James O'Brien's Brexit Analysis: We Can Only Get No Deal Or A Bad Deal

18 October 2018, 12:04

This is James O'Brien's must-watch analysis of the status of Brexit with Theresa May set to extend the transition period.

After a difficult EU Summit in Brussels, reports suggest that the Prime Minister is planning to keep Britain in the EU until the end of 2021.

She has come in for a lot of criticism for it, but James said she only has two Brexit choices: a disastrous no-deal, or a worse deal than we currently had.

Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "Brexit was always going to be bad. Any argument against that now has become completely abstract. No one ever talks about tangible benefits, material improvements, measurable goods. They only ever talk about completely nebulous, notional principles like control, without actually telling you how anything is going to change.

"I bow to nobody in my disgust at Windrush and sundry other elements of her so-called hostile environment, but in the context purely and simply of managing the Conservative Party and accommodating Brexit, I do sometimes feel sorry for Theresa May and I do sometimes think that she might actually be more deserving of credit than we realise.

"She seems to me now to be almost at the end of the road, because she has presumed that as more and more evidence emerged, more and more pennies would drop. She doesn't want a second referendum ostensibly, although I'm struck by the fact that she used the phrase 'in this Parliament' when ruling one out. That of course leaves the door open to a proper referendum when we know what the view looks like outside the European Union somehow happening in another Parliament regardless of who's Prime Minister.

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

"But the bottom line that she's always understood is that there's nothing, nothing she can deliver to the British public that will look for a moment better than what they've currently got.

"And there is the fundamental divide that has cut this country in half. She knows there's nothing she can offer that will be better.

"Any deal that Theresa May signs will look worse than what we currently have. It will possibly assuage small minorities that combine to support various different ideas.

"People still don't know what backstop means, they still don't understand the difference between the Customs Union, the single market and neither. They haven't read the Good Friday Agreement, they haven't read the impact assessments in the House of Commons library, nor have journalists to the eternal shame of this profession.

"But the bottom line is this. Theresa May now has to kick the can again."