Iron Curtain, Super-Hard Brexit Rises to the Forefront

-edited

Brexit negotiations have all but broken down. Unless quickly revived an Iron Curtain Brexit is in play.

Ireland has taken its cues from Remainers, totally misreading UK politics. In turn, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator is taking cues from Ireland.

No Deal is now the the single most likely event, and it could get even worse according to Eurointelligence, and I agree.

Iron Curtain Brexit

We noted some of the most chilling comments we have yet heard from Number 10 Downing Street yesterday, as reported by James Forsyth from the Spectator. We believe that the unnamed source is either Dominic Cummings himself, or someone authorised directly by him. The source said that the talks were breaking down because Leo Varadkar and Michel Barnier were betting on a Brexit reversal through a second referendum. The source said the deal offered by Boris Johnson would not be revived. The government would accept its narrow duties under the Benn extension bill, but would seek to frustrate its intent. The aim is to go for an election with a promise to deliver a no-deal Brexit by a certain date.

And then this - a chilling reference of hostile interference by EU member states in British politics. The square brackets are an indirect quote and the rest in italics a direct quote.

"We will make clear privately and publicly that countries which oppose delay will go the front of the queue for future cooperation — cooperation on things both within and outside EU competences. Those who support delay will go to the bottom of the queue. [This source also made clear that defence and security cooperation will inevitably be affected if the EU tries to keep Britain in against the will of its government]. Supporting delay will be seen by this government as hostile interference in domestic politics, and over half of the public will agree with us."

Our main scenario remains an early election, and an absolute majorities for the Tories or at least a Brexit-supporting majority in the House of Commons. We have always warned that a no-deal Brexit has a higher likelihood than widely assumed. But we are now ready to call a no-deal Brexit the single most probable outcome.

One possible action for the EU to take is to offer a long extension, say two or three years, which the present parliament might accept if confronted with the alternative of a no-deal Brexit on October 31. A long extension would give time for a second referendum. This is the scenario we fear the most because it would be construed by Brexiters as an outright hostile act. If such a decision were followed by an election, and a pro-Brexit majority in the House of Commons resulted, we would expect the UK to declare a unilateral withdrawal from the EU bypassing Article 50. That would be the Iron Curtain version of a no-deal Brexit.

State of the Negotiations

Please consider How Number 10 View the State of the Negotiations by James Forsyth from the Spectator.

Forsyth sent a message to a contact in Number 10 asking them how the Brexit talks were going. Here is a snip of the reply.

‘The negotiations will probably end this week. Varadkar doesn’t want to negotiate. Varadkar was keen on talking before the Benn Act when he thought that the choice would be ‘new deal or no deal’. Since the Benn Act passed he has gone very cold and in the last week the official channels and the backchannels have also gone cold. Varadkar has also gone back on his commitments — he said if we moved on manufactured goods then he would also move but instead he just attacked us publicly. It’s clear he wants to gamble on a second referendum and that he’s encouraging Barnier to stick to the line that the UK cannot leave the EU without leaving Northern Ireland behind. There are quite a few people in Paris and Berlin who would like to discuss our offer but Merkel and Macron won’t push Barnier unless Ireland says it wants to negotiate.

So, if talks go nowhere this week, the next phase will require us to set out our view on the Surrender Act. The Act imposes narrow duties. Our legal advice is clear that we can do all sorts of things to scupper delay which for obvious reasons we aren’t going into details about. Different lawyers see the “frustration principle” very differently especially on a case like this where there is no precedent for primary legislation directing how the PM conducts international discussions.

Those who pushed the Benn Act intended to sabotage a deal and they’ve probably succeeded. So the main effect of it will probably be to help us win an election by uniting the leave vote and then a no deal Brexit. History is full of such ironies and tragedies.’

Assumptions, Assumptions

Assuming that source is accurate, Johnson believes they can "scupper a delay". But let's assume that assumption is false.

Either way, there is going to be elections.

This is where the Eurointelligence Iron Curtain option comes in.

If Remainers push for a long extension (likelihood unknown), and the Tories unite with the Brexit Party (major sweep) or simply win outright (significant majority), expect a sudden hard, Iron Curtain Brexit.

UK General Election Polls

It's difficult to know which set of polls to believe but most of them suggest an outright Tory victory not even requiring the Brexit Party.

Eurointelligence reads these polls the same as I do.

Moreover, I rather doubt Johnson wants to tip his hand, but if forced, he will unite with the Brexit Party. There is far less chance the Liberal Democrats unite with Labour.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insists on a Referendum while Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson wants outright Remain. It's also clear Swinson cannot stand Corbyn, but politics can at time make strange bedfellows.

Goldman Sachs View

Zerohedge commented today Goldman Believes Johnson Can Still Pull Off Last-Minute Brexit Deal.

