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I think Boris believes, and possibly a majority of the UK electorate can be made to believe, that a victory for Boris on a no deal platform will force the EU to do business with them on their terms because, well, the British people have spoken!

That rather ignores the fact that the Greek referendum result was totally ignored and overturned by EU leaders. It also rather ignores the even bigger fact that EU leaders are answerable to their electorates and not the British People - especially after Brexit when they will no longer be even EU citizens.

Of course the British media will trumpet that any EU intransigence, post a Boris electoral victory, merely proves that the EU is a totally undemocratic institution and proves they were right to leave all along. The British idea of democracy was always that it requires the EU to bend to the British ledership.

Nevertheless a Boris electoral victory will provide a much needed post hoc justification and legitimation for a no deal Brexit. In so doing it will copper fasten an adversarial relationship with the EU - possibly for a generation - and any failure to agree a subsequent trade deal will be put down to the EU just wanting to "punish Britain" because the UK would no longer do the EU's bidding.

There is no going back from here, no matter what the consequences. The unanimity requirement and hostile environment will probably make a future trade deal impossible even where demonstrable mutual interests exist. EU members and businesses will fight over the spoils of lost UK market share in EU markets for services, agricultural and industrial products. EU exporters to the UK will have to make do with a much diminished UK market share and focus on other markets.

Both the EU and UK economies will suffer, it is net minus minus game, but the battle will be over who suffers least. It will be in the EU's collective self-interest to ensure the UK does as badly as possible, and that is a very dangerous dynamic to set up.  

Many will see it all as a temporary spat to be resolved just as soon as saner voices prevail. I see it as an  economic, political and ideological war with increasing divergence between the EU and UK on economic development, geo-political interests, and global presence - which will take more than a generation to resolve.

Britain, or rather England, will become a de-regulated Singapore on sea. A haven for every renegade dictator and oligarch on the planet. A cesspit and sewer of human rights. Ireland will be forced to confront the reality of a united Ireland, whether the time is right now or not.  

Europe, and particularly the UK and Ireland, will not be in a good place. And of course it will be everyone else's own fault. Never the Brexiteers who caused it all.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 6th, 2019 at 01:03:24 PM EST
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