It has come to my attention that Yvette Cooper is preparing to launch a Bill that will prevent the UK from leaving the EU on a no-deal basis. I would invite all pro-Brexit Christians to pray against this Bill becoming a law.
The struggle for Brexit concerns, among other things, the sovereignty of the people of the United Kingdom. Certain options proposed by MPs are not sufficient to sever us from EU control (revocation of Article 50; the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement; inclusion in the Customs Union).
Other options involving agreements could be framed to allow the UK to terminate a given agreement unilaterally, thus preserving our sovereignty. However, for such an agreement to come into existence, both parties must be willing to enter it.
Herein lies the problem. The EU in its current guise seems unwilling to offer any agreement to the UK that would be truly favourable to us. Such an agreement is perceived as weakening the EU either by inclusion of terms that undermine the integrity of the customs union or by encouraging other Member States to leave the EU.
If the composition of the EU’s institutions remains much as it is at present, then the only bargaining tool the UK has to encourage the EU to strike a favourable agreement with us is our willingness to walk away from negotiations altogether and make a success of Brexit on WTO (vel sim.) terms.
Of course, it is possible that the composition of the EU will change in the future. The elections to the European Parliament in May are likely to yield significant numbers of right-wing representatives. However, we should not take receive this possibility in a simplistic, casual, or complacent manner.
It is not a foregone conclusion that the majority of the Parliament will become right-wing. Secondly, even if such an event occurs, the parties will have to contend with the other institutions of the EU: the CJEU, the Council, and the Commission. Beyond that, we must remember that such a majority would be made up of different parties, which may differ among themselves about the nuances of various policies, even if they agree in broad terms.
Freedom of movement is still favoured by certain libertarian and right-wing Europeans who wish to reform the EU from the inside. This is unacceptable to many citizens of the UK.
Thus, even if the EU were transformed, it would still be wise for the UK to retain a no-deal capability, in order to protect itself from deals that might be favourable in certain respects, but still inconsistent with our objectives in others. May Yvette Cooper’s Bill fail to become an Act.
It should also be noted that there is a school of thought among a significant number of UK citizens that says a deal would be suboptimal in any event. It could be argued that deals need to be frequently updated and become political footballs as certain events occur, such as changes in government or wars. It might be better to take the view that one should manage affairs unilaterally, and trust that one’s own good faith will encourage trading partners not to hinder one’s goods.