The odd thing about the Brexit crisis is all the possible resolutions feel impossible.

What’s the way out for the government of its Brexit mess? Downing Street is rapidly running out of politically viable ways to resolve the Brexit talks. Here are some ways that won’t work.

Throw the DUP under a bus

There is an argument being made with growing force in Conservative circles that there is already a border for agriculture in the Irish Sea and that if checking Northern Irish cows at ports isn’t an existential threat to the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, checking electrical goods isn’t either.

The difficulty is that the DUP – without whose support the Conservatives cannot remain in office – do regard this as an existential threat to the Union and they cannot allow their political project to go up in flames. If ushering in a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn is the price of avoiding that, it’s one they’ll pay willingly.

So the government can’t agree to a deal in which, in the absence of agreed solutions, Northern Ireland remains within the regulatory orbit of the European Union while Great Britain does.

The whole of the United Kingdom stays in the single market and customs union for an indefinite period

The other way to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland is for the whole of the United Kingdom to remain within the regulatory and customs orbit of the European Union or, in other words, for the United Kingdom to remain in the single market and customs union.

In terms of the DUP’s 30 priorities for Brexit in their 2017 manifesto, they presuppose a high level of continued and enduring alignment with the EU, particularly as far as trade is concerned. (You cannot maintain the current state of Northern Irish farming and strike a deep and significant trade deal with the United States, regardless of who is in the White House.)

There are definitely enough Labour MPs who are willing to vote for a Brexit deal that secures this. So it can pass the Commons.

But I cannot conceive of how this deal wouldn’t tear the Conservatives in two, so I cannot imagine any Tory Prime Minister willingly doing this.

Another election

This parliament is almost impossibly deadlocked over Brexit: why not get a new one?

I think the answer is why we won’t end up with another election, as one Conservative MP put …read more

Source:: New Statesman

      

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Is there a way out of the Brexit mess?

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