No-deal Brexit: no Big Deal
Right now, pundits the world over are vacillating over the potential ramifications of Britain 'crashing out' of the EU on October 31st, without a deal in place.
Here's what I think will happen the morning after a no-deal Brexit; nothing.
Zip. Nada. Zilch. It'll be like Y2K all over again.
After all the panic, worry, and doomsaying, the world will wake up on November 1st to find that actually, nothing has changed - or at least, nothing has changed for the worse.
Yes, Britain will be free from the shackles of an increasingly dark and tyrannical Brussels bureaucracy, free to set her own border controls, free from enforced immigration, free from the endless screeds of mind-buggeringly pointless rules and dictates that spew endlessly from the controllist forges of Belgium's Reichstag, such as the EU's 26,000 words regulating the sale of cabbages, or the prescribed formula to which the curve of bananas must adhere. I kid you not, the United States of Europe - which nobody at all mandated into existence when the European Economic Community was first mooted - has rules about that.
But in terms of the things that matter, nothing at all will change. Here's why I think that.
Trade. At the end of the day, it is money that will talk loudest, and talk last. Like Bill Clinton said, "it's the economy, stupid." (And I just want to add, just for the record, that I don't know anything at all about the Clintons, OK? Nothing. Just want that point noted.)
The EU, taken as a whole, is the UK’s largest trading partner. In 2018, UK exports to the EU were £289 billion (46% of all UK exports). UK imports from the EU were £345 billion (54% of all UK imports).
That's a whole lot of money, and a whole lot of goods. And here's the thing - people in Europe aren't going to stop buying British just because the Brits pull the plug on being ruled from Brussels. And neither are the Brits going to stop buying stuff from Europe.
No Government is going to impose tariffs on trade that doesn't currently have any, for no reason at all. Doing that will only hurt their own people, their own manufacturers and exporters, their own consumers (read: voters).
Deals and contracts that currently exist between manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, freight companies, Internet providers, supermarket chains, power generators, Telcos, you name it - will continue to exist.
Business and its customers want stability. No-one is going to throw it away.
Four million Brits go on holiday to European destinations every year. Europe is no more going to tell that many high-paying tourists that their money isn't welcome anymore, than they're going to fly to the moon.
Workers on both sides of the moat aren't going to be faced with imminent deportation, and for the same reasons. Stability, fairness, economic reality. Countries will come to accommodations, quickly, and with practicality foremost in mind. Reciprocal deals will be established, immediately in principle, and swiftly in terms of detail, where healthcare and welfare are concerned. Driver's licences will carry on being recognised. So will insurance policies, monetary transactions, cross-border trading accounts, and everything else that has been built up over 40+ years, in order to facilitate people in Britain and Europe being able to buy and sell the stuff they need and want.
And the 'Irish Backstop' will prove to be the biggest, baddest, reddest herring of all time. Why? Because the Irish, on both sides of their border, will choose to simply ignore it.
This will cause the apparatchiks of the EU machine to break out in conniptions, but that's to be expected - and it's also a very good illustration of how and why a United Europe was never going to be a viable long-term goal.
People like the Germans and the French are sticklers for rules and regulations. People like the British and the Danes can't stand them. And people like the Irish - bless them - are prone to simply disregard the stuff that doesn't interest them. Yes, they will have the option of enforcing whatever border controls Brexit leaves them to deal with - but equally, they can, and will, choose to stand aside and let the traffic keep rolling, just as much as it suits them to so do.
If there is a big deal about No Deal, it's that so many British MPs, from all corners of the House, seem to believe they have not only some kind of right, but incredibly a duty, to oppose the stated will of the British people.
To them, I say this. You don't.
Britain had a referendum, and the People spoke. They said, "we want out of Europe." It was a majority result. Brexit won. Remain lost. It's as simple as that - now get over it, and get on with it. It's called democracy.
It is your duty to listen to that, and to hear it, and to act to bring it about. If you can't do that, resign and make way for others who will.
You don't know best, and you don't know better. You're not better informed or more intelligent, and you certainly don't have any kind of Divine Right to over-rule what the People have very clearly stated as being what they want to happen. Your arrogance is breathtaking. But don't take my word for that - carry on the way you're going, and watch as the voters of the UK give you the arse card at their next election, just like they gave one to the EU itself.
And the morning after that, you can start looking for another job - a real one maybe.
But please, everyone, stop fretting about the world ending as a result of a No-Deal Brexit. The sky will not fall. The pound will not crash - in fact, it's likely to jump in value. Whether Europe blinks first, or no-one blinks at all, and regardless of what any of the usual noisy suspects have to say about Boris Johnson, there are no monsters under the No-Deal bed.
You heard it here first.