As scientists discover a huge hole at the center of British politics, sucking all energy and sanity from the country, we review where we are on the timeline and suggest we’ve actually fallen nowhere fast. We still see Ref2 on the event horizon. Meanwhile the UK economy is in trouble.
A week is a long day in politics
Since we last looked at the black hole we call Brexit, little of any consequence has actually happened.
PM May “remains”, as does the UK, though time is now running out so fast – 2 days to go before the first (ultimate) deadline set by the EU passes (again).
While there remains a small risk of the no deal crash (NDC), the Europeans are unsure just how much they can demand from the UK without tipping her over the edge. So they seem to us to be coalescing around a long extension, perhaps as long as a year. Clearly that won’t help anyone without some form of incentive to make one’s mind up. We feel that incentive will inevitably be a second referendum. Expect the French to insist on Ref2 soon.
Tory Tory Tory
Meanwhile, the Tory party continues to fragment mentally, and surely in time, this will become “physically” as well. Splitting up into smaller parties and breaking the two-party hold on UK politics. The Conservative party seems set for its own Pearl Harbor.
The Labour Party has also found its own “moon with a view”, called “the second referendum”, and is happily settling on it while watching the Tories dissolve. However this is only a policy of convenience, and if (once) Ref2 becomes the chosen solution to this deadlock, it’s sure to become a party splitter for Labour too.
Finally, Parliament has managed to tire itself out with meaningless votes and debates, and has been off the radar for a few days. This is healthy, as disdain towards “traitorous Parliament” swells, and crucial if it’s to provide the platform for the final endgame.
I realize that was all very boring, so here’s a more interstellar summary;
- Brexit still exists, somewhere in the loony-verse
- PM May remains in the galaxy N10
- Labour now seem to want to settle on “second referendum”
- But Labour actually want to take N10 more than anything else
- The Tory party is still trying to exit itself (ConExit) but can’t find a way to achieve that either
- The wooky at the center of these Star Wars is still a contender, but the main challenger remains a dark knight with a rather electronic voice and a cape.
- The Empire (Europeans) sit on their Death Star, situated at the center of their galaxy, content in the knowledge that time means nothing and going nowhere backwards is better than going somewhere they’d rather not go at all.
Towards the Event Horizon
Just like the astronomical version of the black hole, the UK continues to fall into this never-ending Brexit, making no progress at all, yet seeing time disappear into the past. But seeing the endgame in this new picture is encouraging.
The inevitable conclusion that this may just be an expensive distraction, with no endpoint, is lost on most. Hopefully the new picture will wake everyone up.
From tention to extension
With the Europeans becoming ever-more realistic towards the expected extended-extension, we feel the chance of no deal crash out is actually slipping slightly. But it has to remain around 10%, in recognition of the chaotic nature of the domestic process.
Additionally, we are encouraged that ideas like a customs union or Norway-like solution are becoming less likely.
To fill that vacuum, recognition that a second referendum is a practical and probably necessary next step, is growing and topical. We’d doubt it will ever a be satisfactory for this rather deranged society, but the inevitability is sinking in. The asteroid approaches.
We’ve not changed our mind at all on the endgame, having settled on 90% chance of an eventual second referendum, while recognizing the chance of an accidental no deal crash out is around 10%. We’ve never given PM May’s deal any probability, nor considered a Brexit in name only (BRINO) outcome like a customs union or Canada-style deal possible.
Instead we’ve always seen extension and revocation leading to Ref2.
That said, the erosion of confidence in the UK economy is plain to see now, with even the biggest sceptic now acknowledging the slide in the residential as well as commercial property sectors. These, in our mind, are the true indicators of the future path of the economy, while rear-view mirrors like employment, are like viewing the Universe with a telescope – you’re watching what happened many eons ago. Our previous conclusion that the UK is headed for an economic crisis, remains.
It’s time to get suited up, and ready to take on the real asteroid headed for Planet UK – an economic challenge.
That said, with sanity clearly strained by the Brexit debate, perhaps this will lead us to question whether Brexit is actually “Flat” afterall ….
NB – these are the (inflated) opinions of the author, and are NOT investment advice