The Brexiters never had a plan for what they would do if they won the referendum. And they still don’t: Robert Hutton stuck in the middle: These are Theresa May’s four Brexit options

The Brexiters never had a plan for what they would do if they won the referendum. And they still do not have a plan. I do not see a road other than “transitional” arrangements that keep things as they are without the UK having any voice in Brussels—”transitional” arrangements that will keep getting indefinitely extended: Robert Hutton: Stuck In the Middle: These Are Theresa May’s Four Brexit Options: “Her inner Brexit Cabinet has rejected her proposed customs relationship with the European Union…

…But the alternative would crash into the long-running Irish border issue. She has options… none of them are very good. 1. Delay: May’s survival strategy as leader of a party that simply can’t agree what it wants has been to keep putting decisions off…. 2. Call another election: An easy option to laugh at given how badly it went for May last time she tried this. However, one way for a prime minister to get past a divided Parliament is to take it to voters…. There’s a distinct possibility that voters might feel that a Tory Party calling an election for the third time in four years might really be asking to be put out of its misery…. 3. Go for a customs union: This has the huge advantage that the EU would definitely agree to it. Parliament probably would too…. The difficulty is that May has repeatedly and firmly ruled a customs union out. To go for one would be to find out whether Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ERG is serious about its threats to bring her down…. 4. Go for “no deal”: Make the “maximum facilitation” proposal to the EU. Announce loudly that there is no Irish problem. If they reject it, say there’s no prospect of an agreement, and walk away from the table…. Would May be able to win a confidence vote in Parliament?… It would take only a handful of Conservatives… to rebel…. Are there seven Tories who would do that? Probably. That gets you to an election that Corbyn could win…

May 12, 2018


Brad DeLong
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