January Brexit Extension Increases Chance of No Deal


Donald Tusk and the Remainers seek a Jan 31 extension. France wants a shorter extension. Jan 31 is counterproductive.

In the misguided belief that extension after extension increases the chance of remaining, the alleged "Stop No Deal" crowd actually increase the odds of No Deal.

I have made that case before, and Eurintelligence (a Remain supporter), laid out a point-by-point scenario this morning.

Long Delay Scenario

  • European Council extends for three months;
  • UK holds elections;
  • Tories win with a small majority;
  • Johnson brings back the bill but falls short of a majority after a rebellion among hard-line eurosceptics;
  • the House of Commons has no majority this time for Letwin/Benn style wrecking tactics.
  • UK crashes out without a deal on January 31.

Eurointeligence Comments

​This is not a prediction, only one of many scenarios. But, from today’s perspective, it is more plausible than a second referendum or a customs union. We don’t think the opposition would help Johnson. After the next election, both Labour and the LibDems will compete for the pro-EU votes. The die-hard eurosceptics in the Tory party may feel less of a need to compromise if they believe their no-deal nirvana is possible.

We don’t think that Brussels has really thought this through. If the goal is to avoid a no-deal Brexit, Macron’s strategy is a more promising route: put pressure on UK MPs to pass the bill by keeping the extension short. A three-month extension would bring back the uncertainty.

Understanding the Setup

​I agree on all but bullet point 3: "Tories win with a small majority."

A "small" majority most likely but not necessarily results in Johnson's deal.

It's the large and especially moderate-sized wins that are the problems.

My Scenario

  1. Assume having won the election Johnson is at least somewhat ambivalent between No Deal and his deal.
  2. Assume a Tory majority of 20 or so, not counting DUP.
  3. Assume 15 of the Tories are still closet remainers, customs union backers, or No Deal advocates.
  4. Assume 30 ERG and Hard Brexit lovers still prefer No Deal.

If the Hard Brexit supporters hold support and DUP holds support, there is no majority for anything but No Deal.

This is not at all far-fetched.

Moreover, if Johnson was just faking wanting a deal to get re-elected, then even a small majority might suffice if the closet Remainers, customs union backers, and No Deal advocates are mostly outed from the Tory Party.

Thus, any Tory win is more likely than now to result in No Deal.

The hard-core No Deal advocates only went along with Johnson to ensure a "reasonable deal" they could live with.

If they get a chance, and any Tory win with the right conditions (and there are numerous right conditions) may result in No Deal.

Heads Johnson Wins, Tails Johnson Wins

Two days ago, I commented Brexit Coin Toss: Heads Johnson Wins, Tails Johnson Wins

Flip a Coin

Remainers have a choice. They can force elections and lose or they can pass the Johnson's deal and lose.

There is no majority for another referendum.

No Deal Liars Exposed

Johnson's Offer

Expect Johnson to Withdraw Offer

Johnson offered an amendment that would have guaranteed not "crashing out" with a WTO agreement a year from now.

That still was not enough for the "Stop No Deal" liars.

In the event of election or even a short extension request, Johnson can safely withdraw that offer because the clock has nearly run out.

Likely Outcome

Eurointelligence commented "The two most likely scenarios are that Johnson pulls the bill and goes for early elections, or a short extension to allow passage of the bill under a more relaxed timetable"

I agree, while pointing out this Eurointelligence view, also the same as mine, and as described above: "We argue that the risk of a no-deal Brexit would increase with a three-month extension"

In regards to that position, it's not just a small Tory victory that increases the chances of No Deal, but rather any Tory victory.

Playing With Fire

If needed to win, Johnson can easily change his mind and court the Brexit Party while the Liberal Democrats and Labour remain seriously split.

The polls indicate a victory outright, without such a deal.

Stop No Deal Makeup

  1. Most of the "Stop No Deal" crowd are nothing but liars who want to outright remain.
  2. The rest are simply fools.

Johnson offered a guaranteed way to prevent No Deal!

The alleged "Stop No Deal" crowd refused the offer, even with an amendment that would prevent a WTO settlement.

Both groups are seriously playing with fire. Their antics dramatically increase the odds of No Deal.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (56)
No. 1-19

Everyone is so sick of it, so fed up with this charade, it needs to end. 3 years of this wasn't enough time, do you honestly think 3 months will make a difference? Of course not. It's like Mish says, the remainers and the EU want to reverse the vote. So it can only be either a No Deal, or elections. An extension will lead to more of this...meanwhile the economies of the UK and Ireland are already suffering because of it. And those politicians, that parliament, those EU officials won't be held accountable for that which is the greatest insult of it all.



I believe Macron understands this. Yet, perhaps even if he does, he goes along with Tusk The EU works on consensus But if Macron can get one or two more nations to agree, he will win. I do not know how to access the odds other than to suggest they are above 25%, a decent chance at minimum and perhaps way higher. I was not in the room.