Goldman's team of analysts still believe that the most likely outcome (60%) is for the UK and EU to agree on a deal before Oct. 31. Next up? Another delay - the 'no Brexit at all' option - to which the analysts assigned odds of 25%.

Understanding Eurointelligence

It's important to understand that Eurointelligence is a pro-Europe organization.

Eurointelligence co-founder, Wolfgang Münchau, actually believes the deal Theresa May negotiated was a reasonable deal for the UK.

So, it's very difficult to accuse them of bias when they come out with a report like this.

My Take

Last week, I expected a deal. However, things seem to have changed quickly to the downside after a lot of optimistic talk.

This could be last minute jitters or a negotiation ploy, but I accept the Eurointelligence take flat out.

Sometimes I buck them. They expected Theresa May's deal to pass, but I didn't. Eurointelligence also wavers day-to-day more than I do. Today, we align.

I reserve the right to change my opinion and do.

I thought a deal was likely, now I don't. That can change again or not, but there is not much time left.

Regardless, one thing is clear: "Stop No Deal" is an exposed lie. This is not about stopping "no deal" it's about reversing the vote.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (53)
No. 1-24
JanNL
JanNL

Please do not say pro-Europe when you mean pro-EU... These terms are hardly compatible in my view.

ZZR600
ZZR600

Boris Johnson warns Angela Merkel there will NEVER be a Brexit deal after German Chancellor demands Northern Ireland MUST stay in EU customs union in furious phone call

Downtoearth
Downtoearth

Merkel said that if Germany wanted to leave the EU they could do it no problem but the UK cannot leave without leaving Northern Ireland behind in the customs union and in full alignment forever.

In that situation what is the point of negotiations

leicestersq
leicestersq

The remainers really hate the UK. There can no longer be any denying the fact that negotiations with the EU have been all about stalling Brexit and hoping for a reversal. Many of us knew this from day 1, but now everyone knows. The damage to the UK in monies paid to this undemocratic power plus the uncertainties impacting our economy as the decision hasnt been made, has been huge.

I really hope Boris refuses to hand the letter over. It would be interesting to see what happens to him but he would become a national hero if he were to free us from this cage. If on the other hand he complies with the act after saying that he wont, he is going to lose a lot of support, I wont vote for him.

Perhaps the only other way out is to go to the European court. I am sure that there is a rule which says that only democracies are allowed to be in the EU. That should rule the UK out. The only problem there is as we have seen, the EU controls the judges, and not just in Europe.

The only way out of the EU is to just leave. Deals with the EU are for saps.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

"There are quite a few people in Paris and Berlin who would like to discuss our offer but Merkel and Macron won’t push Barnier unless Ireland says it wants to negotiate."

Someone in Number 10 is quite funny, now Dublin is supposed to be the boss of Paris and Berlin. :) Or is it just he age-old "blame the Irish" trick?

Quatloo
Quatloo

The EU has never been willing to do a Brexit deal unless the deal keeps the UK in the customs union indefinitely (like the May deal). Their analysis, I’m sure, is that they can help the remainers and the 2nd referendum supporters turn back the Brexit movement entirely; if that fails in the end and they get a hard Brexit, then they can rush to the table and quickly do a negotiated deal at that time, using the current draft deal as a starting point. Very little risk for them (in their minds), as the UK will also be just as eager to do a deal with the EU post hard Brexit.

Carl_R
Carl_R

It seems inevitable that there is some sort of alliance between the Liberal Democrats and Labour in the event of an election because, to not ally, is to assure a disaster for both. In the event of such an alliance, and an alliance between brexit party and the Tories, the polls are murky as to what the outcome might be. The Daily Telegraph has it 46-46. The Observer shows a massive Tory lead, 50-38. The Independent goes the other way, at 46-42 for a Lib Dem/Labour alliance.

krage
krage

Tend to think Iron Curtain will come sooner than many expect. Resulting from the legal disagreement on Nov 1 on if Brexit has happened or not. EU will not just accept that UK is not in EU anymore. They cannot not

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

THE EU ! What the hell is the fckn EU ? Apart from a motley fairweather bunch, the EU is merely an illusion, its nomenklatura in times of crisis not giving a shit about the interests of individual countries but merely caring about the illusive EU, its worthless, blatantly overpaid leaders and corrupt cronies !. A totally superfluous amorph institute whose short term benefits have been exhausted at least 10 years ago with a positive future perspective today all but gone. Whether a hard or soft 'exit' GET RID OF IT !

msurkan
msurkan

If anything, the UK misreads Irish politics. A no deal outcome is great for Ireland since it pretty much guarantees the unification with northern Ireland and the dismemberment of the UK. This is a big win for Ireland.

