Theresa May naively assumed that if she could just come up with the ‘right’ Brexit deal the EU would sign it and life would be good for citizens on both sides of the English Channel forever, and ever, and ever… (queue the dreamy music now)
Which sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Theresa May crisscrosses Europe for two years doing political hand stands for the EU elite, comes up with a Brexit plan that works well for both sides, the good people of the UK and the EU return to their normal happy lives and the only difference is a border between the UK and the EU.
Fluffy white kittens and playful sparrows as far as the eye can see! Can you hear Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons wafting across the lavender fields towards you?
(Not me. After the EU’s failure at Salzburg, I hear music to accompany Milton’s Paradise Lost. Even the most tone-deaf can tell the difference between those tunes)
But, such was not to be. ‘Theresa May the Naive’ didn’t realize the EU never intended to get a deal. Their ‘deal’ was to break the will of Theresa May and break the indomitable spirit of the British people who dared vote against their elitist, corporatist club.
And God love Theresa May for thinking it was all about ‘getting the right deal’ instead of realizing that it was all about having to forfeit Northern Ireland, £40 billion in taxpayer cash, and every subsequent British Prime Minister kneeling before the EU politburo as part of their penance until more suitable punishment can be arranged. How medieval…
Time to Give Up on Negotiations, Theresa?
Don’t tempt her…
After using up considerable political capital (in order to cater to EU leaders) on the path towards getting a Brexit deal that works for both sides, and getting practically nowhere, Theresa May must now find herself at the crossroads — wondering what to do next.
And the simple answer is; Nothing.
Do nothing, Theresa, because no matter what you offer it won’t be good enough!
Not only are the EU in denial that the UK is leaving, they want to punish the UK and its people for leaving the union and nothing you can do will save them from their grief.
At this point, the only play left in the big diplomatic book is to stop. doing. anything. and. wait.
Not through any fault of yours — you’ve served them your best plan and it wasn’t good enough. But no matter what you served it wouldn’t have satisfied them.
The way you must play it now is to withdraw yourself from the constant ‘coming up with plans’ modality to arrange a suitable Brexit for both sides — because they have no interest in that. Why waste your time and remaining political capital?
No more traipsing around Europe trying to work with EU leaders, no more coming up with policy alternatives, no more allowing yourself to be set-up for failure!
It may take years for their hurt feelings dissipate, but as the British Prime Minister you must do what’s necessary for the UK, and in the absence of a deal with the EU, you must begin planning for a Hard Brexit on January 1, 2019.
Why January 1, 2019? Because there’s almost zero chance at a reasonable Brexit deal with the EU between now and March 29, 2019.
And every month that passes, the UK will be losing billions of pounds sterling (not only paying £8.6 billion more per year into the EU than the UK gets back, but in lost trade that could be earning the UK billions) in the meantime.
It’s not inconceivable the UK would be losing anywhere from £1 billion to £10 billion per month in lost trade each month it waits for the EU to agree a deal before March 29, 2019.
And that isn’t what responsible UK Prime Ministers do. Is it?
Responsible Prime Ministers try their best to arrange a reasonable deal and when that doesn’t work — it’s time to get back to running the country and getting out of a bad deal that’s costing the UK billions of pounds per month. ASAP.
“You’re welcome to visit me in London to discuss Brexit, but otherwise I’m busy.”
EU, the ball is in your court.
Written by John Brian Shannon