Friday, 20 October 2017

A simple question for pro-Brexit Tories

Here's a simple question for pro-Brexit Tories.

Let's assume for a moment that the Tory strategy of continually talking up how great a "no deal" Brexit would be is a simple ploy to frighten the EU27 into giving the UK a good Brexit deal.

Of course many would argue that a ruinous "no deal" cliff edge Brexit is actually the desired Tory endgame, because it would cause a de facto coup (the Tory government would have total free rein to scrap citizens' rights and liberties, and to rewrite thousands of laws to their own benefit) and it would trigger an unprecedented frenzy of disaster capitalism (mega-rich speculators picking up distressed British assets on the cheap like vultures stripping a carcass). But let's leave this suspicion to one side, and pretend that the only possible reason for Tory ministers to continually talk up how fantastic a "no deal"  Brexit would be is to goad the EU into giving the UK a great Brexit deal.

If this is true, and there are no ulterior motives (rights-scrapping, asset-stripping ...), perhaps some Tory Brexit supporters could explain why the Tory government is steadfastly refusing to release any of the economic impact assessments they've done on the economic consequences of a "no deal" Brexit?

If the "no deal" Brexit scenario is as fantastic as Tory ministers keep claiming, then why won't they back up their assertions by showing us some supporting evidence?

Oh - and don't use that pathetic excuse the right-wing propaganda rags have been peddling about "not revealing our hand" in order to avoid weakening the UK negotiating position.

If "no deal" would be as fantastic as Tory ministers keep claiming, some actual evidence to that effect obviously wouldn't weaken the UK negotiating position at all.

Providing some evidence to back their stance would actually significantly strengthen the UK negotiating position by showing that the alternative to the EU providing a favourable deal to the UK would be perfectly fine for the UK economy, meaning there would be no point at all in the EU offering a bad deal.

I'm not asking this question to be some kind of smart arse. I'm genuinely baffled by the Tory negotiating stance. If they have actual evidence to back up their assertions that "no deal" would be fine, then it would make absolute sense to publish it. However if they don't have any actual evidence that "no deal" would be as great as they keep claiming, then they're lying to the EU27 (a completely empty bluff is a shockingly poor negotiation strategy) and they're also lying to the British public (which is likely to cost them dear if they back themselves into triggering a "no deal" Brexit and it turns out to be an economic disaster).

So, being careful to avoid glib and fundamentally nonsensical excuses about "not revealing our hand", could you explain why the Tories are refusing to release the impact assessments they have (or haven't) done on the economic consequences of triggering a "no deal" Brexit?

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