This car analogy perfectly shows how flawed Theresa May’s No Deal plan really is

Andy Gregory
Saturday 13 April 2019 11:45
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James O'Brien has been on the front lines of Brexit since the whole debacle began, and has become a bit of an expert at dismantling inaccurate tropes and theories live on-air.

After the news broke that no-deal preparations had been put on hold, with 6,000 staff being laid off a project that has cost between £1.5 and £4.2 billion, Mr O'Brien laid out exactly why the Prime Minister's once-favoured slogan, "no deal is better than a bad deal" made no sense at all.

A popular logic when it comes to striking any kind of deal has always been that you should never walk into a negotiation without also being prepared to walk away. Something that the UK has seemingly stuck rigidly to throughout the Brexit process in its negotiations with the EU, a No Deal has long been considered as a potential (yet catastrophic) option by the government.

But in the case of Brexit there's a crucial difference - as Mr O'Brien pointed out.

"You don’t threaten to walk away from a negotiation if you don’t know where you’re walking to."

To illustrate his point, he compared it to the process of buying a house or a car.

"You only say ‘right that’s it I’m not buying this house after all’ if you then get to stay in your old house."

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"You drive your car to the dealership and you start negotiating for a new car, possibly on part-exchange with the old car.

"You don’t drive your car to the scrapyard, stick it in the crusher and then go to the car dealership on the bus, threatening to walk away if you don’t get the deal that you want on the new car because you haven’t got a car to get into anymore."

"That’s why this line, ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ is the single most stupid – and there’s a lot of competition – gambit that Theresa May chose to employ.

"She chose it, as with all the other stupid things she’s done, in order to keep the headbangers, racists and liars happy on the fringes of her party and beyond."

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In the months since Chequers, Theresa May's position has quietly changed to "any deal is better than no deal", something agreed upon by both Mr O'Brien and Nigel Farage.

However, as JOB asserted, the damage has already been done.

"The line about having to be prepared to walk away with no deal has probably done more damage to the public’s understanding of why we’re in this mess than almost any other," he said.

Despite the new Halloween Brexit extension, leaving the EU with no deal still seems a perfectly likely outcome, so while expensive, the news that no-deal preparations have been put on hold doesn't exactly fill us with joy.

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