, 55 tweets, 19 min read Read on Twitter
Support for ‘no deal’ Brexit is the pinnacle of Leave's descent into zealotry. The end result of refusing to plan

Like Trump, 'no deal' advocates have flooded the debate with “alternative facts”
It won't end well


#Brexit #WTOBrexit #NoDealBrexit #SOS
The increased support for a ‘no deal’ Brexit is the ultimate failure of the Leave movement. It’s the inevitable consequence of the refusal to grasp details, come to terms with complexity & coalesce around a plan. Compromise can be frustrating. So instead they will have a tantrum.
Some Brexiteers advocated sensible solutions. The EFTA/EEA solution gained a lot of traction in the years before the ref. Even Farage had promoted it & countless others. See Farage below from 2011 essentially making the ‘Liberal Leave’ case!
Out of the IEA’s 2013 competition for a Brexit plan came Richard North’s Flexcit. It didn’t win. All EEA based entries were rejected. This was a warning sign of how Leave would never be able to build a majority around a plan. The winner is forgotten because it was nonsense
Flexcit, though flawed, was more detailed, indepth & honest than any other attempt at a Brexit plan. Essentially an EFTA/EEA plan+, it brought detail & nuance to Brexit thinking. Because of this, in hindsight, it was always destined to be a minority pursuit. Another red flag.
In 2015, Dom Cummings considered Flexcit but instead opted deliberately for NO PLAN & obfuscation. Vote Leave could then attract a bigger share of Eurosceptics united around things they were against. He knew how divided the Leave movement really was.
Arron Banks briefly adopted Flexcit & went so far as to hire Richard North and his son Pete. He faced a major backlash from Farage & others. Flexcit was swiftly dropped. The most workable plan would now only had a niche campaign group behind it. RED FLAG.
Flexcit was rejected (setting aside the difficulty of working with the Norths) not just because it advocated Single Market membership & free movement, but because it dealt with unwanted details & facts. It told Brexiteers what it didn't want to hear. Like the below on WTO Brexit.
Note that hard Brexiteers advance arguments that the passage from Flexcit show in the last tweet disproves. It's the kind of detail they hate & REFUSED to learn. When sensible Brexiteers were left out in the cold, I should have learned a lesson. The warning signs were there.
Before the ref, I and my “Leave Alliance” colleagues all issued out stark warnings of what a bad idea a no deal “WTO Brexit was. Yet, I genuinely never believed our govt would countenance it. Instead they adopted it as their official plan B.
In the end the only thing Leavers united around was leaving the EU. After the ref Brexiteers became hardened & ‘no deal’ gained traction because it does away with the need for detail or compromise. It’s the height of ‘Brexit means Brexit’, ‘Leave means Leave' unthinking dogmatism
I’ve discussed this with Brexiteers online & off, there is no common sense or logic involved when they consider a ‘no deal’ Brexit & they back up beliefs with the ‘alternative facts’ churned out by Brexiteers politicians & commentators.
First, logic. In a ‘no deal’ Brexit, Britain would unplug itself from an integrated system of trade & cooperation with the EU and all of its major trading partners. Overnight it downgrades itself to the “WTO” legal foundation that only developing countries rely on. Crash.
Does this REALLY sound like a good idea? I mean, really?
The political & economic integration of EU member states is complex & very far reaching, touching every area of trade & governance. Is the severance of our entire framework for trade & political cooperation overnight likely to have good or bad consequences? THINK ABOUT IT.
There's a myriad of complex regulatory,trade&political issues to address. Hence, we need a negotiated settlement. The global system is built on formal, legal relationships. Britain has long been a major player. We're gonna throw that away to be a pariah? That’s not global Britain
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE ALERT!! advocates of ‘no deal’ Brexit can’t explain this: If the “WTO option” is so great, why do countries negotiate trade agreements to enhance trade? Why do they advocate signing trade deals with the rest of the world? BECAUSE WTO RULES ARE INADEQUATE
This seems logical and obvious to me but falls on many deaf ears & closed minds. Experts are rejected as remainers & peddlers of project fear. Let’s revisit some of the myths used to think ‘no deal’ is a good idea.
The classic myth of the GATT Article 24 silver bullet which allows tariffs and quotas to continue at zero whilst a full and comprehensive FTA is negotiated. IT DOES NOT. Great blog here from @CoppetainPU debunking it.

Remarkable how many Brexiteers think they know more about the WTO then trade experts & people who have worked at the WTO.

They think WTO agreements will cushion the blow. Here’s @CoppetainPU again on what WTO agreements do and do not say

Plenty of myths doing the rounds about how the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement & the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement will prevent major trade & customs barriers with EU. @DmitryOpines tears into lies about the world trade system here.

The height of dishonesty was relabelling the most basic foundation for trade with the world, that NO MAJOR ECONOMY RELIES ON, as a “world trade deal”.
@DmitryOpines again. He negotiated in the WTO, unlike hard Brexiteers.

Oh, what’s the use? I’m either preaching to the choir or trying to penetrate closed minds. They don’t believe the experts. They don’t believe business after business warning how bad no deal will be for them & the British economy. It’s all a remainer conspiracy. MADDENING.
Even many moderate Brexiteers are willing to support ‘no deal’ because they’re sceptical of scare stories & desperate to leave. Sure, deals may be done to mitigate the absolute worst & but it'll still be terribly damaging for the UK, especially the poor.
Supply chains disrupted. More businesses bankrupt. Factories closing. Jobs lost. Investment dries up. People less able to afford food & basics due to inflation. People who think it won't be that bad are often wealthy enough to cope.
Nonetheless, the government has for the last 3 years adopted ‘no deal’ as official policy, their plan B. @Anna_Soubry finally managed to get the govt to publish its report on the implications of ‘no deal’. It is not pretty. Let’s dig in.
Deliberately or not, the report implies that ‘no deal’ does not fulfill the mandate of the ref.

