“To deal or not to deal, that is the question” to misquote Hamlet. But unlike Hamlet the Prime Minister seems to have determined his course of action. The millions he has promised to spend on deserving causes would need to come from one of three sources: borrowing, existing resources or new resources. Increased borrowings are anathema to the Conservative Party and to be avoided at all costs, existing resources are stretched so new resources would need to be used.

If the UK, like Norway, joined the EU controlled European Economic Area (which might be the only way to solve the Irish problem, which is bound to crop up in any negotiations for a deal) it would obviously be cheaper than the cost of membership of the EU. However it may not be cheap enough for the spending commitments of the Government and any compensatory payments to farmers, fishermen et al. The Treasury, no doubt, will have done the necessary sums.

It would seem that the PM is betting that voters will accept all the spending commitments as sufficient compensation for a diminished economy. Would any such gamble come off? We can only wait and see.

S. Friedman

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