-10: no-deal, no signature, no prospects

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Parliament did not exactly revoke the deal, in a more subtle move, they refused to vote, which is tantamount to the same although the option of a soft-Brexit thus remains open... therefore, uncertainty remains basically maximum, only 10 days to what promises to be the Halloween of the Millenium.

Following my yesterday line of forking paths, we are now in the scenario where the EU will refuse to grant a further delay, making the no-deal Brexit the most likely outcome, which is certainly what Boris Johnson is after, despite all his acted insistence to pass the deal through. It is however possible that faced with the prospect of getting no additional time from the EU, parliament will resolve itself to accept the deal as the least worst-case scenario, although it seems that in this case Johnson himself, or other hard-liners Brexiter, will find a way to make that not possible after all. How, I can't imagine, but I feel very strongly that nobody wants this deal, neither the EU, nor Parliament, nor Remainers, nor Brexiters, and least of all, the one who pushes the most for it, namely, the government. Everybody's using this deal to pull strings under the table to topple it with their fantasised outcome (which is revocation on the one side and hard-Brexit on the other). Parliament and the EU are playing, if not together, at least for the same outcome in this game, and both would, ironically, benefit more from this deal than the Government itself, making it the smallest possible defeat in absence of any possible victory. So the option of the Parliament accepting the deal if not granted any delay, is within the realm of possibilities, but it would change so much the nature of the game as to provoke unforeseeable consequences (Jonhson resigning, Parliament taking over and Farage calling to insurrection, for instance). All this to happen in under 10 days.

And what if the EU provides additional time? It seems the most reasonable, and thus most likely scenario. But October 31 was not chosen because of Halloween (however fitting the occasion) but because on November the 1st, new EU commissars will be nominated. And Brexiters certainly have a massive weapon there, by deciding to torpedo the EU's internal politics through blind and systematic opposition through their delegates, in a system that relies on unanimous votes for its most critical decision making. The secret deal of Jonhson is certainly that if Parliament thwarts this attempt, then the EU will have to thwart parliament by granting it no other delay. The EU can then decide to chose loosing either UK or taking the risk of losing everything else by provoking a major internal crisis. Would the EU grant this further delay, it will only be if it finds itself in a position to remove the hard Brexiters from their position of nuisance, which they currently have and will definitely enforce through another vote or referendum. It would also betray a considerable weakness from the EU, as they would make it blindly open that they are ready to all the most useless and worthless extensions and other whims from the broken UK political system.

Would the EU grant the extension, and do so with conditions that would keep in check Brexiters, such as giving an ultimatum to pass Brexit or forget the whole story altogether, and thus leave open the possibility to revoke Article 50 (for instance by demanding another referendum by a given date with certain constraints on the outcome such as an absolute majority on a question formulated in such a way that it would never gather more than a small fraction of voters), then one might witness a formidable coup de théatre. It is significant, almost incredible, that the letter requesting the extension... was not signed! It is funny that Jeremy Corbyn mocks his rival for sending a letter he said he would never send. Isn't the missing signature playing with the meaning of the words "sending a letter" here? Can one consider an unsigned letter an official document? Has the prime minister really requested an extension or did he merely, as the law obliged him indeed, sent a letter, in the most prosaic sense of the terms (mailed a piece of paper with words written by somebody else). Isn't the missing signature meaning that the prime minister himself attaches no importance, no value, no validity to its content, since he probably did not touch or even see it? He sent a worthless letter which, I wouldn't be surprised, he will not recognize as having any meaning whatsoever would the need arise (the paper has been physically sent, sure enough, but its virgin character devoids it of any authority... I'm very surprised nobody complained about that and only saw a childish act; try and buy a house with a cheque you won't sign).

So, 10 days and counting, I predict a no-deal Brexit. Or much turmoil (such as another coup from Parliament, this time against itself—the great revenge of Charles I—or contamination of the political crisis from Westminster to Bruxelles itself in a EU already sick from all its limbs). If not that, a possibility is for the EU not to grant the delay, for Parliament to accept the deal, and then for something incredible to happen, unless we are to witness the greatest defeat of England since the Norman conquest, which, somehow, I see as the least possible scenario.