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After Boris Johnson’s Brexit comments, it’s clear: “No deal may be the best deal”

For well over a year now, I have been telling my American audiences Brexit will never happen. And it’s become increasingly clear this is true.

At a private dinner of Conservative activists on Wednesday night, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson summarised the UK’s position, reportedly saying there was a high chance of Britain ending up with an arrangement that would violate many of the Brexiteers’ red lines, keeping it “locked in orbit around the EU, in the customs union and, to a large extent, still in the single market.”

He added:

“So not really having full freedom on our trade policy, our tariff schedules, and not having freedom with our regulatory framework either. In essence it would mean the UK had left the EU without taking back control over its own affairs.”

We left without leaving. Try explaining this to an audience that believes so steadfastly in the will of the people. In fact, try explaining this ridiculous idea at all. People ask: “How is that even possible?” Well may they ask.

From a high turnout of 72.2 per cent, 51.9 per cent of the electorate voted to leave the EU. And according to Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, invoked in March 2017, the UK is due to leave the EU at 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019.

And yet, unbelievably, we will never really leave. We will stay in all but name. By some incredible sleight of hand pulled off by the British Establishment, out now means in.

It’s like having a perverse relationship with a nightmare tenant that you’ve evicted, but who is still able to sleep in your house, use your bathroom, plunder your fridge, and cosy up with your pet cat when you aren’t looking. Nothing is going to change. I am singularly depressed by the whole thing.

Yet I distinctly remember the elation we felt as a country on 24 June 2016. Regular Brits like myself, sick of endless appeasement, freebies for all-comers and having no say in a country we pay to keep, finally had our voices heard. It was glorious. I skipped to work for a week.

There was also much gloating to be had. Watching the BBC struggle to announce “a victory for Leave” and the cumulative shock of 16 million Remainers who had been so certain of a win, living as they do in an echo chamber of their own making. It was a great time to be alive.

The sneering Remainers and the damaged media healed itself by declaring that the thick idiots who voted Leave “didn’t know what the were voting for”. Presumably, had the outcome been Remain, they’d have argued that the issues were all perfectly clear.

Dismissing the voting choices of the right as being founded in stupidity and ignorance is precisely the mistake that saw Clinton crumpled on the floor on election night in the USA when we deplorables showed her that us stupid folk from Normalville can be pretty darned powerful.

Leave voters are clear: we voted to take back control of our borders and sovereign decision-making, control immigration, and stop throwing cash at the EU for them to tell us what to do. Our fishermen voted to take back control of our fish stocks and our waters. And our elderly voted to take back the country they fought to defend.

On 25 June 2016, the day after Leave triumphed, the campaign to deny the outcome of the Brexit vote began in earnest.

Our Achilles heel was clear for all to see: there was no strong leader in the Brexit ranks, and we were instead led by a Remainer. In an act of self-harm akin to hara-kiri, Theresa May blew her majority in a snap election and limped into Parliament.

“Brexit means Brexit,” she said, and we were none the wiser. Better she had said “Leave means Stay,” and then at least she would have delivered on her promise.

The Establishment threw everything it had, and anything that could be bought, at overturning the decision to leave the EU.

Gina Miller, a Ghanaian business woman with seemingly endless funds, took the British government to court to force May to consult Parliament before triggering Article 50. Miller says she is willing to challenge the government again if Parliament is not given a final vote on leaving the EU.

The House of Lords bowled in, unelected and unaccountable but more than happy to ride roughshod over a Brexit voted for by the people. Flagship Brexit legislation, the EU withdrawal bill, suffered two big defeats in the House of Lords, emboldening MPs who want to keep the UK in the customs union.

And the state media upped the ante, hosting endless panel debates on Brexit on shows like Question Time, in which Brexiteers were routinely outnumbered four to one and Remainiacs in the audience hissed like snakes.

Meanwhile the EU continues to thwart any progress on trade talks, preferring to stall over issues such as the Irish border, thereby playing into the hands of Remainers.

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Recent media narratives suggest a kind of Brexit Armageddon, with British civil servants warning of shortages of food, fuel and medicines within weeks if the UK leaves the EU next year without a trade deal. They have said that under the “severe” scenario, the English Channel ferry port of Dover would “collapse on day one”, and supermarkets and hospitals would soon run short of supplies.

Rees-Mogg has dismissed these claims as “Project Fear on speed”.

But Leave voters are used to all this nonsense. We watched it in the run-up to the election itself, when we were effectively threatened with nuclear holocaust, eternal damnation and our elderly dying in the streets if we dared vote against the Establishment. None of which eventuated.

And of course, outside factors and funding has streamed into Britain to lobby behind Remain and against the will of the people. Pro-Remain groups and rallies have sprung up in towns and cities across the UK, funded by an invisible hand.

In February 2018 it was reported that George Soros had donated £400,000 to an anti-Brexit group called Best for Britain, calling for a second vote on EU membership. It was also reported that Soros had hosted a dinner for Conservative donors at his London home to encourage them to follow his lead. Soros’ Open Society Foundations also donated a total of £303,000 to European Movement UK and Scientists for EU.

The People’s Vote is similarly well-funded, calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the UK and the EU. The group was launched in April 2018 by a number of MPs, as well as the actor Sir Patrick Stewart, all of them somehow oblivious to the glaring fact that THE PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY VOTED.

In many ways, the vote on 23 June 2016 was only the beginning. The real campaign by external lobbyists, the pro-Remain media, the unelected House of Lords, the Establishment – political and legal – and the sycophants at the EU to overturn the decision of 17.4 million had just begun.

And the victory is almost theirs.

As Boris rightly says, we will end up locked in orbit around the EU, with no real freedoms on trade, tariffs, or our regulatory framework.

Our best hope is for no deal.

The EU would have a huge hole in its budget without our cash, and the Continent’s businesses will be livid if trading with the world’s sixth largest economy becomes more difficult. You KNOW that if Trump were in charge, no deal would be his starting point for negotiations.

In fact, no deal looks very much like the Brexit I voted for in the first place. And I am struggling to see a downside.

With no deal in place, according to a House of Lords report there would be no legal obligation for the UK to make any payment as part of a financial settlement.

With no deal, and with no transition period negotiated, the rules of the World Trade Organisation would apply. The UK would be free to sign trade agreements around the world as soon as it could finalise them.

With no deal, the UK would suddenly cease to be a member of dozens of regulatory agencies that govern many aspects of daily life such as aviation, and interim measures would be put in place by the UK.

Without a deal or other residency rights, the entitlement of EU nationals to reside in the UK, or of UK nationals to reside elsewhere in the EU, could technically disappear overnight. But given there are three million EU citizens in the UK and nearly a million UK citizens in the EU, common sense would prevail and deals would be struck with the UK to guarantee citizens’ rights.

As regards the effect of no deal on customs, there are provisions for the UK to establish a stand-alone customs regime from day one, applying the same duties to every country with which it has no special deal.

In short, the most concise definition of Leave is NO DEAL WITH THE EU.

Sources say there is a “whiff of panic” emanating from Downing Street, and that if May could not “lead us fully out of the EU, with no deal if necessary, she must make way for someone who can”.

May will meet her fellow EU leaders at the end of June.

Early in the negotiations, May and her senior ministers repeatedly claimed that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. We have a very bad deal indeed, one in which we leave without taking back control. It is time for Theresa May to be true to her word.

Tell the EU to stick their deal, their budgets and their demands. We are going it alone.

For Brexiteers like myself, no deal seems like the very best deal of all.

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