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Idle Threat Award

The obvious idle threat of the day award goes to MP Dominic Grieve who proposes cancelling all government spending to block No Deal.

Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve and Labour grandee Dame Margaret Beckett have tabled an amendment which would deny departments access to funding in the event of no-deal unless it has been specifically approved by MPs.

The move, which follows Boris Johnson’s pledge to take Britain out of the EU by the end of October “do or die”, aims to make it harder for the next prime minister to leave without a deal with Brussels in place.

Question of the Day

Q. What would Grieve do once Brexit happens?

A. Resume funding.

Meanwhile, even if Grieve got that far, with school funding cut off, tens of millions of UK citizens would be seriously pissed off at Grieve and any other MP who attempted such nonsense.

All MPs voting for such a motion would themselves be voted out of office in the next election.

Grieve may be that foolish, the majority won't.

Delusional, Desperate Remainers

This idiotic proposal highlights the desperate and Irrational Fear of No Deal.

Allister Heath likens Brexit to a holy war.

A YouGov poll earlier this year showed that 37 per cent of Remainers would be upset if a close relative married a Brexiteer.

Heath writes "Such pathological hatred is merely the logical end-game of a polity in crisis, where trust has evaporated."

Indeed, this is like the Hatfields vs the McCoys, or Trump vs Hillary.

Irrelevant Leadership Debate Continues

Meanwhile, the equally irrelevant Leadership Debate continues.

"There is only one way to deal with the Brexit party. And that is to Brexit," says Jeremy Hunt.

No one in their right mind takes him seriously.

Question to Boris Johnson: Yesterday you said the chances of a no-deal Brexit were a million to one. Do you stand by that?

Johnson answers "yes".

Clearly that is laughable as well, unless he too will fold.

Ken Clarke Remainer

"Clarke said that he does not think in practice either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt would be willing to countenance a no-deal Brexit on 31 October - even though both Tory leadership candidates say they are keeping this option open."

Hunt, who voted Remain, and Yes on all three of Theresa May's "meaningful votes" cannot remotely be taken seriously.

Johnson can.

No Deal Irony

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It's easy to miss the irony in Clarke's position.

In case you failed to spot it, the more people believe what Clarke stated, the more likely No Deal happens.

No Deal Accident

A No Deal accident happens if the EU refuses to believe Johnson until it is too late to get EU consensus to make changes to anything.

This is not a 1 in a million chance. Assuming Johnson is indeed willing to walk as opposed to presenting a warmed-over Theresa May deal, the odds might as high as 40%. Plug in whatever number you think but it is certainly not 1 in a million.

Baseline Scenario

My baseline scenario at the moment is both the EU and Johnson give in on something to reach a fair deal that honors the spirit of Brexit.

May's deal, because it contains a threat of a permanent Custom's Union does not deliver Brexit.

Understanding Johnson's Lie

Johnson knows the odds are not 1 in a million, unless he knows he will cave and accept May's deal. Even then, Parliament would have to approve.

Rather, Johnson is making political statements to reduce the threat of an immediate vote of no confidence and nonsense by Grieve.

Timeline for Motion

I came up with a timeline for a motion of no confidence to stop Brexit at September 11.

I allowed too much time. UK elections are held on Thursday. October 31 is a Thursday. There is one week less than I calculated to oust Johnson.

My timeline also had everything happening immediately.

Haddon wants two days minimum for "washup" calling that "super speedy".

Oops: Out of Time

Even if there was a successful motion of no confidence on September 3, when parliament resumes, Johnson can likely stall until October 31.

If you put back the two "washup" days, Parliament has until September 4, a two-day window to block a determined Johnson.

Game Theory

Once again, please consider Brexit "Do or Die" Game Theory: Is Johnson Lying? Hunt? Ireland? EU?

The only way there can be a deal revision is if the EU really believes Johnson might walk.

I still expect a deal. And a fair one, for all sides.

My two base assumptions still hold.

  1. Johnson really will walk.
  2. The EU will not want to toss Ireland under the bus.

Next, factor in scared-to-death EU exporters, a mess at the ECB, and a mess in Italy.

Finally, please factor in growing fears of recession.

Start there and you arrive at the fair deal I proposed in my Game Theory post.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock