The UK will continue to plan for a ’No-Deal Brexit’ despite reaching a transition phase agreement.
In what will come as music to the ears of many a Brexiteer, the Brexit secretary, David Davis has said that despite progress being made in the talks the UK was still planning for a no-deal Brexit as the ultimate fall-back.
Talking on the BBC Andrew Marr programme, Mr Davis, did say that it was “incredibly probable very, very highly probable” that a final deal with the EU would be reached and likened planning for a no-deal to having an insurance policy. Without that planning, he said, we could get to November with no other choices but to take what was on the table making negotiations much tougher.
"You don't expect your house to burn down, it's less than a one in 100,000 chance, but you have house insurance anyway." He said.
He also said that other EU countries like France, Holland, Belgium and Germany were also making no-deal preparations.
And on the Irish border question he said that there would be a solution via trade or technology to prevent a hard border.
Continuing the no-deal Brexit theme, James Forsyth writing in the Spectator, says that:
"One of those intimately involved in no deal planning complains that ‘there is an institutional reluctance to continue working on contingency in Whitehall’."
And goes on to say that if we are tied to what's put on the table by the EU due to our own lack of planning then our position will be greatly undermined, with the EU able to take a very hard line in the negotiations.
"The paradox of no deal planning, though, – he writes – is that by doing it, you make no deal less likely. That is why it must be stepped up in the coming months."
Now, to be effective, this no-deal planning must be kept under wraps and any publication of its contents, in part or whole, only being done if it enhances the UK's negotiating position.
The Remainers know this of course, so just like the 'impact assessments' expect there to be a push to get the whole no-deal Brexit plan before MPs and Lords so it can be selectively leaked by Remain minded officials and politicians to not only give EU negotiators the advantage, but also to allow Treasury officials to start working on a dodgy dossier to try and derail it!
Now, this coming Thursday is the one year 'preversary' of Brexit Day and Jacob Rees-Mogg will mark the occasion with a speech, in which he is expected to say that anything other than a clean Brexit will be the biggest national humiliation since Suez.
And, that if the terms of the deal were no more than remaining in the EU in a different form, or if the transition was set up to become a permanent feature of our economy, then it would cause “…the most almighty smash to the national psyche that could be imagined". He is expected to argue.
“It would be an admission of abject failure, a view of our politicians, of our leaders, of our establishment that we were not fit, that we were too craven, that we were too weak to be able to govern ourselves.”
Now, as much as I like and respect Jacob and his views on the EU, I must remind you that, at the end of the day, he is a Conservative politician and a rallying cry of that sort should be viewed in that light.
Out there in the country there is, sadly, still a hard core of committed EUphiles who would be content for national humiliation over Brexit – in fact they would revel in it, whatever the damage to the nation.
But the majority, which polls suggest is growing, just want to get on and leave the EU. So any failure to deliver a full Brexit will be more likely to cause anger against the Tories and out would come the whole litany of their failures – such as lack of pre-referendum Brexit planning, delaying pulling the Article 50 trigger, calling an unneeded general election at a critical time and then running what many see as a weak and lacklustre negotiation.
No, national failure of that magnitude would take the Tories out of circulation for a generation. Any feelings of national humiliation would quickly be converted into bitterness and ire with the majority of it directed at the Conservative Party. The rest would be reserved for all those Remainers who did their utmost to wreck Brexit, so wrecking the country.
So, although Jacob Rees-Mogg will say that failure to leave properly would would be an indication of a country too weak to govern itself, the majority would see it as the fault of a Tory government too weak to govern properly.
That is the real warning for Theresa May and her Tory crew. Deliver or wither!