If Macron has any support for his position he will likely carry the day. If not, he will likely, but not necessarily back down.

Just my guess, and I expect but don't know, the guess of Eurointelligence. They did not comment.

Brexit this year if extension offer is 2 weeks or less.


What you write is very reasonable. But I just can't see it happening. I do think you are right in one major regard: Johnson presented both UK and EU with a workable way to make it through within the deadline. But if there is a short extension, the Wrecking Amendments will pile on thick and fast and meanwhile any chance for an election before December is taken out of the equation.

A longer extension: no way Labour will let an election happen. Hope am wrong, but thus far all this Parliament can do is say 'No' and that will continue since they know they'll be kicked out - a high percentage - in any election.

I think Johnson's only hope is a Court challenge against the legality of the Benn Act and the Letwin amendments and getting them annulled. Also, he can refuse any offer of an extension to bring on a challenge and then counterclaim.

In short: there is NOTHING satisfactory that can be worked out with this entirely disgraceful, unethical, unlaw-abiding Parliament, including tossers like the Venerable Father of the House and other ghastly die-hards in the Tory benches, and all those who ran on a respect-the-referendum election platform and then have been betraying that commitment every step of the way. Since he can't work with them, he has to work around them.

If he DOES get a short extension, he can use it to mount Court Cases to annul the Benn Act and Letwin amendments and run out the clock that way. As long as there is a clause that states that there will be no more extensions granted under any circumstances.


Tell me what is the earliest date that the EU institutions can ratify the treaty?


PS (can't edit): my point about his having granted a way through also means that, since they rejected his Offer, which was entirely reasonable and honourable and playing by the rules, that he is no longer obliged to keep treating them so kindly and can now play hardball. As JRM would say: "Goose - Gander - Sauce!"


What is the earliest date the UK can have aGE?


Now, I'm the oxygen thief here. I'm the useless ex civil servant parasite. I ask two questions the answers to which should inform your deliberations and none of you seem to know. Earliest date for an election is 5th December. I'll leave you to research how long it will take the EU to ratify the treaty.

Runner Dan
Runner Dan

Side Bet: What happens first, Fed stops overnight repo injections or Brexit?



"Tell me what is the earliest date that the EU institutions can ratify the treaty?"

Assuming they adhere to protocol, I believe there is no set answer. Rather it is either the same day or one day after the UK clears the WA with no amendments that the EU disagrees with.


"A more relaxed timetable" is just bullshit remainer speak for we know we cannot win but we can keep you from winning by extending forever. And investment in the UK will show the results of that uncertainty as the years drag on.

There is no need for a long debate over the relative merits of the WAB and it's contents, that is all they have done for 3 years now, study and debate ever possible angle then the remainers fret and say what MIGHT happen and how it might not be ideal compared to just remaining. Of course loss of sovereignty is meaningless to them, they don't understand the concept. They are socialist brainwashed morons. There is nothing in the WAB that needs discussion, they have discussed it to death for years. It is essentially May's deal and any differences were discussed and studied before May presented her agreement. Extensions are nothing but a lie by the remainers. Hijacking government, exploiting the lack of a written constitution and a newly self appointed powerful judiciary that is one of the most patently biased on the planet. When this is over the UK should be shut out of all international talks, contracts, and negotiations till they write a freaking constitution once and for all because you can't deal with their wishy washy brand of bullshit that cannot be predicted or trusted.



"What is the earliest date the UK can have a GE?"

There is no set answer to this as the electoral law can change. Thus, the correct answer is the minimum amount of time it would take to change election law.

Assuming that does not happen, we need to deal with the fact that elections are generally, but not necessarily on Thursday.

There are procedures discussing this and I commented on them in detail before.

The short answer, assuming the law does not change, is the answer changes by one day, every working day.

I trust AvidRemainer will correct anything I have wrong, but I bet he forgot about changing election law.



"But if there is a short extension, the Wrecking Amendments will pile on thick and fast and meanwhile any chance for an election before December is taken out of the equation."

If the extension is for the sole purpose of ratifying Johnson's deal, there can be no wrecking amendments.

Johnson will pull the legislation and No Deal results. France can easily force this deal through if it wants.

Nearly guaranteed.

They could still vote out Johnson and replace him with a caretaker.

But let's do the Math. Late Friday, the EU offers a short 2-week extension for the sole purpose of ratifying this deal and no other.

Parliament meets Monday. They announce a motion of No Confidence. They vote Johnson out on Tuesday October 29

They agree on an alternate PM. Let's assume that happens the same day, if not they are already screwed.

Johnson refuses to stand down. There is no time for emergency legislation. Unless the courts can force Johnson out in 2 days flat.

I do not believe they can act that fast but even if they could, would parliament risk No deal on that bet?

Hard Brexit

Every day is critical here. I suspect France understands this: It may very well be impossible to wreck a binary option presented on the 28th, and it is certainly impossible on the 29th.

France can easily help Johnson here. All it has to do is say approve this deal or there is no deal.

