions.  Let us consider them one at a time;

  1. Managed ‘No deal’ – effectively a no deal with some side deals done to try and soften the blow, it has been dismissed by all parties including the EU which is equivalent to ‘The Board’ of a football team stating that ‘the Manager has our full support’.  This may suggest it is a realistic possibility and looks at the present moment to represent a pragmatic approach.
  2. A second referendum – incredibly unpopular with everyone, as someone has to suggest that the British people need to make a decision on something they have already made a decision on.  Exactly what the question would be is also likely to tie up in knots even the most eloquent Sir Humphrey!
  3. A renegotiated deal – political manoeuvrings at their best, if unable to come up with a solution, kick the problem down the road a bit and hope time will give you an out, or it will become someone else’s problem.  Trouble is this has already been attempted and has the opposition of the EU.  This wouldn’t normally get in the way, but when you have sworn blind that you have the best deal you could possibly negotiate, to suddenly suggest you have managed to get a better one does make you look a little inept.
  4. Rescind Article 50 – blatantly the easiest to implement as nothing changes we all go back to the way we were, except that the 17 Million who voted for Brexit will become disenfranchised with the political situation and probably start to riot!
  5. General Election – fantastic, an opportunity for everyone to throw lots more mud at each other about how inept they are at dealing with Brexit to return us to a position of having two leading parties in parliament who would find it difficult to agree on a dinner menu.  Both parties hate the idea, The Bruce because she might lose (but strictly speaking she has promised not to lead the party into the next general election, so if this happens before 29th March the question has to be asked whether she would be in charge anyway), and Comrade One because then he might actually have to try and deal with Brexit!
  6. A time extension – now we are talking real fantasy – how can you tell I hear you say?

At least the field is narrowing, sorry no it isn’t, and the favourites are starting to show, sorry oh no again not the case.  Well the finishing post is at least getting nearer, no yet again can’t be certain on that one.  At least we know there will be a winner????

Justin

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