Brexit: Please, Let's Discuss 10 Pertinent Facts


With Brexit emotions running high, let's step back and calmly discuss the pertinent facts.

Ten Brexit Facts

  1. In the referendum, a majority of UK citizens voted to leave the EU.
  2. The default legal position, subject to change, is that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, 2019.
  3. It is not within the power of the UK parliament to change point number 1.
  4. It is not within the power of the Queen to change point number 1.
  5. The not the legal right of the EU to grant an extension request from UK parliament, by the Queen, or on its own behalf.
  6. The October 31 date is subject to change, but only at the request of the UK prime minister, and then only if all 27 nations in the EU agree.
  7. The window of opportunity for the UK parliament to force elections is September 3 through September 11 at maximum.
  8. It is an option of the next prime minister to prorogue (suspend) parliament long enough to rule out new elections
  9. The prediction that the UK would collapse immediately following the referendum was spectacularly wrong. Predictions of UK demise should there be no a No Deal Brexit are predictions, often purposely biased, not facts.
  10. Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, admitted on film that the Irish backstop was used as a "tactical and strategic means to apply permanent pressure on the UK."

Facts vs Politics

Like it or not, those are the pertinent facts.

With those facts out of the way, lets turn our attention to the politics of the day as reported by the Guardian Live Blog.

Hunt: Addressing the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, Hunt says that, while it’s not his preferred option, he would take it if he didn’t think a deal was possible by 31 October – even though he acknowledges it’d destroy people’s livelihoods. "I think there is a deal that can unite all wings of the Conservative party and our friends in the DUP. But it’s got to be different to Theresa May’s deal."

Johnson: Boris Johnson has pledged that the UK will leave the European Union on 31 October “do or die”, as he promised to push for a no-deal Brexit if this was needed to meet the departure deadline. "But I’m not going to do that if there’s a prospect of a better deal."

Nearly Identical Positions

The amusing thing here is they are saying the same thing.

Hunt is not remotely believable.

Johnson is certainly more believable. Today he issued a challenge to Hunt.

WTO Article 24 Legal Authority

Article 24 pertains to the right of countries to abolish WTO tariffs on condition that both counties agree and both countries set a timeline for reaching a deal. They have 10 years to finalize the deal.

Johnson stated today: "Gatt article 24 paragraph males it perfectly clear that two countries that are in the process of beginning a free trade agreement may protract their existing arrangements until such time as they have completed any free trade agreement. And that’s a very hopeful prospect. That is the way forward."

Please add that to the fact list.

Germany Running Scared

This is my opinion, but Germany is running scared, very scared.

Please consider the Guardian report Germany ‘will talk to the last hour’ to avoid no-deal Brexit.

Germany will fight to the last hour to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal and is willing to hear any fresh ideas for the Irish border backstop, the country’s ambassador to the UK has said.

Speaking at a car manufacturers’ summit in London, Peter Wittig said Germany cherished its relationship with the UK and was ready to talk about solutions the new prime minister might have for the Irish border problem.

“My country is ready to talk and the chancellor [Angela Merkel] once said she would be willing to talk to the last hour not to have a no-deal scenario,” he said.

“It’s a mindset. We are not giving up in achieving an orderly Brexit. Germany has been a very pragmatic voice in this whole tortuous Brexit process and we will continue to be that.

“Even if we have a short window while the new prime minister is in place, we will welcome any idea how to solve that famous backstop issue and we will be willing to work towards a negotiated deal which is long term the only viable and sensible option for Europe,” he added.

“Our mindset is to explore all pathways to come to a negotiated deal.”


Is that believable?

Of course it is. Germany is scared to death its vaunted export machine is about to collapse.

I wrote about that earlier today in Rise of the Greens = Deindustrialization of Germany.

Five Events

  1. Merkel foolishly did in nuclear to appease the Greens
  2. The German Car industry lied about diesel. The Greens stepped in and killed it.
  3. The Greens will kill coal.
  4. Brexit will hurt German exports no matter what happens now.
  5. Trump tariffs on German cars are likely to be the topper.

Point number four is in serious play. The German trade surplus with the UK and the rest of the world is huge.

Permanent Pressure

Let's return to point 10 at the top: Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, admitted on film that the Irish backstop was used as a "tactical and strategic means to apply permanent pressure on the UK."

