I don’t know. There is a big bang next 29th March unless there is at this point an extra ordinary effort put in to avoid it. All treaties, agreements etc come crashing down at that point in time. This is not like most deadlines, which are really only a hint at a date by which which time it is hoped to start negotiations, and then really only start negotiations if something else more interesting doesn’t come up in the mean time. This date next March is a different beast altogether which people aren’t familiar with. This date is absolute and there is no easy way to extend it. Any deal to avoid this needs to be agreed by EU commission, European Parliament etc and probably most difficult of all it needs to be agreed by the head bangers in the UK Parliament. All this needs to be done before March.
There are only three options on the table now.
- Extend the duration of A50. Technically this is straight forward, but politically difficult.
- A custom negotiated deal. Extraordinary difficult technically to organize and is turning out to be all but politically impossible. Besides we seem to be out of time.
- Crashing out.
Now, obviously if option ‘1’ is taken it will be spun differently. It will be smudged and fudged over to try to give a face saving way out of the situation we find our selves. This though requires everyone to play along. Everyone knows it’s a fudge but no one calls it what it is. This fudge requires good faith on everyone’s behalf. The UK Parliament though is deadlocked and unable to function at present. There are a large number of its members who seem intent on watching the country burn. There are also those that are doing everything they possibly can to poison relations and seed mistrust.
Two years ago I thought there was a negligible chance of a crash out happening. Now I’m betting it’s the most probable option.