Two weeks ago, this blog ressurected the prospect of a ‘swerve’ as the EU and the UK avoided a No Deal head-on collision by finding a Deal that would get Brexit over the bar and bring the UK into the safe haven of a so-called ‘transitional arrangement’ under which nothing would have changed other than the UK losing its membeship of the EU. It also argued that a strategy which delivered a Deal by threatening a No Deal might deliver a general election win for Bojo as he
- jettisoned the No Dealers and the DUP;
- shot the Brexit Party’s fox;
- sidelined those advocating a second referendum or revocation of the Article 50 notice but
- brought back on board both voters who feared a No Deal and voters who wanted a Deal at any cost.
When the pro-Brexit Telegraph newspaper has a front page story about a Deal based round a backstop arrangement that would sustain a single economy on the island of Ireland and Bojo’s government indicates a loosening of immigration policy, the fear which helped power the Brexit vote, the mere possibility of such ‘swerve’ might seem to have edged towards a slight probability.
Such a ‘transitional arrangement’ followed by a general election success would truly be Bojo having his cake, the premiership and Brexit, and eating it, that is leading a country that continues to enjoy the economic and security benefits of being in the EU while being out of the EU. The questions would then be what, if any, more distance to put between the UK and the rest of the EU in future and what machanisms might be developed to allow the UK to influence the EU in that future.