No Deal is not just self harm on a massive scale – it is tyranny

There is a very discouraging graphic from Giordano Mion, a professor of economy at the University of Sussex, and Dominic Ponattu, a researcher at the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany:

which is suitably dark – the nearest to dark (apart from the sea) indicates the worst impact of Brexit.

Funny how the UK – and even unfortunately, parts of The Republic of Ireland, are darkest of all.

Even if they are intent on self harm do Brexiters have no compassion? Either for Ireland or the rest of Europe?

Further, there is an informative and highly worrying article in the Friday Guardian.

Apparently there are 38 ‘local resilience forums’ in England and Wales (and others in Scotland). The contact details are here. Most are Police HQs but some are with Fire Services or Councils.

The Guardian indicates:

But the document emphasises that departments cannot just palm off problems to the Cabinet Office, and will have to staff their own ”department operations centres”, and fund any initiatives from existing budgets.

So not only are we setting up self inflicted ‘resilience forums’ we are also being told the government will not issue money to pay for them.

This is self harm madness personified.

That this government in even considering implementation of a NoDeal Brexit shows it is content to harm the people it represents and in whose interests it is supposed to govern.That it is telling us to prepare for it but will not provide the resources to do so, is further evidence.

This is straightforward tyranny.

We should never, ever, vote again for any MP, of whatever colour, who consents, or even remotely conspires in the delivery of a NoDeal Brexit.


  1. Sean Danaher -


    I haven’t looked at the study but there are a number of others all of which indicate the “no deal’ will be very harmful. These Brexiters simply don’t care – more a cult religion than anything rational.

    I was on the march on Saturday – much bigger than the last time – I think 1M is a very conservative estimate.

    Ireland as usual to these people is simply collateral damage. There are some questions regarding the study. Most other studies predict that the main impact on Ireland of “no deal” will be agribusiness in particular the Beef and Dairy sectors. These form a larger part of the economy in the Border, Midlands and West (BMW) region than the South and East (SE) region. The study indicates that it is the SE will be hit harder than the BMW region.

  2. Peter May -

    Looks to me as tho’ the map suggests something pretty similar.
    According to events today May has now ruled out ‘NoDeal’ – if you can believe her. It might have more credibility if she legislated for European elections because then we’d know she was at least serious.

    1. Adrian Kent. -

      As you’re talking of maps and the march, then take a look at this, which reports a Manchester academic who has used the former to count those attending the latter. It estimates the numbers at the march at between 312 & 400 thousand. Significant yes, but nowhere near the million claimed.

  3. Peter May -

    I did see that and I wonder…
    I certainly heard there were many more side streets full of people this time than last time – so maybe there were even fewer last time….

    1. Adrian Kent. -

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more people down side-streets, but double would be pushing it. I didnt’ attend as you can probably guess from my comments – I don’t think I’d have got away with my placard.

  4. Adrian Kent. -

    I’ve read the PDF now and it looks like it’s par for the course. The predictions appear to rely upon models of Trade that are then extended in their model to growth – usually mediated in some form by productivity.

    What these models always appear to miss out are the effects of the distribution of the benefits of that trade. This is often the case even when those who produce them or report on them like to identify costs per-household.

    What if, as I strongly suspect is the case, the SM and EU essentially guarantee that those trade benefits are, and always will be, captured by capital? That tax competition, excessive financialisation, rent-seeking, fear of capital flight, pro-cyclical instability, corporate capture, beggar-thy-neighbour regulation and on and on filch all the wealth away? All of these destructive issues are as much a part of the SM as tariffs and regulations, but somehow they never quite make it into the models.

    Do these researchers consider a scenario of a smaller (and the BoE suggests not that much smaller) pot distributed more equitably? Have any of the doom-mongers done so? I’d love to see it if they have.

    They like to make claims about No Deal, but never fully examine the opportunities that it would provide.

    Finally, to paraphrase the best question of the Scottish Indyref, their modelling assumptions and predictions rather beg the question ‘Why aren’t we better together already?’

  5. Peter May -

    A fair point. And we are better together of course
    The gravity theory of trade is about the only thing in economics nobody disputes and even Rees-Mogg thinks it would take 50 years to recover from NoDeal. So that’s impoverishing two generations in order to take advantage of the opportunities and then to achieve uncertain sunlit uplands.
    And also Ireland’s troubles restart.
    Rees Mogg is a millionaire. Most of us are not.
    So what is the point of it?

  6. Adrian Kent. -

    I take your point re-gravity, but according to Philip Whyman, there are a range of distortions that are ignored in the models – especially for services.

    I think a gravity analogy also gives a half-decent way of looking at the UK’s trade prospects after leaving – we’re not tumbling off into space – there will be plenty of forces keeping us together – locality being just one of them. Moving to WTO (or whatever), won’t suddenly wipe everyone’s contact lists, won’t immediately sour personal & business relationships, destroy trust in the quality of offered goods, wont suddely make certain components available somewhere that they’re not currently being produced.

    As for Rees-Mogg, he has only ever been right about one thing – and even then he’s wrong about the reasons for it and wrong about what will happen in the UK after it happens.

    As for The Troubles – what caused them to start in the 70s was decades of sectarian oppression and corruption (all the way to Westminster) – this simply is not the case now. There really is very little evidence of any kind of appetite for a return to those days – plenty of dire warnings about the Good Friday Agreement, but v. little to support it necessarily leading to a return to bloodshed – in fact a number of ex IRA men who live in the borderlands think it’s all ‘guff’.

    Impoverishing isn’t a word I’ve seen used in any of the predictions outside the Guardian – not evern from the Treasury.

