Ted Yarbrough: The Brexit deadline must stay

The EU is not prepared for Brexit at the end of March. It is not just Brexiteer supporting sources confirming this; the largely anti-No Deal Politico and CapX have both carried pieces on this issue. Ireland especially is in danger of facing a calamitous situation, the arrogant Leo Varadkar and his EU puppet masters having massively overplayed their hand with respect to the Irish border.

EU economies are not in good health. Germany, the EU’s most powerful nation, has entered recession. Belgium‘s economy is not ready for a Brexit on WTO terms. In contrast, in the event of No Deal, Britain is not projected to enter recession, as recently revealed by the devoutly pro-Remain Financial Times.

According to the IMF, Britain will be the fastest growing European G7 economy this year. The supposed biggest threat to Britain – queues at Dover due to French disruption at the Port of Calais – has been rubbished by the President of the Calais region and the Chief Executive of the port of Calais. Whichever way you look at it, Britain is in a stronger economic position than the European Union.

These harsh economic truths mean the article 50 deadline of 29 March 2019 is Britain’s best friend. It will force the European Union to stare a “No Deal” situation in the face and make them decide whether they are economically prepared for the scenario in two months time. At the very least, it would pressure the EU to remove or significantly modify the backstop so that the British Parliament could pass a deal before the deadline. It may also pressure the EU to agree to continuing to freely trade with the UK after Brexit under WTO Article 24 of GATT to avoid disruption.

On the surface, at least, the government seems to understand this. The Prime Minister and most of the cabinet (with the exception of Remainers such as Philip Hammond, Greg Clark and Amber Rudd) have made it clear that extending Article 50 weakens the UK’s negotiating position.

Now that the Parliament has rejected the Prime Minister’s EU deal, it is imperative that the government either gets a new deal or leaves on WTO terms. Jacob Rees-Mogg is right to argue that, if the Commons attempts to disrupt the process via amendments tabled by Grieve, Cooper or others, the Prime Minister should prorogue Parliament either until a new deal has been agreed with the EU or Brexit has happened. The stakes for the United Kingdom are too high to have the nation weakened by anti-Brexit MPs and a biased, meddling Speaker.

Hopefully, the EU comes to its senses and agrees to a deal that is acceptable to the British Parliament and respects Brexit. Realistically, the only chance of the EU being reasonable is if there is a firm Brexit deadline that forces them to act. The 29th March deadline must remain in place.

Ted Yarbrough is a lawyer based in Dallas, Texas. He is the co-founder and editor of The Daily Globe. Follow him on twitter: @TedYarbrough1