There's no such thing as a no deal brexit

No Such Thing As A ‘No Deal’

Every week it is announced that the Brexit negotiations are at a crucial phase. Every week politicians declare that a final verdict is to be decided. This consistent exaggeration has recently been a source of humour. Despite the hopeful anticipation that was circulating before the PM’s statement, in the Commons on Tuesday, there are a few that described the event as Groundhog Day. Frustratingly, they have been proven correct, as the current situation has not improved.

Michel Barnier, the chief EU negotiator, announced that there would be no draft agreement on the UK-EU future relationship, highlighting that some large obstacles still stood in the way of consensus, namely the Irish border issue. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, shared his thoughts too, stating that there is ‘no optimism’ for Brexit. The impasse continues, the tensions remain present and the solutions remain absent.

For as long as the Chequers deal is the only proposal on the table it seems increasingly likely that the UK will depart from the EU without a deal. This so-called ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario has been thoroughly criticised, its opponents warning of the calamitous economic implications and political divisions, accusations of Project Fear have re-emerged and the overarching debate continues to be both divisive and confusing. However, as always, the truth endures – there is no such thing as a ‘no deal’. This would, in fact, be a Brexit upon World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms – a system of trade rules that accounts for 98% of global trade and includes 164 members.

A Brexit upon WTO terms would enable the UK to bargain for a preferential agreement with the EU, whilst simultaneously forging new global trading partnerships. WTO rules would enable the UK to pursue an increasingly independent and liberal trade policy, with the intention of reducing tariffs and generating positive welfare impacts.

Chequers has been dismissed, but it is only the pessimists who, missing the important details, are suggesting a doomsday ‘no deal’ scenario will occur. If Britain is to find itself departing the EU upon WTO terms, then the future remains promising.