Brexit Tactics

The government’s alleged plan to achieve Brexit whilst surviving a potential no-confidence vote by scheduling a general election after 31 October could yet prove to be a tactical masterstroke. It may be within the capability of the government to achieve this, though it apparently defies the convention of a government subject to a no-confidence vote not undertaking controversial actions. Some might say that a no-deal Brexit falls within this definition, but others could argue that the government would not actually be doing anything. The terms of a previously negotiated arrangement would simply come into force.

In the event of a successful no-confidence vote, it seems highly unlikely that the opposition would be capable of forming any kind of government of national unity. The opposition appears to be too fragmented to be able to carry this off which leaves us with an election as the alternative.

If the election is held after 31 October, there would be little mileage in the opposition running on a remain ticket because by then it would be too late. We would have left the EU. This could take the wind out of quite a few sails.

The government would have delivered Brexit. They would be able to make all sorts of claims for the bright future that lies ahead and during this time the full impact of any no-deal Brexit would not necessarily be apparent. The chances are, therefore, that Boris Johnson could potentially win any election by a landslide.

The problem is that, while the political tactics look very clever, the economic and diplomatic strategies simply do not appear to be there at all. The government looks woefully unprepared for a no-deal Brexit. Even if the government survives the diplomatic and constitutional crises that this is likely to provoke, they will also have to contend with significant economic disruption. By Christmas we could all be feeling the effects.

The irony is that Brexit should have been relatively painless and could have been a success. I, for one, am not even sure that the government has a mandate for where it appears to be taking us at the current time. Boris may yet surprise us by having a ready-made strategy on an envelope in his back pocket, but I would not necessarily bet on this. Rest assured, though, that if financial problems arise as a result of Brexit, Yorkshire is likely to feature on the government’s list of priorities. You may have to scroll down to find it though.

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