Brexit – deal or no deal

One of my major frustrations when it comes to politics are the ambiguous statements – where both sides are arguing over different interpretations.  It feels so unnecessary – I wish we could make an effort to be a bit more specific, so that we can focus on where we actually disagree.  

For example:

No Brexit deal is better than a bad Brexit deal

Everyone seems convinced they know what it means – but they don’t agree.  Here are a few interpretations that I’ve heard people make:

    • Leaving the EU without an alternative to the default WTO terms is better than the technically worst possible deal – true, in my opinion, though they’d have to be almost inconceivably bad (maybe one where we agree to become slaves?)
    • Leaving the EU without an alternative to the default WTO terms is better than the likely deal the EU would offer us (ie us not getting our way in negotiations) – questionable
    • Leaving the EU without any trading / movement rights is better than the technically worst possible deal  – again, technically true, but both are highly unlikely in my opinion
    • Leaving the EU without any trading / movement rights is better than the likely deal the EU would offer us (ie us not getting our way in negotiations)  – I believe untrue
    • In order to get a reasonable Brexit deal we have to be able to ensure we could survive no Brexit deal  – I’m really not sure, sometimes negotiating from a position of strength helps and sometimes it hurts
    • It doesn’t really matter if we get a deal or not –  clearly untrue
    • We shouldn’t make much effort to get a deal – clearly untrue
    • We shouldn’t (literally) kill ourselves trying to get a deal – clearly true (I haven’t actually heard anyone arguing this meaning, but thought I’d include it for completeness).

So next time you’re going to argue over whether no Brexit deal is better than a bad Brexit deal, please make clear which one you mean.  And if you’re going to disagree with someone, it might be worth checking that they actually mean something you disagree with.

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