Brexit disaster narrative: whose interest does it serve?

John Weeks - 27 August 2018

Underestimating one’s opponent and denying the possibility of the worst is not a sound political strategy.

Distinguishing between what one hopes will happen and what is likely to happen is central to the ability to cope with uncertain times. One obvious coping strategy is encapsulated in the phrase, “hope for the best, plan for the worst” – a useful cliché in providing insight into likely events as the Article 50 deadline approaches.

Worst outcome for hard line Brexiters?

For the hard line Brexiters, “no-deal” at the deadline qualifies as the best outcome, and Britain retaining EU membership the worst. To achieve the hoped for best, their strategy has two steps. First, should the May government reach a mutually satisfactory agreement with EU negotiators, the Tory Brexit faction would seek to defeat it in Parliament. If the May government wins parliamentary approval, that leaves Brexiteers with the least-worst result, Britain out of the EU but still subject to some EU rules. The details of the agreement will determine which rules continue to apply. Should Brexiteers win the Parliamentary vote, their strategy would be to prevent a second referendum. If they cannot prevent the second referendum, they will seek a wording that serves their Brexit goal.... See more

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