The Gist: Brexit or bust

The Gist: Brexit or bust

May-Day! May-Day
Brexit has been 18 months of watching someone trying to haggle on prices with the automatic scanning machine at a Tesco checkout.

Now, having finally reached the point where the 'store is closing' announcements have got serious, the UK gov has decided to just pay for the thing they wanted at the price it always cost.

Unfortunately, it is possible that there isn't a unitary thing called the UK Government any more. So, instead, the nominally-in-control Prime Minister faction will be trying to win over her Cabinet and then win over her party, in order to finally win over the UK Parliament. If she can manage that, the EU will agree to sell her the thing she wanted at the price it has always been.

Success means leaving the UK subject to the rules of the EU Customs Union and- for the Irish parts of the UK, the single market- dashing their (always fantasy) hopes of swashbuckling trade deals with distant climes. But, at the same time they lose a say in the construction of those rules and regulations.

It remains to be seen if the UK public (who, you'll notice, do not appear in that list of groupings to be won over above) eventually feel they got good value for the price they pay.