Same old, same old
I find I’m not writing all that much these days about Brexit, either on blogs or on Twitter.
It’s not because there’s nothing happening, but rather that all the stuff isn’t amounting to much.
Let me give you an example. On my daily walk today, I remembered I’d producing something a while back about why the EU struggles to understand British actions, because its so obviously (in EU eyes) self-destructive.
There were dots.
Some rummaging later, I find this:
The dots are there, and the general idea about the relative value of different outcomes.
I considered reworking it for now, but really there’s no point, given that it’s basically the same: sure, the UK might not like a deal, but it’s a whole lot better (per the EU) than no-deal.
This explained plenty 15 months ago as Boris Johnson was coming back to revisit the backstop, and it explains why today’s European Council isn’t falling over itself to make big concessions on the Future Relationship:
It’s not to say that there hasn’t been some important development during this time, but only that the fundamentals still apply.
Even in a no-deal scenario, the analysis by the EU will still be there and probably even more than now, as the costs become more material for the UK.
None of this is to say that the UK should just take what it’s offered by the EU, but rather that much of the past couple of months strikes me simply as a situation where both sides are toying with making the final jump into a deal.
It’s a bit like those people you see at the seaside [me], who get into the cold water as far as their knees and then spend many minutes faffing. Really they [I] just need to either dive in or get out: the intermediate state is good for nothing, especially for getting on with things.
Yes, that’s a difficult and costly choice, whatever you chose, so we perhaps shouldn’t be surprised if it ends up with more delay: the chances of a decision this week are essentially zero, as the can gets kicked once more.
And all there is left to do then is to close in the time-honoured fashion of noting that there’s hardly any time remaining and no scope for getting more.
But as we know, just because problems are predictable and predicted, doesn’t mean we don’t fall into them.