What you’re saying, is that Brexit (whatever that ends up being) probably won’t lead to systemic collapse.
What I’m saying, is that failure to have a withdrawal agreement, which includes a transition period, in place by the 29th of March next year would absolutely lead to systemic collapse. Certainly within the UK, and it would have very severe repercussions outside of the UK.
However, the most likely outcome, in my opinion, is that a withdrawal agreement will be reached, which will include a backstop provision very close to the current proposed wording. This will provide for a two year transition period during which the UK will have pretty much the same rights and obligations as they currently do.
It will also include some waffle about the EU’s intention strike a uniquely special trade deal (in so far as this is possible with the UK’s redlines).
This will be presented (a) to the leavers in the UK parliament as “take it or no Brexit”, and (b) to remainers in parliament as “take it or no withdrawal agreement”. Nobody will care what the DUP think.
Then one of two things will happen.
(a) Either the Parliament will reject it, the government will fall, a general election will be announced, and the UK will ask nicely for an extension to the Article 50 period to allow the election be held. What the election will be fought on will depend on the public mood, but you’d hope some hard questions about where the fuck all of this is heading might be asked; or
(b) And I believe this is more likely, parliament will accept the deal.
If the deal is accepted, in early April, the UK will sit down as a third country, with seasoned EU trade negotiators to negotiate the first of their wonderful Global Britain Trade deals. They will initially request a unicorns and fairies Canada+++ deal based on imagination and good will from all sides. They will not be in a position to threaten to withhold future payments. They will not be in a position to threaten to partition Ireland.
They will be eviscerated.
No other country will enter into trade negotiations with them until their future relationship with Europe is clear.
And the clock will be ticking towards the end of the transition period in 2021, after which, you guessed it, the Treaties will cease to apply.
Once the UK population finally realise that absolutely nothing that is on the table is anywhere close to as good as their current arrangement
(surely the penny has to drop before the end of 2019) I see at least three possible outcomes (presented in order of least likely to most likely):
(a) The public will direct their anger towards the politicians who brought them to this point and demand that EU accession talks begin immediately;
(b) The public agree that the best they can hope for is (i) a Canada style deal which would disastrous for integrated supply chains and their services industry, or (ii) a Norway style deal which would be humiliating, expensive, and they’d still have to deal with those slightly brown people who talk funny; or
© The public demand that the government negotiate harder so that they can have their cake and eat it. To allow this take place the government ask for a good long extension to the transition period, with progressively fewer rights, but the same amount of obligations. Ten years ought to do it. We’re not transitioning to nowhere, just transitioning to the point that no one in charge can be blamed for the problem.
So, yeah, I fully agree that Brexit probably won’t result in systemic collapse.
So long as a withdrawal agreement is in place by March 29th next year.