It only seems like yesterday when Brexit was the talk of the town – not sure what replaced it? Anyway, it is Brexit season again and this time it is for real (where have we heard that before?). We have blood curdling articles about how this is crazy and this is wrong. Steve Baker has once again become a thing and the European Union is threatening all sorts of craziness. I am currently listening to the Wolf Hall trilogy and I have to say much of the blood curdling language was being used then about Henry 8th’s split with Rome (Of course martyrs are not being beheaded or burnt alive at the moment so that is a significant difference!) sounds very familiar. However, the period and the book does does give some perspective to the current pointless pissing competition.
Will a deal be struck? My belief is that it will because the last thing the Johnson government needs is another mother of all ‘fuck ups’ at Dover in January next year. We are told that the plans are well advanced to deal with no deal (or is that an ‘Australian Deal’?) but given the way that this government has handled the Corvid crises and the Examination Crises it can ill afford another mess on top of a probable very bad economic picture caused by Covid. Equally, the EU can ill afford a No Deal either because of all the problems associated with Covid (I have written before about the problems facing the EU should trade be disrupted but it is worth reiterating the EU has c €100bn trade surplus and much of that goes through Dover/Calais and a reduction in this is going cause big problems for the individual EU countries/companies.) And then there is Ireland which has the potential of going very badly wrong very quickly. The Republic’s economy is built upon very dodgy tax policies as well as a very weak government at the moment which means it could collapse and usher in a Sein Fein lead government which is certainly not going to be friendly to a British government. This would be compounded should Joe Biden win the election because of his romantic connections to a mythical Ireland which would mean that he would take a very keen interest and no doubt want to ‘help’. In short there is little advantage to any of the parties to walk away with a No Deal. Of course that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
The Wolf Hall trilogy ends with Thomas Cromwell losing his head because his European machinations. If Boris Johnson makes a mess of Brexit then he could be quickly shown the door – the Conservative Party is much more blood thirty, metaphorically speaking, than Henry 8th. When Cromwell fell the Duke of Norfolk is supposed to have said that ‘…that was for the Thetford Priory (the last resting place for the Howard family which was closed by Cromwell)…’. When they come for Boris will his replacement, perhaps a local North Yorkshire MP, say…’ and that is for Barnard Castle…’?