Much has been said about the prospect of no deal over the past few days – the economics, arguments over sovereignty, the views of Conservative MPs, possible long-term gain, and the views of the voters. All will be important to the Government’s final decision. Looking only at the voters, the established wisdom seems to be that a no deal course gives Boris his moment of facing down the EU, and that the former ‘Red Wall’ would welcome such a move. This, I think, is an incorrect assumption.
Twelve months ago, no deal may well have been welcomed by a sizeable proportion of voters. Brexit was the only show in town. The Conservatives held a towering thirty-point lead on the issue over Jeremy Corbyn. As frustration about the Brexit process grew and grew, anything to break the logjam was looking attractive.