Well, yes

Even many Brexiters paint a bleak picture of what crashing out without a deal might entail for the British economy. “We are looking at a 10-year recession. Nothing ever experienced by those under 50,” said Pete North, of the Leave Alliance, in a chilling blogpost on Tuesday. “This is not the Brexit I was gunning for,” he added. “I wanted a negotiated settlement to maintain the single market so that we did not have to be substantially poorer.”

Except laddie is rather too influenced by Pater over what would be the effects of a reversion to WTO.

25 thoughts on “Well, yes”

  1. “The Great Deception” is a meticulously -researched history of the aims and methods of,”The Project”. Tolkien fans will remember the fate of Denethor II, Steward of Gondor, who spent so much time studying the Enemy that he became convinced of the futility of resisting Sauron. Dr. North has spent the last 3 years stuck in his ivory tower refusing to come down and is now offering aid and comfort on a daily basis to the Remainers. Very sad.

  2. KR – very droll!

    North snr seems to have lost it. His blog is just a series of rants along the theme of “Journalist A says this today. He is wrong and an imbecile as I prove etc etc” or “Politician B says this today. He is wrong and an imbecile as I prove etc etc”.

    If the old fool had even the social skills of a great diving beetle larva his ideas might have gained traction in Whitehall, but he has slagged off every leaver hack and MP so he’s stuck on his blog, shouting at a small audience.

  3. The Unused Testicle

    Incredibly naive.

    Did anyone really think the EU would be logical, sane and co-operative?

    It was a raging cert that they would be like naughty children throwing a tantrum and seek to destroy the thing that had upset them.

    The mission is all that matters to the power at the top (whomever that may be -which is part of the problem) so what is happening was always inevitable.

  4. MC

    …so he’s stuck on his blog, shouting at a small audience.

    We know someone else with similar social skills who keeps reminding us that everyone else is wrong merely because he says so.

  5. The government need to get their spin game together.
    The no deal situation is a possibility, they declare that and they’re right for the reason they give: you will be royally shafted if it;s not. But that’s not enough. They’ve allowed it to become everyone’s default marker for failure. How will you know if Theresa is useless?- she’ll not get a deal/

    When the times comes at the sharp end of the talks that you think you really might have to walk away… it will be too late to start spinning like crazy that this is actually success. And because they’ll know this…they’re more likely to cave to get any deal, because public opinion is already prepped that that is still better than none.

  6. OK – say “WTO rules” will be fine and dandy in the long run. And we’ll be out of the EU.

    Please explain how e.g. UK animal products and chemicals exports do not suddenly stop on UK becoming a Third Country and why all the ro-ro traffic won’t get gridlocked.

    Please demonstrate why North is wrong about this.

    (I voted leave, but was assuming some level of competence from HMG. Maybe they actually are competent, but only in finding every possible way of getting it wrong?)

  7. @Hallowed Be – I see your point, but to do so would involve (entirely accurately) accusing the EU of not negotiating in good faith. The government no doubt fears this would hurt ongoing negotiations.

    It is also nearly impossible to explain the situation without using the phrase “bunch of cunts” and many people shy away from this sort of talk.

  8. Solid Steve called it: We would have saved ourselves a fortune by surrendering after Dunkirk.

    Piss on the money.

    Even if there is a ten year depression–so fucking what? Worldwide gubmint debts and their combined economic interference all but makes worldwide depression certain anyway–and none of that mess has anything to do with Brexit.

  9. “And because they’ll know this…they’re more likely to cave to get any deal, because public opinion is already prepped that that is still better than none.”

    And far far worse than that, the deal they will get will inevitably be far far worse than they would have got if they had a publicly stated BATNA.

    You don’t have to state what your BATNA is – you need to keep your opponent guessing, but just the ability to walk in and say “we can be quite comfortable, thank you, without a deal Mr EU – ball is in your court to come up with something that we both think is better”.

    The lack of a BATNA was what killed Cameron – he failed to state – publicly, often and loudly – that he would campaign – publicly loudly and often – for a Leave vote unless he got a deal that would address the UK’s concerns.

    Unfortunately, he had two problems:
    1) no-one would have believed him if he did do this and no-one would have believed the change of position on getting a deal
    2) he wouldn’t have got a deal because the EU is unreformable.

    Whilst the first obstacle remains for HMG, the second does not. We need a BATNA now. It’s astonishing we didn’t have one before starting the negotiations.

  10. MC:

    I don’t think you have to disparage the EU’s negotiating team/position. You would just present it as EU’s not pursuing the economic optimum but pursuing the optimum for keeping the EU together. Perhaps with an aside that the optimum for keeping the EU together was not so be hardline on those negotiations with Cameron.

    As i’ve said people are alive to the idea that you have to have a fall back plan, but at the moment all stripes and flavours of the British public and press will punish the government for having to fall back on it. What you’ve got to get to is the point where there’s a criticical mass of people who ‘don’t see using it as abject failure. Perhaps they’ll think it’s the riskier option than what’s on offer from the EU but also that they appreciate there’s a potentially bigger reward.
    if you can get there or near there with public opinion you a) more likely to get a better deal from the EU b) actually can survive having to use the fall back plan.

  11. gareth

    “Please explain how e.g. UK animal products and chemicals exports do not suddenly stop on UK becoming a Third Country and why all the ro-ro traffic won’t get gridlocked.”

    We currently match every dot, comma and full stop of EU regulations, and will do the day after departure. So any hold-ups will be because the EU is acting in bad faith and never had any intention of doing anything but punishing us.

