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And so we have the obligatory Choreography whereby the EU makes a last minute concession thereby fulfilling Brexiteer mythology and promises to their own supporters.  Whether there is anything of substance in the concession is almost irrelevant - the EU has been made to bend the knee to cool Britannia.

Given any other time, the EU "concession" would immediately have been dismissed as meaningless and worthless, but now it fulfils the valuable function of giving those who want it, an opportunity to get off their high horses and vote for May's deal. Undoubtedly, many more may now do so, although most would be hard pressed to explain what has suddenly made her deal acceptable.

The Irish backstop has also fulfilled another valuable function. There are a million and one reasons why many don't like May's deal, it falls far short of the benefits of full membership and still leaves the UK scrabbling around for some kind of secure advantageous trading relationship in the future. But by focussing their ire on the Irish backstop, Brexiteers also made a one issue solution to their concerns possible.

For the EU, the last minute concession fulfils a tradition of kicking difficult decisions into the long grass, into a hypothetical future which may or may not come to pass. Certainly, by that stage the situation will be very different: The UK will be a third country desperately seeking to cling onto its current membership privileges. Also, the current DUP/Conservative government may no longer be in power and the UK ask might have changed. Who cares what the DUP think if they no longer hold the balance of power?

Overall I still expect this deal to be defeated in the House of Commons, albeit by a much closer margin. MP's will be under no illusion that this is the EU's final offer. It's this deal, no deal, or no Brexit. Ironically it might ultimately be defeated by a few Remainers who see the chances of no Brexit improving by the day. But the EU has done its work. These negotiations are over.

Until the parameters change and they start again...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 01:14:53 PM EST

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