The Australian Option

After a hard-fought three-course meal with the president of the European Commission yesterday, Boris Johnson has this evening tweeted that “now is the time for the public and businesses to get ready for the Australian option on January 1st”, using that mealy-mouthed euphemism for No Deal guaranteed to make resident Australians laugh with bitter irony. “The Australian option.” Hope you enjoy your Dinki-Di Meat and Vegies.

Scrolling back through four and a half years of Brexit posts, they’re full of lines that I could have written today.

Brexit talk has been in full swing again this month, and it’s been hard to keep up with the fast-moving indecision surrounding such a dynamic, intractably stalled process. 28 October 2017

With three weeks to go, Britain is unprepared for any kind of Brexit and unable to decide which way to turn, with [the] government operating under a cloak of secrecy and considering prolonging the indecision. 8 March 2019

It’s going to happen, it’s going to happen without a deal, it’s going to be awful, and the names of those who caused it are going to live in infamy. 27 September 2018

The opportunity cost … is only going to get worse; other crises don’t stop happening simply because Britain’s voters have self-inflicted the biggest crisis of them all—they compound one another. 27 June 2016

Nothing I’ve read in the past two months has changed my suspicion of early March that the UK government would use the pandemic as cover for refusing to request an extension to the Brexit transition period and ending it on 1 January 2021 without a deal. 17 May 2020

It’s true that there were glimmers of hope along the way, and sometimes I even let myself entertain them. But the writing was on the wall from day one. From the day before day one:

Say Brexit breaks it.
Boris’ll fix it?
Will he, bollox.

11 December 2020 · Politics