    The point of it – is that the (meagre and unproven) benefits to trade are not worth the cost of the democratic detachment that being a member-state of the EU necessarily encurs. Its about having the option to confront the challenges of GFC2 without one or both of our hands tied behind our backs and it’s about having the opportunity to take on the corporations, banks and Rees-Moggs without them crying off to the ECJ.

  7. Peter May -

    You do realise that all the (N) Irish police on the border still have all armour plated vehicles? The Irish link you provide doesn’t suggest to me anything more than some of the ex IRA are now getting old. Apart from anything else different regulations on either side of the border are simply a smugglers’ charter and that means increased criminal activity – there will undoubtedly be some keen to take other advantage too.

    Second you ignore the fact that the UK imports 50% of its food ( more at this time of year). So customs delays at Dover and elsewhere together with paperwork will increase costs. The food trade works on Just in Time and wafer thin margins. If Spanish lettuce takes a couple more days to arrive the company gets paid two days later – which its cash flow, bank credit and margin might not be able to accommodate and it will also have greater stock losses than now. Transport companies – also on wafer thin margins – will require extra vehicles because of the slower journeys which will in any case be more expensive in staff. Unpredictable waiting and so delivery times are likely to mean supermarkets will ‘fine’ suppliers and pay late. Riverford Organic for example has already said that in the event of a NoDeal they will – no doubt – default on loan repayments – and they do not even supply supermarkets!
    Food suppliers will go bust and you might actually find that your Spanish lettuce supplier kicks the UK in touch altogether – too much risk and hassle…

    I also think the EU as a ‘regulatory superpower’, has been generally more effective at taking on corporations than then UK has ever been.

    Impoverishing means simply that we have less resources than we would otherwise have had – as the lettuce example suggests!

    With the largest unelected chamber in the world I don’t think we are in a position to talk about democratic detachment.

    And the ECJ has a UK judge on it – the WTO has two judges missing because the US won’t allow appointments. Next year the WTO appeals system won’t be able to function at all. How marvellous that will be…

  8. Adrian Kent. -

    So we must stay in an institution whose economic model encourages – or more likely enforces – completely non-resilient, tenuous, thin-margin, low-wage, JIT supply chains because any movement away will lead to distruption of those supply chains. Welcome to the Hotel California.

    The EU may be a regulatory super-power, but it’s one whose institutions are almost completely captured by lobbyists, with a supreme court that fetishises the Four Freedoms and is now impervious to reform.

  9. Peter May -

    You’re right – it is Hotel California. But we’ve actually been part of the hotel management for the last 45 years. It’s true we haven’t done a marvellous job, but stomping off in a tantrum will only make it worse.

  10. Adrian Kent. -

    That successive British governments have played such a shamefully cynical role in getting us to this place isn’t in dispute.

    It’s a response-by-way-of-deflection I’ve received a lot in my ongoing quest to get just one #RemainAndReformer to tell me how.

    However, ‘you’ve helped to make this bed, you’ve got to lie in it’ isn’t a very convincing argument when that bedmaking has been incremental, gradual, remote, quietly waved through and very often dressed up as something else (the ‘it’s just tidying up, nothing to worry your pretty little heads about’ ratification of the Lisbon Treaty being the most egregious example).

    The very first time ‘we’ get the opportunity to express our view directly on the result of all that smoke-filled roomery, we say ‘no thanks’. It would have been lovely to have had the chance earlier when the costs may have been less, but these chances for renewal come along so rarely – and when they do we have to take them.

    1. Peter May -

      Well when your government has made mistakes you have to live with it. (Look at the current useless shower.)
      No point in purposely making yourselves poorer because of incompetent government. Sorry ‘Johnny son, your life’s going to be worse because governments I tried to prevent sold us down the river’, doesn’t work for me…
      If we end up staying we have, as a start, to reform by taking European elections seriously..

      1. Adrian Kent. -

        The trouble is that the mistakes that have been made have been nailed into the Treaties – the defacto EU constitution and the only way to remedy this is now to leave.

        Yes we could take the EU Parliament elections seriously, but even if every single MEP we returned was of a pro-progressive reform persuasion that wouldn’t be enough to make any difference. We could take them seriously, but fewer elsewhere are – averege turn out for these elections has dropped consistently with every election and is appallingly low in too many states.

        Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia have NO parties that look amenable to that kind of reform. In most others they’ve got less than 20% of the seats in the national parrliaments. It’s a preposterously high bar to get a clear majority of countries to agree first that reform is necessary and then on what reforms specifically. Then we’d have to get the Council to agree too and even then the President has carte blanche to decide the make up of the constitutional convention that ensues. Finally every single one of the 28 member states can veto the whole thing as the changes don’t come into effect until everyone has ratified them (which will require referendums in a number of states too – and I don’t think the EU likes them much now).

        The Northern League, who are taking over Italy thanks to the enforced austerity, and their far-right counterparts in Germany are finding that actually they rather like the neoliberalism and, FoM of People aside, are dropping a lot of their Euroscepticism.

        Reform is a reassuring, but very dangerous, fantasy.

        Oh, and in reply to your comment about the EU as a regulatory super-power
        – right on cue here’s an example of what that gets us – Articles 11 & 13 of the Copyright directive.

  11. Peter May -

    As you suggest reform would be lengthy but as out of the EU we will be subject to most of the regulations anyway simply because they are our next door neighbours and almost ten times the size we are we cannot avoid them. The copyright directive is terrible but it is just as great a pity that our own government supported it so enthusiastically. Reform isn’t a fantasy – it happens all the time. It will be apparent to the EU that it will not survive without it.
    For the UK the disadvantages of the EU are just not worth the danger of impoverishing a generation and maybe even two, stockpiling medecines, and disrupting the food supply.
    The fact that we rarely have the opportunity of slashing our national wrists doesn’t mean we should do it.

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