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It’s looking like a no-deal brexit or else an Article 50 extension

October 9th, 2019

If the front pages have this right then the chances of Johnson getting his deal through look very thin indeed and so the only options remaining are a no-deal Brexit or else it’s an Article 50 extension.

The latter,  of course, would breach the the deadlines that Johnson set for himself on taking over at Number 10 and the consequences of such a move are very hard to fathom. The big plan, I guess, is for there to be an extension but for it to be seen that this has not been because of Johnson.

This could be dangerous stuff and I wonder whether we might hear calls for Theresa May’s deal to be resurrected and to be put to MPs again. This, of course, has been rejected three times already.

The problem is Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement 20 years ago which brought an end to the troubles that so dominated the politics of these islands from the late 60s onwards.

It was because the Irish Republic and the UK were both in the EU that made such an agreement possible. That is why it has been so hard finding a solution that works for Brexit and is politically acceptable.

In retrospect Theresa May’s deal with the Irish backstop was an elegant solution and was actually a huge compromise by the EU27 something that has not been fully appreciated in the UK.

Another referendum appears to be be increasingly talked about and I wonder whether that might gather momentum as we approach this critical time period. Could we see a backbench bill being put forward and getting the backing of MPs? There might just be a possibility of that getting through. This would probably delay a general election.

Mike Smithson