Even Vote Leave was clear that we’d leave with a deal. No one campaigned on severing all agreement, ruining relations with our allies & plunging us into economic & political chaos
Paragraph 2 makes it clear just how much Britain would be at the mercy of the actions of the Commission, EU member states & indeed businesses within the country. The government will lose control of the situation.
Just as the govt as confirmed free movement would have to continue in a no deal scenario, we’d effectively keep borders open for EU hauliers & have to favour over our own. VOTE NO DEAL, LOSE CONTROL.
8 – We could be on the brink of ‘no deal’ & yet 1/3 of the most critical projects are not on schedule
9 – We are spending billions on preparing for an outcome that would be terrible for Britain and there is no public mandate for. Take back control of our money, they say. Pfft.
A gap in coverage on exit day. I’m sure it’ll be fine!
It’s quite well known now that the govt is well behind in rolling over trade agreements. A WTO Brexit IS NOT a free trade Brexit. An EEA Brexit is, but hey ho.
Paragraph 14. Ah yes. GATT Article XXIV – the govt as confirmed that this will not give us tariff free trade with the EU for ten years. Maybe people should stop spreading this nonsense?
Paragraph 15 – Good God. Just imagine. The Party of business. The Party of the economy. Sending out warnings to British business to prepare for a shit storm. SHAME.
Paragraph 16 – The Party of business is blaming business for not preparing enough for their total and utter failure. SIGH.
Also, YOU VOTERS are not doing enough to prepare for the failure of the British government. MY MY, when the reality of no deal sinks in the government will pay. The Conservative Party will pay dearly. Its reputation in tatters.
Paragraph 21 – The govt confirms that a ‘no deal’ Brexit will be an economic disaster, especially in the short term. It will particularly hurt Scotland & Northern Ireland, thereby doing serious damage to the Union. Unionists should not support this.
Goodbye reciprocal free movement rights. Infact, under no deal goodbye even enhanced mobility.

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it gone.
Here govt confirms what so many Brexiteers won’t accept. A WTO Brexit means hugely increased bureaucracy. It means more technical barriers to trade & higher tariffs. It’s the anti-free trade, anti-business, anti-economy option.
Paragraph 29. The government highlights our dependency on frictionless supply chains within the Single Market for food. There will surely be shortages. Terrible for us all, especially the poor. The public won’t react well.
Once again, highly recommend this piece from @IanDunt on ‘no deal’ focusing on the disruption to the supply chain in food.

31/32 – Basically goods are going to get more expensive. Bad for consumers. Bad for the economy.
No deal is very bad for the agricultural industry.
No deal is very bad for the automotive industry. There will be many more days like the day the Swindon Honda factory announced closures.
A ‘no deal’ Brexit is an act of gross responsibility, especially in what it will do to Northern Ireland, and indeed our important friend and ally the Republic of Ireland. UNIONISTS SHOULD NOT SUPPORT THIS.
No respectable government can pursue this policy. We’d betray all nations of our Union and our allies. We’d be self-harming. We’d be pariahs in the international rules based system. It’s extreme. Reckless. Stupid. It’s SO very un-British. Un-English too. Or I like to think so.
I know Brexiteers have pursued Brexit based on certain instincts and principles. I understand it isn’t all about the economy, I’ve made that argument myself, but this is just masochism. I can’t endorse it.
I know I will get replies about remainer intransigence and the refusal to accept the democratic mandate of the referendum. I understand this, It's true, to an extent. But this it's no longer an argument about politics & governance, but a culture war.
But ultimately it's a governmental failure. And a failure of leadership from our PM. The approach could've been different from the beginning.

To those who call me a traitor, or imply that I’m not patriotic, or that I’m weak or unprincipled or un-British because I strongly believe that we should not do this. Please see below.
I really just cannot believe that it’s March 2019 & we are seriously looking at the prospect of ‘no deal’. It’s stupid. It’s self-harm. It’s madder than mad Jack McMad, winner of last year’s Mr Madman competition. Poor Britain. Let's not do this.
I have and still say that a second referendum would be a clusterfuck, by the way, and Leave is likely to win. But if May's deal fails. And we can't get consensus for a different on, like a Single Market deal, and no deal is all that's left, then Brexit has failed utterly.
I know I will get replies asking why I seem to blame one side. Well, Brexiteers wanted Brexit. They wanted a referendum. They wanted a big change. They got it. They had no plan. Parliament Brexiteers had unrealistic and/or unviable ideas & hamstrung the govt with red lines.
Think on this Brexiteers. After a no deal crash, we will be in our weakest position yet. And, as @ClarkeMicah has suggested, likely to end up going to the EU with a begging bowl. The exact opposite desired outcome. It'll put rocket boosters on a pro-EU movement too.


Brexiteers have never been able to accept the sentiment of this cartoon. If they had we'd be on our way to a sensibly managed secession.

It was a kind of delusion and intellectual arrogance on the part of Liberal Brexiteer to suppose that our ideas would win out
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