Macron’s no-deal delusion

The Brexit waiting continues. The negotiators are still talking but, according to one of those close to the negotiations on the UK side, things are ‘still pretty stuck.’ There is, as RTE’s Tony Connelly reports, a deadline of Christmas Eve on the EU side. But it would now be a surprise if a deal came today. If these talks end in no-deal, then Johnson could not — politically — go back and accept the same or worse terms The UK offer on fish has not unblocked things as much as hoped. Michel Barnier has described it as ‘totally unacceptable’, which even accounting for diplomatic posturing is not encouraging. There is

Inside the no-deal reasonable worst case scenario

I’ve been passed the government’s ‘reasonable worst case scenario planning assumptions to support civil contingencies planning for the end of the transition period’. The 34-page document describes itself as a ‘challenging manifestation of the risk in question’ but ‘not an extreme or absolute worst case scenario’. A government source confirmed the official sensitive document, which was written in September, still underpins contingency planning. It is ‘not a forecast’ but a ‘reasonable’ assessment of what could happen to us if, in the next day or so, talks collapse on a free trade agreement with the European Union and the negotiations can’t be rescued. Also, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster