Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This morning the EU has realized that the no-deal scenario is real and likely preferred because at least it gives certainty.

Exactly so.

There is some excellent writing around this morning lamenting the incompetence of yesterday. I cannot improve on the professionals, so I merely link to the following:

Ian Dunt, Politics.co.uk does not disguise his increasing frustration as he ends with

...there are consequences to this lunacy. Britain is now, it is clear to the world, not a serious country. The way it is behaving is simply not rational. Any reputation it had for credibility or sound judgement is gone. It is a basketcase.

That is humiliating enough. But it has significant medium-term implications too. Firstly, it shows why the backstop was needed in the first place. This country has become an unreliable negotiating partner. It will demand something one day then seek to detonate it the next. The events in the Commons today actually had the ironic effect of reaffirming to the EU the need for the backstop insurance policy.

On a broader level, we are about to go around the world asking for trade deals. But we're seen, by everyone, on the largest stage imaginable, to be fundamentally politically insane. We've gone mad and everyone is looking.

Jonathan Freedland: The Guardian - MPs have voted for a fantasy. It's an indictment of our entire political class
where he suggests how a future public inquiry might report yesterday's incompetence.

And Politico sums up the reaction so far from the EU and the 27 ending with

"More time has not led to better results in recent months, on the contrary," [Manfred] Weber said, when asked about the potential of the EU extending the Brexit negotiation period.

The damage done already to UK's reputation is incalculable. It will have economic consequences for years to come.

"Remaining" now cannot repair that damage, but remaining would allow that damage to be attributed, in the UK, to the very act of remaining. Only "no-deal" with all its further damage, exposes the UK to the inter-dependent reality of modern commerce and the reality of what "WTO rules" and FTAs mean.

Like an alcoholic unable to accept the source of their demise and degradation, many in the UK will continue to blame the EU. But that has persisted for nearly 50 years, so I am sure the EU will cope more easily with UK out rather than in.

by oldremainmer48 on Wed Jan 30th, 2019 at 10:21:12 AM EST
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