Q. What happens when no one in the Brexit negotiations wants a deal?
A. We keep talking until everyone forgets we ever voted Brexit
Britain has 12 months to agree a deal with the other 27 nations of the EU (only 12 because the other countries will have 6 months to ratify any deal). Secretary of State for exiting the EU, David Davis has agreed to discuss the deal for one week out of every month which means negotiating time is an effective 3 months. We are one year on from the historic vote that two thirds of our politicians did not support and how far have we progressed? Not one yard, not even a micrometre. This may make the cynical amongst us believe that no one is really trying very hard to reach agreement because it’s just too bloody difficult. The doubly cynical may imagine that what the EU and Britain will do is ask for some ‘transitional arrangements’ i.e. further time to argue the toss whilst remaining part of the EU club and that these ‘arrangements’ will last until the end of time or at least until the old people who voted for Brexit have died and then go for a 2nd referendum. Theresa May seemed to offer an ‘early’ sop to the EU by saying we will guarantee the rights of EU citizens who have been here for 5 years…..as long as the EU do the same for our ex-pats – which is no further forward than we already are. What was she going to do instead? Remove 3 million foreigners back to their countries of origin? Even if there were 100 flights per day taking people back to Europe it would take around 30 years to clear the backlog and we’d have no one to man/woman hospitals, care homes, pick fruit in the fields or wait on people. And then we would have to put up with all the gangsters, bankrobbers and retired people being sent back from Marbs and Benidorm. We’d have to have Love Island being transmitted from the Isle of Dogs. Chaos. Other important areas we have to get agreement on are crime, justice, travel, pensions, business, law, trade, security, terrorism, regulation, air space, border control, refugees, education…………….oh God the list is almost endless. And we have 3 months to do a deal. This about as likely Boris Johnson being the next Briton to go to the International Space Station or Theresa May being asked to address the crowd at Glastonbury before performing a set with Stormzy…..we can dream.