No deal

No-deal Brexit planning has been a lifesaver

The port of Dover has been closed down. The Eurotunnel isn’t carrying any freight for a couple of days. The lorries are already starting to back up in Kent, the supermarkets are working out where they can get fresh supplies from, and flights have been suspended, with the British likely to find they are turned away from most of our neighbouring countries. If you had blanked out all the other news you might think that after some terminal row about herring, Brexit had actually been brought forward by ten days, creating the kind of chaos that even the most swivel-eyed Remainer could scarcely have imagined possible. And yet, of course,

Was the EU ever going to offer Britain a good deal?

The announcement that Brexit negotiations are set to continue will no doubt alarm Brexiteers who fear compromise, sell-out and fudge. In fairness to Brussels however, they set out their stall early on and stuck to the script. The EU is unwilling – as they see it – to let Britain have its cake and eat it, by having large access to the EU’s market while not being a member or leaving the club and not ‘paying a price’. This might explain what could otherwise be seen as an unduly recalcitrant attitude. It also explains why any deal which the EU agrees to is likely to be on its terms. The

Is no deal better than a bad deal? We’re about to find out

Has a Brexit deal already been done? You’d be forgiven for thinking so if, like me, you listened to talk radio over the weekend. Much of the discussion on Brexit now focuses on whether or not Labour will vote for or against, or even abstain on the ‘deal’. What deal? In reality there is, of course, yet to be a trade agreement between the UK and the European Union and it actually looks fairly unlikely at this stage. The clock is ticking, but still the assumption remains that either side will fold before the year is out. I’m not convinced. At the end of last week, an offer was made by the

Katy Balls

Is a no-deal Brexit underpriced?

As the Brexit talks enter what is expected to be the last full week of substantive negotiations, opposition leaders are blasting the government for the lack of progress while No. 10 has issued a warning that no deal is ‘arguably underpriced’. So, is this more fighting talk for the purpose of the negotiations or is no deal now a likely prospect? Given that Boris Johnson agreed a deal at the last minute in the first stage of Brexit talks on the withdrawal agreement, the working assumption among many Tory MPs for some time has been that the same will occur this time around. Some of Johnson’s colleagues even point to the recent departure of Vote

Why Boris should go for no deal

Boris Johnson has negotiated his way into a corner. With the naïve view that the EU would eventually buckle and accede to the UK’s desires, we are now just over five weeks away from the end of the transition period. The choices in front of Boris are to either cave in to the EU’s demands in order to sign a weak, thin, bad deal – or walk away without a deal. I think he should do the latter. Of course, there are obvious advantages for the Prime Minister in signing a deal (even a bad one) with the EU at this stage. It would cause slightly less disruption than no

History shows why voters often back ‘no deal’

As the UK approaches the end of the Brexit transition period, ministers have made it clear that businesses and Britain must ready themselves for ‘no deal’. But will Britain be ready? Almost every day, there are new concerns from the road haulage industry, not just about Kent and access permits for lorry drivers, but about the system’s operability and the viability of any back-up plans. The government does have an ‘oven ready’ response to the no deal naysayers – which Michael Gove used with evident relish against Theresa May in October – and can say that: ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’. Ultimately, however, the judgement about no

12 items to stockpile for a No-Deal Brexit

When you hear the word ‘stockpiling’, the first thought that pops into your head is probably the image of forest-dwelling folk in remote reaches of the US, usually bearded, always armed, with hunting vests, baseball caps, a few tonnes of canned food buried beneath their shack and enough kerosene to defrost Svalbard. Yet with the prospect of a hard Brexit edging ever closer, stockpiling has become a major pastime of businesses across the UK. The Economist have set aside 30 tonnes of paper to print their magazine, whilst Majestic have secured up to 1.5 million bottles of wine (should the worst happen, I know which warehouse I’ll be looting). Medicines