I had better post this now. Cabinet meetings are now being livestreamed to a Financial Times journalist who just tweeted at 2200 Melbourne time:
Here’s what I drafted before seeing above.
It isn’t just Australian journalists demonstrating complete incomprehension about Brexit.
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s representative at Brexit negotiations just announced that a no-deal Brexit is “nearly inevitable”. This is a substantial escalation from the usual vaguely menacing talk of “increasingly likely with each day”, which accurately describes a slow increase from 0 over the 10 days till latest revised deadline.
The other deadline for an orderly exit on 22 May, birthday of St Rita, the patron saint of impossible causes, has already gone. So the likelihood does indeed increase daily from near 0 now to 100% on April 12 if there has been no decision to participate in the European elections by April 12. But it remains close to zero since the UK Government has made it absolutely clear it will do whatever it takes to avoid crashing out without a deal, as endorsed by an overwhelmingly majority of the House of Commons. It only jumps suddenly to 100% if that last day arrives without a decision to participate in the European elections and request for a postponement.
Ireland has made no preparations for a no deal Brexit because they have a good understanding of British politics. Angela Merkel is dropping by to urge them to at least join in the pretence of being worried. But why should they?
It is natural for EU as well as UK politicians to be striking dramatic poses for the journalists and equally natural for journalists to be joining in the dramatization.
But surely there would be some British journalists with analysis pointing out the obvious. Even though Australian journalists are fully clueless, why wouldn’t some British journalist want the kudos of having got it right?
It is pretty hard to maintain the drama under a headline that reminds everyone that a long postponement is available instead of a “no deal” crash by simply calling a general election or a referendum and explains that the EU would be even happier with ANY of the softer BRINOs considered in Parliament than it is with the deal already agreed:
Since “no deal”, a general election and ANY of the softer BRINOs under consideratin would be immensely damaging to the governing party the remaining option of a referendum on their version of BRINO is a foregone conclusion. But as far as I am aware NOBODY ELSE IS SAYING SO.
Here’s The Guardian’s inimitable Simon Jenkins fantasizing:
The “Leave”campaign is too busy being outraged to actually explain that they have lost.
The “People’s Vote” campaign is too busy whipping up fear of “no deal” to explain that they have won.
This news item is relatively sane:
It accurately reports facts about aspects of the referendum “compromise” that is being prepared. But it doesn’t actually analyse by explaining that the idea of cabinet accepting a referendum on customs union is sheer fantasy and the whole point of the exercise is that cabinet will inevitably have to agree that the only way for the deal they want to be even considered is via a referendum.
Here’s a roundup of the blustering and blithering from The Independent:
Here’s the BBC blithering:
Here’s The Guardian’s roundup of European incomprehension:
Finally, here’s the Guardian’s live stream including above tweet: