Jeremy Hunt will face the Conservative Party membership in a vote to be the next Prime Minister of the UK. His strategy to deal with Brexit is to re-negotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, getting an extension if the negotiations call for it. Just one problem. The EU will not open the Withdrawal Agreement for re-negotiation. Also, according to Leo Varadkar, the members of the EU are unwilling to grant any further extensions unless it’s for a General Election or Second Referendum.
Leo Varadkar said ‘While I have endless patience, some of my colleagues have lost patience, quite frankly, with the UK and there’s enormous hostility to any further extension. So, I think an extension could only really happen if it were to facilitate something like a general election in the UK or perhaps even something like a second referendum if they decided to have one. What won’t be entertained is an extension for further negotiations or further indicative votes: the time for that has long since passed.’
The Republic of Ireland and the EU Commission have refused to accept that the Irish border “problem” can be solved with technology. In the case of a hard Brexit, the “land bridge” between the Republic and mainland Europe will be closed, additionally, the Republic’s food exports to the UK will be hit with WTO tariffs, which are steep to say the least. The Republic of Ireland’s economy will be hit very hard, in fact, the Bank of England’s report from 2018 which predicted a “catastrophic” hit to the UK worse than the “credit crunch” of 2008, would definitely apply to the Irish Republic’s economy. The Bank of England stated that their prediction of an 8% contraction in the UK’s economy and an unemployment rate of 7.5% was “highly unlikely”, however, I think those figures are realistic if we’re talking about the Republic of Ireland.
Leo Varadkar had better hope that Boris Johnson will not follow through on his stated aim to leave the EU on the 31st October 2019 with, or without a deal.