No one knows how it will end, but I believe that the probability of a no-deal Brexit is higher than you think. Much higher. The reason is not merely the often stated — and too often underestimated — assertion that no deal is the default position. To understand the dangers of a no-deal Brexit more clearly, it is also worth considering the European perspective if only to rule out some of the fantasies being indulged in the UK, including those being expressed through parliamentary amendments under discussion. The main protagonists in the institutions of the EU — and the leaders of the EU27 — were clearly shocked by the scale of last week’s defeat for Theresa May’s withdrawal deal. I sense that they have a better understanding of the brutal forward thrust of the Article 50 timetable than many MPs and political observers in London. I could not imagine a French or German opposition leader making the logically impossible demand to rule out no deal as a precondition for talks on a deal, as ...

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