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Very shortly the credibility of so many Tory leavers could be in tatters and that has betting implications

March 31st, 2019

Like David Herdson I fear that No Deal is imminent and likely, especially with 170 Tory MPs in favour of it, so what are the implications of No Deal?

Just imagine if Tony Blair had resigned as Labour leader (and Prime Minister) in mid 2009 and not  in mid 2007 Gordon Brown would almost certainly not have succeeded Blair as he did (unopposed) in 2007.

As the great financial crisis took hold all those boasts such as about abolishing boom & bust or saying the UK was best place to deal with global shocks would have torpedoed Brown’s chances as his credibility would have been in tatters.

Now fast forward a decade and you can recall the moments when the Brexiteers promised us Brexit would be easy. There’s a special section dedicated to the times David Davis said Brexit would be simple.  

I won’t embarrass the disgraced national security risk Liam Fox by linking to his plethora of comments on the ease of Brexit.

If we have No Deal all those comments will come back and haunt them, the one it will come to haunt the most is probably Michael Gove, he said back in April 2016  ‘The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want.’ and his ‘I think the people in this country have had enough of experts, with organisations from acronyms, saying……that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong.’ As per the video in the tweet atop this thread he might as well have said ‘We’re tired of exports.’ 

The irony of those who said No Deal was Project Fear now assuring No Deal is nothing to be feared will be lost with the voters.

Politicians getting things wrong is not a new phenomenon in our country but eventually the electorate punishes them for the most egregious wrongs. No Deal Brexit will be one of those situations. Success is performance minus anticipation. Having promised sunlit uplands then delivering No Deal the voters will want to punish for this bait and switch.

You get the feeling Leave would have lost if ‘It’s a grim but inescapable fact that in the event of a no-deal Brexit tariffs on beef and sheep meat would be above 40%’ was on the side of a bus. I suspect the Liberal Democrats would have won fewer seats in 2010 had they informed the electorate they were planning on trebling tuition fees.

If No Deal sees the destruction of the British euroscepticism for a generation then Brexit might well be a price worth paying, for the Tory Party the only people to have won majorities in the last forty years have been One Nation/pro-EU leaders, and yes Margaret Thatcher governed and campaigned as a very pro European politician. As a Thatcherite and staunch believer in free trade it pains me that we’re leaving one of Margaret Thatcher’s finest creations and policy achievements, the single market.

Like osmosis anyone associated with Leave will become tainted. The removal of so many Leaver Tories from the next few Tory leadership elections can only be a good thing history suggests.

Perhaps I’m being pessimistic, after all No Deal can be manageable if the government is competent, especially the Transport Secretary who has to ensure everything keeps on running smoothly. Chris Grayling’s unparalleled competence will make No Deal a positive outcome.

The other side effect of this will be rejoining the EU, even replete with membership of the Euro and Schengen, will have the advantage as those opposed to rejoining will probably include people who backed Leave and thus will struggle to have any credibility with the voters.

If No Deal Brexit is bad as I fear it is most Leave voters will view voting Leave like sex with an ex, fun for a few minutes at the start but then you’re filled with immense regrets thereafter and you wonder what were you thinking when you did the shameful deed, were you even thinking?

TSE

PS – I don’t expect the problems of No Deal to manifest straight away. There will  be a few small problems across many sectors that will increase the buggeration factor across the country. But as these problems become long term coupled with other Brexit related problems a tipping point will be reached from which I expect the Brexiteers (and probably the Tory party) will struggle to recover for a political generation.

The winter of discontent kept Labour out of power for 18 years, Black Wednesday kept the Tories out of power for 13 years, sustained No Deal as described by Gove in the video above will have a similar impact.