David Davis has given his prognosis for how the Brexit talks will eventually play out, predicting that “terror will win”. Speaking alongside the “Brexiteers’ brain” Shanker Singham at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Davis told a room packed with numerous MPs including Steve Baker, Owen Paterson, Simon Clarke, John Penrose, Eddie Hughes and the DUP’s Nigel Dodds and Sammy Wilson that the “irrational fear of no deal” would ultimately win out and a deal would get through Parliament, possibly at the second attempt:
“Terror will win, the fear of no deal… I think the irrational fear of no deal, a WTO deal – that will win and there will be a deal. It may take two passes – it may be a deal that’s agreed in Brussels and fails in Westminster and comes back again, it may take two passes.”
Guido largely agrees with his analysis – the strength of opposition to the deal May appears to be edging towards cannot be underestimated if it still includes an unlimited backstop that locks the UK into the customs union, hence it may well be voted down the first time round. This will no doubt unleash Project Fear on levels not even seen during the referendum, with MPs coming under immense pressure to vote again until they get the ‘right result’. Sound familiar?
However, the pressure will not just be on the UK if the deal falls in Parliament the first time. The EU, and Ireland in particular, do not want a ‘no deal’ scenario either if they can possibly help it. This may be the time when the EU finally starts to seriously move on its position…
UPDATE: Davis has just tweeted this clarification
For the avoidance of doubt I believe the PM will get a deal with the EU but anything based on the Chequers plan or one that keeps us in the Customs Union will not pass the Commons. Time to revert to free trade deal suggested by EU?
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMP) October 31, 2018