Back to Brussels

An extra episode as David and Helen try to work out where we've got to with Brexit after this week's votes in the Commons. Can Tory unity hold? Can EU unity hold? Something's got to give - but what?  And when?

Talking Points:

Is there a contradiction in offering to renegotiate the backstop?

  • If a no deal means a hard border and economic chaos, then maybe there is a good argument for reopening the backstop?
  • If you’re sitting in Dublin right now, you might be nervous because the chance that Britain leaves without a deal seems higher than it was.
  • Would the other EU states abandon Ireland?

The big loser of the week was the second referendum. There does not seem to be stomach in parliament for stopping Brexit.

  • The massive tactical problem that May now faces is that Feb. 14 is way too soon
  • An extension of Article 50? For what purpose? 60% of the UK electorate sees extending Article 50 as stopping Brexit.
  • Does this mean that events are leading toward either a deal or no deal Brexit?
  • A general election seems like the logical way out.
  • But both Labour and the Tories would have a lot of problems in a general election.

There could be some common group between the ERG position and the EU position if all parties could be 100% confident that the backstop would not materialize.

  • But it is also possible that we are totally trapped.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Further Learning:

And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here:


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