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The Guardian reports Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker have 'Frosty Exchange'

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker have been filmed having what appears to be a less than cordial exchange before a morning session on the second day of an EU summit in Brussels. The European commission president appears to be trying to calm the visibly angry British prime minister.

If you watch closely, you can easily see the word "nebulous" but most of the rest of the discussion is hidden. The above video was taken Friday.

On Thursday, in France, Juncker made a speech that led to the above confrontation.

"Our British friends need to say what they want instead of asking us to say what we want, and so we would like our British friends to, within a few weeks, set out their expectations for us, because this debate is sometimes nebulous and imprecise".

May does not think she is nebulous, causing the spat on Friday.

Entertainment Value

Jean-Claude Juncker is always good for entertainment value, but virtually nothing else.

Juncker delivered, as expected, once again.

Blair Seeks Another Referendum

Tony Blair says New Brexit Referendum Logical.

The ex-prime minister said there could be majority support for a new EU poll if Parliament ended up "gridlocked".

But Labour frontbencher Angela Rayner says another referendum could increase division in the UK. The shadow education secretary told the BBC's Question Time that holding a further Brexit vote would "undermine democracy". "People made the decision and you can't keep going back saying, 'Would you like to answer it a different way?'"

And Hilary Benn, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons Brexit committee, has also distanced himself from calls within his party for another vote, telling BBC Radio 4's Political Thinking podcast that politicians have a "responsibility to give effect to the result of the last referendum".

Theresa May Condemns Blair's Referendum Idea

In an effort to achieve a binary choice outcome, Theresa May Condemns Tony Blair's New Brexit Vote Call.

Theresa May has attacked one of her predecessors - accusing Tony Blair of "undermining" the Brexit talks by calling for another referendum.

She called his comments an "insult to the office he once held" and said MPs could not "abdicate responsibility" to deliver Brexit by holding a new poll.

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Binary Choices

Theresa May is desperate to get to a "binary choice".

  1. Agree to Her Deal
  2. No-Deal aka Hard Brexit

In that regard, Blair did not help one bit.

Q. But why the desperation to get to a binary choice?

A. Because a no-deal Brexit is the default option, if no one agrees to anything else.

Competing Options

  1. No-Deal Brexit
  2. Brexit cancellation
  3. Norway-style customs arrangement
  4. Canada style trade agreement
  5. May's negotiated deal
  6. Another Referendum
  7. Brexit extension delay postponing options 1-6
  8. New election, leaving open options 1-6
  9. May resigns giving the next PM options 1-6

Primary Options

Options 1-5 are the primary options. They all have problems, but any of them would settle the matter with certainty.

Secondary Options

Options 8-9 shift the responsibility from May to the next PM. But there's a kicker: Options 8-9 also require point 7. Option 6, another referendum, also requires point seven.

It is pretty clear that the EU would not grant a lengthy delay for a new election or a new referendum. In the case of option 9, where the next PM is determined before March 21, the EU might grant a temporary delay on the condition parliament would select from options one, two, and five.

Binary Choice Math

Unless and until May can reduce the number of options in play, there will never be a majority for anything and a no-deal Brexit takes place by default.

Unwittingly, calls for referendums or new elections, as well as Jean-Claude Juncker's antics all raise the odds of a hard Brexit.

At a minimum, May needs to get the choices down to no more than three. No-Deal Brexit, Cancellation, Her Negotiated Deal.

But May consistently promised there would not be cancellation. If she can get the factions down to three, she will toss out cancellation, and keep repeating votes until she either gets her way, finally gives up, or time simply runs out.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock