Those Brexit Negotiations – abridged

Summarised version of the UK approach to Brexit Negotiations.

Hello, Mr Barnier, we’d like to begin Brexit Negotiations

Excellent, as you know the clock is ticking, we need to draft our agreement so all 27 member states can absorb it and give sign off.

All 27? Can’t we just agree it here with a handshake?

I’m afraid not. What is your position?

Well, we thought we could go it alone…

Well, no, you didn’t.

We did, we told the public we could go it alone…

Actually, with respect, you told the public that German Car Makers would force all 27 sovereign nations to agree to a UK deal, but let’s not split hairs…

Yes, well, it turns out we can’t go it alone

We know, go on

In fact, it’s looking pretty dicey for us right now, the UK public expects and all that…

The UK public expects you to honour impossible promises based on blackmail & arrogance, yes I can see how that might be difficult, anyway please continue

So, obviously we need to leave…


Because we promised the UK public…

…the impossible? Yes, you said, OK never mind, this is not our concern, so what do you propose?

Well, after due consideration we realise we still want all the benefits of the Single Market & Customs Union…

You mean you want to stay in the Single Market & Customs Union?

No, no, we have to leave them, but we still need them. We promised the public you see…

I’m not sure I understand…

We want to create something very similar to the Single Market & Customs Union, only not called the Single Market & Customs Union

I’m getting a bit lost…

Yes, we’re thinking of calling it the “UK-EU Unified Market” and “UK-EU Union for Customs”

The UK-EU…this seems like an awful lot of work for no benefit…

But it’s OK, it’s only temporary

Only temporary? How long do you expect this to last?

We’re not sure – between 12 months and forever (but please don’t tell anyone I said “forever”)

But why? Why on earth are you going to all this trouble?

Well, between you and me, to save face, you see we promised the UK public…

I’m sorry, to save face?

Yes, we have an international trade minister, and he can’t start his job looking for new Free Trade deals until this is in place

New FTA…I’m sorry, back up a second, what are you talking about?

Yes, we also need this new “Union for Customs” to have a clause which lets us set up new Free Trade Deals

But none of our other 27 member states can create new trade deals whilst in the Customs Union, that’s why it’s a Customs Union

No, No, a “Union for Customs” – it’s quite different

Mon Dieu, and these new trade deals that you want to negotiate, whilst in these duplicates that we have to help create, presumably they’ll be with countries we trade with already?

Err, yes…

So you might actually undercut us and/or take away some of our market share?


So let me summarise: You thought you could blackmail us, but found out you can’t.  You’ve finally realised you actually need the Single Market, Customs Union & other institutions (or at least the “benefits” – which is the same thing) but you can’t tell the public that, because you made impossible promises.

So, as an alternative, you want us to help duplicate (and pay for) large parts of these institutions just so your politicians can pretend the UK has left the SM & CU. But you only want these “duplicates” to be in place for a temporary period. Meanwhile, you ALSO want to be able to negotiate new trade deals with our customers, something our 27 members have agreed not to do (as did you by the way).  If these new trade deals are successful & you are able to take some of our potential market share you’ll cut and run, but if not, you’ll just continue this temporary arrangement which will essentially undermine our existing institutions.  And all of this costly fudging & duplication is at no benefit to us and possibly no benefit to you, but is being proposed simply so you can “save face”.

Do I have this more or less right?. 

Well, there is some benefit – you do have a large trade surplus with us…

“We need you more than you need us”? Don’t be ridiculous. Why on God’s earth would we agree to this?

Well, if you don’t, we’ll tell the UK Media that you are stubborn and unreasonable.

Why should we care about that?

I’m not sure…

You do realise that we’ll tell all 27 nations & the world the truth, that the UK has unrealistic expectations from any trade negotiations and cannot be taken seriously?

Well, we are about to sign a huge trade deal with the USA…

(Barnier raise an eyebrow)

Never mind…anyway, good discussion, very frank, excellent.  So…what are your thoughts

Non, of course non, how could it be anything but non?

But what do we tell the UK public? We promised…

That’s not really our concern.
I’d suggest the truth, but I doubt your government would survive it. Good Day

Ok…thanks…err can I have the last croissant?

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