Please see Let's Discuss Brexit (and How the EU Bragged, on Film, About Screwing the UK) for proof, not allegations.

Credibility in Play

Theresa May repeated many times "No deal is better than a bad deal". It was a lie the UK never believed.

Johnson, unlike Hunt, appears to be serious.

The EU will play as a patsy anyone who is not serious about leaving.

Power is Johnson's

The power is in Johnson's hands.

If he really is willing to leave the EU, there is enormous pressure on the EU to bend.

Lies Revisited

Think about all the lies the EU made and Remainers made about instant collapse of the UK if the vote was leave.

It didn't happen.

What If?

What if, as I suspect, there is far greater damage to the EU than the UK because of an EU collapse in exports on a hard Brexit.

This has to be on their minds.

Worst EU Fear

The EU's worst fear has to be that if the UK walks, that it is the EU, not the UK that takes the bigger hit.

Pressure? You bet.

All Johnson needs to do is stand his ground.


I misread the Tweet by Cash. It the Remainer position he blasted regarding "mischief"

Sentences removed an apologies offered to Cash.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (38)
No. 1-14

EU won't be fishing in British waters. Portuguese hurt most.


I have not figured out why the UK ever agreed to be part of a union dominated by Germany. The UK sure wasn't enthusiastic about being ruled by Germany in 1940.


Bill Cash is no REMAINER. Quite the opposite. What he meant by that tweet was REMAINERS arguing WTO Article 24 were creating mischief and were demolished by the article.


Germany unlikely to bend.I have many EU colleagues and the anti-English sentiment has been ratcheted up. Interestingly pro-Scottish has been encouraged.

Post Brexit both Frankfurt and Paris will be working overtime to get banking business out of London and EU encouraging Scottish referendum and to join EU as a way to punish what was a predominantly English Leave vote.



"Bill Cash is no REMAINER. "

Sure about that? If so I need to make a correction



Correction I misread the Tweet by Cash. It the Remainer position he blasted regarding "mischief" Sentences removed an apologies offered to Cash.




UK may source agriculture products from USA rather than France. US food prices would improve the English standard of living.


you really should proofread your posts!


The problem with Cash and the rest is that they demolish arguments that aren't being made. No one has ever suggested that Art.24 (5) of the GATT is impossible to invoke. When the Brexiteers said that in a no deal Brexit we ( ie the UK ) would invoke the Article and everything would be hunky dory as if it were possible to invoke the Article unilaterally. The counter argument was put that 24 (5) could be invoked IF BOTH SIDES AGREE. The EU will not agree unless the UK agrees to maintain the Freedom of Movement of Labour (FOM) and remains within the jurisdiction of the ECJ.Exit from both the ECJ and FOM form part of the inviable red lines that Cash and his cronies support. So Mish, the UK can invokeArt.24 if Cash and crew drop their red lines. Cash is an idiot.


Unfortunately, there is sufficient opposition to Brexit in the UK that enough chaos may ensure upon a no deal outcome that it becomes much harder for the economy to find its feet in the new order. Just one of the political risks is inflamed separatist movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These regions were never as enthused about Brexit as England and support for secession has been growing over the last couple years. Even if Scotland (or other regions) wind up staying in the UK it is a virtual certainty that the UK is going to be rocked by secession attempts in the aftermath of a completed Brexit.

Further, the discord around Brexit is destroying the long established coalitions that have driven stable UK government. Both the Tory and Labour parties are going to be permanently weakened by Brexit, as either remain or Brexit supporting members permanently desert the parties due to feelings of betrayal. UK government is going to be far more fractious and contentious in the coming years.

While I agree with Mish that Brexit isn’t such a scary thing, the sad fact is that it is tearing huge wounds across the political and social frameworks of the UK which will result in enduring harm to both society and economic prosperity. Frankly, it’s not the leaving or staying that is the problem, it’s the acrimony and chaos that is resulting from the disagreement about the two options which is causing the most harm to the UK.


Let us not forget that on one side you've got the UK and on the other side you've got 27 governments...with their own agenda.


Johnson still has to become the PM, and he still has to be telling the truth about a No Deal Brexit. Otherwise the October deadline is just as solid as the one in March turned out to be.

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