No Deal is a No Go

by Angie Curwen PPC for North Thanet – 4th September 2019

I read an article by Sir Ivan Rogers in the Spectator today and it hits the nail on the head of Brexit so well that I have been moved to share it with as many of my friends, relations and colleagues as possible and so I have decided to post some key points it makes here as well.

Ivan Rogers was Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union from 4 November 2013 until his resignation on 3 January 2017 following a leaked memo in which he expressed the view that a settlement between the UK and the European Union might not be reached for 10 years, if at all.


Sir Ivan states “As so often in the last three years, much of our political debate is ducking the central strategic questions and is obsessing about tactical ones.”

He goes on to say that while it is right and proper to be preparing for the immediate aftermath of leaving with no deal, “Remarkably little of the debate is about our real long term options. We should be thinking 10 to 20 years ahead, not 10 weeks.”

Business Clarity

On the subject of Business he says “The idea, peddled by ministers, that businesses would have the ‘clarity’ and ‘certainty’ they need about the UK’s ultimate destination after a ‘no deal’ exit in eight weeks time, is laughable. They would not even know whether there would be ANY sort of preferential trading with our largest trading partner, let alone what sort and when.”

Blame Game

Discussing the apportionment of blame he writes “The blame game on both sides, as both recognise – belatedly – that the potential landing zone for an agreement has all but disappeared, is therefore already well under way. There is certainly plenty of blame to go around.” He goes on to say “It (leaving with no deal) would also mark both a UK government failure and an EU failure. It takes two for a negotiation to fail”


Sir Ivan states that our political elite, by which I take it he means the PM and his cabinet, are in denial: “No amount of repetition of ‘this will all be terribly easy’ ever makes it true.  It is not unpatriotic or ‘declinist’ to point out that a process of ‘differential disentanglement’ – which is actually what Brexit is –  will be hard, complex and lengthy. How, seriously, after more than three years can so much of our political elite still be in denial on this?”


A well argued point by many but I still think Sir Ivan puts it rather well: “If you leave a club whose other members are prepared to integrate more deeply politically and juridically than you, because they see economic and political benefits from doing so, you cannot tell the public that any adverse consequences of leaving are all the club’s fault, for wilfully not carrying on giving you club benefits when you leave.”


It is incredibly frustrating that so many including refuse to admit the definition of a border. Sir Ivan makes a succinct statement about borders: “Nor can you just wish away issues at borders, whether on land or cross-Channel, when the entire purpose of leaving the Single Market and Customs Union must be to run deliberately different regulatory regimes – chosen by your own Parliament – where you believe it suits you. Such choices by definition entail a hard border. Borders across the whole world demarcate different regulatory regimes.”


We are in unchartered territory deciding to leave a trading bloc says Sir Ivan: “No developed country has taken itself out of a trade bloc since the war because the costs of deliberately making trade substantially more difficult with your closest neighbours are obviously large. No trade deal has ever been struck between partners actively seeking to get further apart. Trade deals have always been between those aspiring to converge and to increase trade flows, not diverge and decrease them.”

“We face the most explosive political week for years, perhaps decades” writes Sir Ivan.” As I write this, 20 eminent MPs from the Conservative Party have stood up for honesty and integrity and have as a result been thrown out of their party. MPs across all political spectrums are standing up against lies being told frequently by our Prime Minister and his cabinet. It is my belief that we must all follow their lead and call out lies and manipulative behaviour wherever we see it.

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