    If that is the case, then no settlement, negotiated or otherwise, would have any other result than what you claim for a non-settlement.

  12. P-G – just seen Philip say that no departments are allowed to spend any money on the no deal scenario till the last moment when we start to contemplate that we might need it.

    I’d question that given that the money spent even if it’s not used can still be used to get you a better deal. However it could be a clever tactic if there’s a date in mind well before the end of talks deadline and they reveal that date to the EU. Something like — if we haven’t got to phase 2 by January i release the funds to start planning no deal. As i said could be a good tactic, but depends on the dates they’re going by… and whatever the date is it’s all to easy for a media and opposition spin to portray is as far too little far too late.

  13. Recusant:

    Every dot, etc. except that we will no longer be in the EU *and* no longer a member of the Single “Common Market”.We will be a Third Country and every dot, comma, etc, of the rules applicable to Third Countries will apply to us.

    So where we currently enjoy “frictionless” trade as a member of the Single Market, we will then enjoy the non-tariff barriers applicable to our new status.You can call this “bad faith” and “punishing us”, and maybe they will even gloat, but WTO rules will require them to apply the rules as to any other Third Country.

    So please explain where North is wrong and why UK animal products and chemicals exports will not suddenly stop on UK becoming a Third Country and why all the ro-ro traffic won’t get gridlocked.

    Timbo: how ’bout you have a go at this too…

  14. North has been distinctly wrong about WTO terms. And further, and especially, about schedules. We have no problem whatsoever with WTO schedules.

  15. Tim

    Thanks for reply, however the question wasn’t about schedules.

    The point is that existing single market rules applying to Third Countries will apply to us when we become a Third Country. These include requirements to be met for animal product imports, REACH for chemicals and customs inspections for trucks of goods coming off boats. The likely effect of these will be to cause trade to stop in the short term (long enough for food riots).

    If you haven’t read the bits on North’s blog dealing with this I can point you to them. Obviously it would be nice if he were wrong, but (certainly the bits I’ve fact checked) he appears to be correct. I would welcome a fact based rebuttal…

    PS: how about a few posts “Ragging on North” about where he’s wrong on the WTO stuff?

  16. Despite R. North’s somewhat difficult personality I rather like him. Which is why I don’t go Ragging.

    And my basic point about his cries of doom and gloom is that I simply do not believe them. Whatever the paperwork says we should or shouldn’t do no one at all is going to cease imports so that there are food riots. It just ain’t gonna happen. Everyone will ignore the paperwork rather than that happening.

  17. “Everyone will ignore the paperwork rather than that happening.”

    The EU have previous as long as your arm for this.

  18. Vaguely related question;

    I was under the impression that cash from the Common External Tariff was the EU’s, and that the member states were merely collection agents. That is, goods arriving into Bilbao, Felixstowe or Marseilles from say China, would attract a tariff, and the Spanish, British or French would collect it, then hand it over.

    Is this right, or is there a split (above an admin costs deduction)?

  19. Customs duties collected are counted as part of the country’s contribution to EU funds based upon GDP numbers. So, Holland, via Rotterdam, collects vast duties. Those are part of their EU payment.

  20. @Gareth

    What you’re asking reminds me of a similar discussion on another website.

    A380 wings are made in the UK, then shipped to France where the aircraft are assembled. A Remainer argued that Airbus would be hampered by the need to get those wings through customs at the EU border after we left.

    To which my response is, how do Airbus manage to receive US-made engines coming in through the external border?

    Or, another example: how could we possiby sell cars into the EU after leaving? Answer: in the same way that the Japanese, Koreans, Malaysians etc do.

    You do the “paperwork”- well, admin- on a computer, and send it down the wires to the Customs of the importing jurisdiction. It may be an extra step, but it’s not an insuperable obstacle.

    I don’t see any need for factories to stop work, or indeed for food riots.

  21. Hi Tim,

    Agree with you about liking Dr North despite the “somewhat difficult personality” 🙂

    I hope too that you are right about everyone ignoring the paperwork. FWIW my MP also thinks that bad things won’t happen because nobody wants them to.

    My own view is that hope is not a strategy and history is full of bad shit that nobody wanted so I reckon that we are headed for “interesting times”. I would however love to be proved wrong and I’ll buy you a (virtual, El Reg style) beer if it turns out you are right 🙂

    I would be really sick though if times got interesting but we still failed to escape the EU (“Associate Membership”, etc…)

  22. @ CJ Nerd

    I’ve imported/exported to the US myself so know the paperwork. Large, non-perishable items that are not part of a JIT supply chain shouldn’t be a problem.

    What will be a problem (barring some magic or bureaucrats just ignoring the paperwork) is the requirements for import of animal products to the EU (authorization of countries and establishments, presentation at BIPs, veterinary certificates), import of chemicals (existing REACH registrations will become invalid) and delays on ro-ro trafic (currently based on an assumption of no delay – adding even a few minutes customs inspection – even assuming customs staff are recruited – will cause gridlock).

    And these are just three things. There are many, many more, all waiting like hungry gremlins to bring us to doom 😉

    I’m a Brexiter, so I think that we are better off out. It’s just that I’d prefer a managed process where we avoid most of the avoidable self-harm, rather than the plane-crash style “event” to which we seem to be heading.

  23. Ta. Probably Need to think this through, but that seems to imply that the calculation is EU Contribution = GDP% – External Tariffs Collected

    So, notionally, a member state could fund a fair old chunk of the membership fee by importing goods from outside the EU.

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