For the past week I have had an awful sense of déjà vu. Shenanigans in the House of Commons about Brexit. Rumours about removal of the whip from Tory MPs should they rebel on votes. And the threat of No Deal. It feels like the autumn of 2019 all over again.
Now, as then, there is a need to explain what might happen, and in what order. To try to give some sort of predictability to a messy process. Now, as then, the best way to do that is probably to put everything together into a Brexit Diagram (even though my 9 month long diagram break has been a joy, I suppose it is time to get back to it!)
So welcome to Brexit Diagram Series 5. The aim here is to work out what will happen in matters Brexit between now and the end of 2020. Now, as with all previous series of these diagrams, my aim is to outline what I think will happen, not what I want to happen.
All diagrams in this series will always be uploaded at this link, and will always be tweeted out and the latest version pinned to my Twitter profile. Major diagram updates will also be posted here in this blog post. There will always be high resolution PNG and PDF files, the draw.io XML, and the XLS file I use to calculate the probabilities. All versions are numbered (e.g. V1.2.3) – where the first number indicates changes to the routes or options in the diagram, the second indicates changes to probabilities, and the third number just minor corrections to text or removal of typos.
If you want to use the images or documents to make your own diagrams, feel free – please just credit my work. If you think my workings are wrong, likewise please tell me. But do me a favour and don’t just say “you’re wrong!” – tell me why I am wrong, which routes are wrong, or which probabilities need adjusting. Probabilities are based on data where it is available, and on educated guesses where it is not. Any errors in this are mine and mine alone.
And for those new to all of this diagram lark – Series 1 and 2 were from early 2019 and predicted a Brexit delay and that is what happened. Series 3 predicted a General Election, and that took place. Series 4 predicted a Johnson election victory, and the UK leaving the EU by January 2020 – and that happened too. The diagrams were also featured in the New York Times.
Version 5.0.0 – 1.10.2020, 1200
The European Commission has this morning sent a Letter of Notice to the UK. This version explains the consequences.
Version 4.1.0 – 30.9.2020, 1000
News overnight that only 8 Tory MPs abstained on the Internal Market Bill, and news of rules of origin for the car industry becoming a more important issue in negotiations – all of this decreases the chance of an agreement on the substance by mid-October, and decreases the chances of a substantive rebellion by the House of Lords.
Version 4.0.0 – 29.9.2020, 1530
Some contradictions in the routes in V3.0.0 were pointed out to me – these have been corrected in this reasonably minor update.
Version 3.0.0 – 29.9.2020, 1030
There are some signs of a softening of reactions in Brussels – Sefcovic much less hard line than before. Draws on this by Alberto Nardelli, this statement from Gove, and this debate with David Henig, Nick Guttridge and Fabian Zuleeg. Changes in numbers more to do with the new way the routes have been plotted than any major change towards No Deal.
Version 2.0.0 – 18.9.2020, 1830
The Internal Market Bill will now only head to the House of Lords in October, and Number 10 has conceded on the Neill amendment. However the scheduling of what happens next, in what order, is now one hell of a mess.
Version 1.0.0 – 15.9.2020, 1200
The 2nd Reading of the Internal Market Bill passed easily yesterday, and while there were some signs of rebellion on the Tory benches it was not significant enough to cause the Government a major headache.