Of course, Lords could call that bluff and amend. But would it? Heck, it might be pleased just to have a deal and be done with it.

I suggest they would not touch it. After all Johnson would still be PM for 14 days if he refused to stand down.

Moreover, if Johnson won the election he would simply revise the amendments away!

So, one way or another Johnson wins (assuming he wins an election)

So, yes, France can easily force this deal through. 10 days seems perfect. 14 days or longer may pose problems, but only if Parliament can agree on a caretaker.

Johnson should seek a 10-Day approval extension.


Reading the above, it seems that everyone is catching on to my point of view.

Negotiating with the EU is for saps, they are simply playing for time.

MPs have exposed themselves as working against the interests of the people. I suspect that many MPs are either being bribed or blackmailed by groups unseen for their votes, it is difficult to explain things in any other way.

It annoys me too when MPs are able to say that leaving the EU without a deal will be a disaster for the UK. The opposite is true for the following reasons.

  1. Businesses prefer to invest in democracies, the UK is not.
  2. Investment decisions are reduced by uncertainty, and the current limbo is one of uncertainty. Brexit will end that uncertainty.
  3. Our net contribution to the EU is a dead weight on the British economy.
  4. WTO allows us to have reciprocal tariffs with a trading zone that has a surplus with us.
  5. The restoration of the single chain of command means that the current legislative confusion (deliberately created imo) of two chains will end. When it is clear who is responsible for what, you get better results.

On the negative sides, the paperwork for trade will be a little different, but we will soon get used to it.

It is a shame that the good Brexit MPs dont challenge the point about Hard Brexit being bad for the British economy. The only fig leaf of justification for the shenanigans is the argument that Hard Brexit will be bad for us. Take that away, and it should be taken away, then there is no excuse at all.

Sad to say I feel more pessimistic about things now. Our only way out is if Macron pushes us out. I suspect that Johnson is trying to position the Tory party somehow so that he splits the Brexit vote. The leave vote should really all go to the Brexit party, they would get us out. I doubt that the Tories will.

And why do I doubt Johnson? He could have delivered Brexit by not sending that letter, then it would be all over. I very much suspect that the reason they didnt challenge the Queen's assent decision was because they feared that they might have won. Watch what they do and pay no notice to what they say.

The only good thing that has come out of all of this is that at least we can clearly see how MPs are ruling us, and are not beholden to us the people. I dont know what we can do about it, but at least we know.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

Johnson will campaign with his deal. In my view, if he wins a majority, it will be passed easily and he will present it as a glorious achievement. He didn't unite his party behind the deal to let it fall apart again.

If the EU wants this deal, then they will give an extension that is long enough for a general election. If they want even more concessions from the next UK government, then they will give an extension that is too short for a general election.


No fan of Brexit, but I agree completely with Mish's position and its logic ... a long extension enhances the chances of no-Deal Brexit, and everything the Remain crowd undertakes to amend the bills or delay the current deal, increases the odds of a no-Deal Brexit. I have often witnessed events in organizations where the ultimate outcome is one that few wanted, but by refusing to compromise and acquiesce to modest success, they guaranteed complete failure instead.

With a no-deal Brexit there will be a hard Irish border. The reunification question will play up, as will Scottish independance. Seeing how utterly divided and polarized the UK has become, I will stick with my prediction that the UK will suffer devolution sooner than the hated EU.


«Edit function now works as expected, in contrast to earlier experiences.»


I think Johnson is going to decline any extension that goes beyond 10 days, and might even decline that at this point. Parliament has made it abundantly clear that all they will do is continue to delay even if the extension is 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, or 3 years- the amount of the extension is irrelevant since the outcome will always be the same thing- asking for another extension.

If Johnson doesn't accept the extension, then legally the UK is out on the 31st, and I think Johnson will wait until the last second to decline the extension offer. It is either that, or Parliament gets on with finalizing the WA.


Well, Reuters is reporting that BJ is demanding now a December 12 GE. Seems he has the remainers right where he wants them, they would not approve a timetable to accommodate a Halloween Brexit so instead they can run against him and the conservatives in a GE. He is counting on the public to see this as a proxy for a second referendum and I think the frustration level is there for a win. I think the remainers are going to be shocked just as they were in 2016 when the votes are counted, IF this goes forward. Those sneaky slimy remainers are bound to attempt to make the December 12 vote December 12, 2037.

It would be a lot riskier, but if BoJo resigns claiming it is no longer possible to get a Brexit deal from the current parliament, would that force the divided left to appoint a caretaker till elections can be arranged, a caretaker the population does not want?

I mean, Johnson has called/been calling for elections all along knowing that the left will not approve of one because they would lose, now that he got a deal and the split left has once again frustrated the deal the public will rightly blame them. Their position is even worse than last time they refused a new parliament. But, his resignation while forcing the left off it's position would also make it a murky situation since there is no clear line of succession in the non constitution.

Anyone other than Avid want to address this question?

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