Bear Hunting

Three tweets, seen over the last two days that seem to me to demonstrate our (and the EU’s) predicament over Brexit.

fig.1

eu states

Dd-qpgzWkAEoef_.jpg-large

Trading needs rules. Trust is regulated not a given. New agreements should not disrupt existing agreements to the detriment of the majority of participants.

fig. 2

DnniK9pWsAAuyAK.jpg-large

Based on existing EU rules the UK’s ‘red lines’ determine the nature of the agreement. What we describe is Korea or Canada. What we ask for is to be friends with benefits beyond what is normally permissible.

If you were the EU would you trust us?

But the UK is important to the EU and the failure to find some accommodation with us will have an impact beyond trade. Hence:

fig. 3

het

There are real risks on both sides and a real question about the capacity of either to deal effectively with the issue of Brexit. The EU cannot step outside of its rules even to become a more effective actor on the world stage.

My own view – for what it’s worth – is that from the UK’s perspective there is no way back from the referendum. I don’t believe a second would achieve anything other that confirm the deep divisions in our society . We have to go through with this – which is why it’s a bear hunt – because as we all know that, when you are hunting bears, whatever obstacle you face:

‘You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go through it.’

 

Bear Hunting

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