Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

There is No Such Thing as No Deal


The withdrawal agreement is not only unjustified but also not required. In the event of the UK's departure from the EU without a withdrawal agreement the EU itself has put in place measures to keep trade open. These range from agreeing to equivalence in financial services, access for hauliers, the continuation of flights, and the transport convention with the customs clearance declarations at the final county of destination meaning that trade can continue to cross borders. Plus customs will prioritise flow above checks, which only ever amount to often no more than 2pc.

These measures build upon and exceed other international agreements and world trade bodies that further ensure that there is simply no such thing as a 'cliff edge' nor a problem of 'crashing out'. These are just pejorative terms for our national independence. Words designed to solicit a fearful response from members of the public in order to cajole them in to agreeing to scurrilous attempts to dispose of our self-government.

The Withdrawal Agreement is redundant and there is simply no good reason to delay, let alone reverse, our departure from the European Union. Project fear has no basis in theory let alone reality. In addition to this, according to a recent YouGov poll, every region, apart from London, Scotland and Northern Ireland prefer a so-called no deal Brexit; most regions favouring a no deal scenario polled around half supporting it and around ⅓ supporting a second referendum or remaining in the EU. The Midlands and South West seems to be no deal heartland with a stunning 49pc supporting no deal according to YouGov. 44pc of all voters believe that the UK should leave the EU, deal or no deal, on October 31st compared to 42pc who support either a second referendum or remaining in the EU as we currently are.

As mentioned above, the EU have already placed special measures to avoid disruption such as allowing Brits to travel to the EU without a Visa, to ensure aviation still works smoothly both commercially and private aircrafts, between EU companies and non-EU companies flying between Britain and the EU. It was also confirmed how rail services such as the Eurostar will continue with rail safety authorities still working closely to ensure passenger safety and comfort. In April, the European Parliament's Justice Committee passed papers ensuring that Britons could travel to the EU visa free from the date of leaving "even in the eventuality of no deal".

Road travel to the EU will also be impacted only slightly with freight and coach services as well as private vehicles able to operate to and from the EU – this was set out on the European Parliament website. Eurotunnel has spent around £13m doing work to prepare for Brexit, whilst the port has thrown around £5m into developments and upgrading infrastructure to cope; not only that, haulage firms will be able to use e-declarations to declare what's in their wagons, the goods will also be tracked and a green light will show if the lorry is fine to carry on its way and an orange light will show concerns and a customs official will be brought in to deal with it. All the project fear nonsense of queues of lorries all the way up the motorways may not be true at all, Calais have certainly prepared to allow for Britain's exit from the EU as have Boulogne and Rotterdam in the Netherlands with huge investments on security and customs checks etc. It's not just the Europeans who are ready though, the British Port Holdings have also made clear how they are ready for our departure from the EU with similar measures taken as the European ports and terminals.

Obviously, there will be small delays and it may take slightly longer than it already does but senior officials have predicted an extra few minutes onto some journeys if there is no suspicion. 12 wagons can be simultaneously checked at Calais' new facilities and with its new technology to speed up the process with 100 lorries fitting into the checks area at one time. So, all this project fear propaganda about there being a food shortage or limited amounts of pharmaceuticals, or even worse no Mars bars! This may turn out to be nothing more than complete, utter rubbish.

Not only that, the massive media uproar of students not finishing their courses in the UK has been corrected on the European Parliament website which ensures that all Erasmus+ students will be able to finish their courses at British universities; not only that the programme is already open to non-EU countries already.

Not only that, the UK have also been preparing for a so called no deal Brexit with a large sum of money set aside by the Chancellor in his latest Budget in October, as well as the National Audit Office setting out detailed contingency plans of preparing for leaving the EU without a deal as well as the role of government and governmental departments in this process.

But it's not just the EU as a whole or Britain which is ready for a so called no deal, the French ambassador was quoted saying when asked about a short article 50 extension to avoid an instant financial crisis, "We could probably extend for a couple of weeks to prepare ourselves in the markets." This gained support from both Belgian and Spanish counterparts who agree only a short delay would be necessary; Paris is however asking other members of the EU27 to stay true to the meeting of 21st March when it was agreed that only a short delay should be allowed rather than Donald Tusk's idea of a 'flextension' or German proposals of a long extension to secure political backing for a deal with the EU.

To sum up, all the scaremongering of no deal shortages is farfetched to say the least, of course there will be teething problems but those will all be sorted with time and technological advancements. Leaving without a deal is not the huge car crash that some people make it out to be, there is plenty of opportunities to be taken when we leave the EU, especially forming better trade links with the Commonwealth and the US, as we've seen with President Trump's recent visit.


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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames