Beautician 1, Brexit 0: EU's Turn to Stop It

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 11/03/2016 03:45:00 PM
The pound flies after the court decision was released requiring parliamentary approval of Brexit.
A few months ago I featured a story on the legal challenge mounted by British hairdresser Deir Dos Santos concerning the need for UK parliamentary approval to commence on the process of exiting the European Union. In EU jargon, this is known as the Article 50 process. Today, the ruling was issued in favor of Deir Dos Santos and against Prime Minister Theresa May who intended to serve Article 50 to the EU by March of 2017.

My belief is that this is not a mere "technicality" on the road to Brexit. Instead, requiring parliamentary approval--if upheld since HM government intends to appeal--changes the picture entirely. Prior to this turn of events, the British pound was driven to multiyear lows by the fear of a "hard Brexit"--the UK leaving the EU without having agreed to market access agreements. Recall that UK parliamentarians were largely against Brexit (480 stay against 150 leave). So, while the ruling Conservatives and their Labour counterparts give lip service that they will honor the result of the referendum (and the "people's will" by extension), the actual implication is that anything remotely resembling a hard Brexit will likely be turned down by parliament. What politician would like to be on record for having royally screwed the British economy by isolating it economically from its most important trade partners? 

So, the job for the EU assuming they want to keep Britain in their fold is now much simpler. Knowing that parliamentarians--a generally more educated bunch than the mob of the electorate--will scotch a highly unfavorable deal, the EU simply needs to keep making grossly unfair offers to the UK over and over. Since parliament is now required to consider the offer tabled by the EU prior to the UK triggering Article 50, the EU should adopt an absolutely hardline position to negotiations that no sane British politician would agree to. That is, next to no trade concessions whatsoever. Parliamentarians were already disinclined to Brexit to begin with, so now they have a simple excuse to keep rejecting it: "the EU keeps making a bad offer."

Not only does this keep the demonstration effect of how awful life could be outside the EU to deter others from leaving, but it also keeps the UK inside it indefinitely if Eurocrats play their cards right.

The EU always intended to offer the UK a raw deal. The difference now is that relatively sane people (UK parliamentarians) need to agree to this raw deal. The EU should make the terms so ludicrously bad that no quorum will be arrived at to trigger Article 50. After a few years, this stuff will have died down as folks get tired of this entire nonsense. Everyone can be happy save for the delusional Brexiteers.