Ireland has zero incentive to agree to anything other than keeping northern Ireland in the EU because the brutal no deal alternative works well for Ireland's interests.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

EuroIntelligence: Chilling

Tony Bennett: Chillin'

Mish
Mish

Editor

Wolfgang was a remainer - Against Brexit - I wasn't

Then he thought May's deal was "reasonable" not great for the UK a preposterous position

Then he thought, as I do John came up with a workable deal

Herkie
Herkie

First Mish I want to say thank you for the great coverage, no matter what side people are on in the Brexit debate they will get no better coverage than you have given us, I appreciate it.

"Varadkar doesn’t want to negotiate. Varadkar was keen on talking before the Benn Act when he thought that the choice would be ‘new deal or no deal’. Since the Benn Act passed he has gone very cold and in the last week the official channels and the backchannels have also gone cold."

I think it is pretty obvious that Varadkar is now looking at reunification of Ireland, a thing that would cement his legacy in Irish history for all time. The English have occupied Ireland since the 1,100's, and it was officially partitioned in 1921.

There are several scenarios that would see reunification of the island. A hard Brexit and border is one of the surest ways to get the protestants in the north to break from the UK and join an EU Irish republic, and under the Good Friday Agreements they can call a binding referendum to vote on that at any time. Northern Ireland rightly feels pretty abandoned at this point anyway, with the legislature disbanded and rule being accomplished through the Home Office, with an appointee that admitted she knew little about the province and was scared to take the post. Decades of peace have shown the protestants that there really is nothing to be afraid of as part of the Republic since they are more Irish than British at this point anyway. The real problem is a minority of Unionist hardliners that promise violence if Ulster were to vote to leave the UK, a threat that while not empty is one they know is not popular in the wider public. Violence is over, nobody wants to go back to the troubles except a few thugs, there are such people in every society.

The worse Brexit is for the north the likelier they are to want rejoin the Irish republic. I have no problem with that and suspect that Johnson and a majority of others secretly would not mind as well. But, I concede being biased as an Irish citizen, and I am also strongly against Ireland being in the EU itself. I even wrote my Irish member of the EU parliament to say so last night, though I recognize that doing that was simply a typing exercise that will never be read, and if read will be scoffed at.

The EU is not a representational government in which the voices of actual citizens matter, they represent only the EU corporate elite and socialist bureaucracy, with veto power over all by the head of the ECB. I will state for the record that I would mail my Irish passport back to Knockmaun House and renounce Irish citizenship if I am ever subjected to EU law. My pride is not as potent as my utter disdain for the EU, it is an evil construct that I will not be a part of.

Latkes
Latkes

This charade is beyond ridiculous. It's a great display of the contempt that the "elites" have for the people they are ruling over.

Varadkar's profile is of the typical wrecker of civilization, but in Current Year™ perfect for the virtue signalling morons to vote for.

abend237-04
abend237-04

I admire the tenacity of ECU leaders. Herding 28 cats anywhere at anytime is profoundly problematic and prone to strays. The UK is the current stray. There will be many more. Brexit is a symptom.

Webej
Webej

The Irish border has been the nut which cannot be cracked right from the beginning.

The Tories were hostage to DUP, and the EU has also made itself a hostage of Irish proclivities. The Irish have a completely different agenda, which is (progress toward) reunification of Ireland, which is in turn held hostage by the Ulster Unionists. In effect, a sliver of the population (ca. 0.16% of the EU population) is holding everybody hostage. The EU would be crazy to defer to Irish leadership, since their concern is not the terms of a Brexit deal at all, and solving the Irish political question first is obviously a fool's errand.

Roslyn Johnson
Roslyn Johnson

Time for the United Kingdom to escape this quagmire!

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Pure Dominic Cummings or someone pretending to be him.

"History is full of such ironies and tragedies."

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

PM Johnson could sacrifice his political career for Brexit by not complying with the Benn bill. This might stall things long enough to get a hard Brexit done.

avenger
avenger

Ireland will be united but by being part of whatever GB/UK chooses to do in the future. ie Republic of Ireland will leave the eu and join whatever relationship Britain forges for itself with commonwealth/usa/rest of the world. Remember, you heard it here first.

Waileong
Waileong

How will no-deal exit on Oct 31 happen? Does Johnson have a way around the surrender act?

TheTweetyBird
TheTweetyBird

It's clear that in Scotland a majority is building up to leave the Union. Also one day soon I reckon North Ireland will team up with the South of the island. In a new election campaign Johnson should make this clear to English voters and also make it clear that both Scotland and NI can go their own way, the sooner the better for Engalnd.

dansilverman
dansilverman

The press seems to be talking a lot about extending Brexit till next year and calling an election and second referendum. What are the chances of this happening?