Cui bono?

or who can we blame?

The FT has by far the best British coverage of Brexit, with Irish media giving it a run for its money. Today there is another excellent article by Gideon Rachman on how finally the UK is realising that in negotiations between a market of 450 million and one of 65 million, it is the weaker party.

I am sure he is right but that doesn’t necessarily mean the UK will sign a deal, even though it is obviously in its interests to do so. That is because the deal on the table is actually quite a bad one, so there will be damage to the UK anyway. A politician might therefore ask himself first, who will benefit and who will be blamed?

The Brexit ultras will see any deal as betrayal and treason, if one French fishing boat is allowed to fish in UK waters or if one regulation can’t be cut because of EU objections, they will scream blue murder. When the deal doesn’t lead to the sunlit uplands (and it won’t) they will come for the person who signed it and having seen off the two previous Conservative Prime Ministers, I wouldn’t bet against them.

With no deal, any failures are all the EU’s fault and/or a price worth paying to be free. It might make for a simpler and longer political life.