Brexit was never meant to come with a deal, well not a good deal anyway. People talked up how easy it would be to negotiate deals post-Brexit, with Europe and the rest of the world, but such thinking never lined up with reality.
When Leave won, many people argued that the ballot paper never specified what type of Brexit people wanted. It’s difficult to imagine that Brexiteers envisaged negotiating a good deal with the European Union after declaring that they wanted to leave. If they did then I'm not sure what they were expecting! Thinking in such a manner is an abomination in terms of personal relations and common sense. Imagine sleeping with your best friend’s partner, gloating about it, before asking them if you could still be friends!
On their final appearance at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party acted like the idiotic school children at the back of the bus. They made a lot of noise and gleefully waved their Union Jack flags. Laughing, joking and making a mockery of the relationship that Britain once had with the organisation. Not the best tactic from Farage, the face of Brexit, given that Britain still had the desire to negotiate with their European neighbours.
In 2018, ITV journalist Robert Peston asked Farage about a possible roadmap to Brexit. Farage said that the government, lead by Theresa May at the time, wouldn’t be interested in what he had to say. In other words, he didn’t have a coherent plan. A lot of ideas but no cohesion.
With a fractured relationship and no obvious avenue to delivering Brexit success, it has left the UK Government in a difficult situation. Bringing these talks to a satisfying conclusion is pretty tough for Boris Johnson. Just what is he supposed to do?
From an economic standpoint, any deal will be worse than the previous agreement that was held with the EU. A no deal would be catastrophic for Britain’s economy, plunging many businesses into peril, but it would be satisfying the democratic vote that was held in 2016.
A bad deal with the EU is basically confirmation that Brexit was a huge mistake. It would illustrate that Britain is still very dependent on their European friends and that the grass was never really greener on the other side.
Donald Trump’s presidency gave hope for Brexiteers; it was an alternative to the status quo. America is an economic superpower on it’s own. Trump was a leader who believed in populism and had a disdain for the rules and the way things are. He was an advocate of radical change.
With Trump in power, Johnson had an ace in his pack - an ally who shared a similar ideology. However, with Trump gone, Johnson and his blusterous ways look very out of place with the sensible political presence of the upcoming President, Joe Biden.
At the same time, Johnson was in no rush to jump into bed with Trump. After all, he probably knew that placing one’s hopes with another Boris Johnson wasn’t necessarily a smart idea. But the United States are a big player in the world economy and the United Kingdom, quite simply, are not.
America, China and the EU are three big economic behemoths. India, with its huge population and progressive financial growth, have the potential to become a future economic heavyweight as well.
While Britain may boast the fifth highest GDP in the world, that figure is almost eight times as small as America’s. It is not the GDP of a country that can prosper as a big fish. The United Kingdom also has a small population and that is a big hinderance to Britain's hopes of extortionate growth. Economic superpowers are founded on very large populations. A key spanner in the works of being a self-serving nation.
So deal or no deal? A deal will protect people’s livelihoods, businesses and opportunities, acting as a safety net amid the chaos. But accepting a bad deal is also a big sign that Brexit was nothing but a misleading fantasy of something better.
Johnson will have to weigh up the lesser of two evils and time is running out.