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Bad Deal or Worse No Deal

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The scary thing is, my guess is that she’s not bluffing:

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Theresa May made a momentous choice. After a day of acrimonious debate in her cabinet and inner circle, the prime minister decided that she was willing to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.

At Thursday’s European Council meeting in Brussels, EU diplomats wondered whether Mrs May was bluffing, but those close to the prime minister said if she cannot secure her Brexit deal she is determined the UK should embark on a no-deal exit.

Since announcing on Wednesday that she would ask EU leaders for a short extension to the bloc’s Article 50 process — to delay Brexit from March 29 to June 30 — people who have spoken to the prime minister said she is reconciled to the implications of what happens if the UK parliament continues to reject her withdrawal agreement.

“The mood has hardened on no deal,” said one person close to the prime minister. One Eurosceptic Conservative MP who met Mrs May on Wednesday night said: “She didn’t seem concerned about leaving with no deal.”

The prime minister refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit as she arrived in Brussels, and in her preferred scenario this could happen on June 30.

The complicating factor is that in the very likely event May’s deal fails to get approval from Parliament for a third time, her government might collapse. As always, the key takeaway is that David Cameron’s fecklessness and incompetence are of world-historical magnitude.

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