May Government steps back from agreement with EU over Irish border, fearing reaction of hard Brexit-ers
In our Start the Week chat, I joined Julia Hartley-Brewer of talkRADIO to consider the latest episode in the UK’s Brexit saga, with an agreement to leave the European Union up in the air over the Irish border issue, and to look at Saudi Arabia’s fightback as it is accused of the disappearance and possible murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The discussion on Brexit explains why the UK Government had to hold up a possible agreement with the EU because of fears of a Cabinet rebellion against Prime Minister Theresa May. It ends with a hard look at the effects of No Deal, and Hartley-Brewer’s unease over the likely plunge into recession:
Whatever you think of Brexit, if you’re under World Trade Organization rules, you’re looking at about a 5% relative drop in GDP, at least in the short term.
You have to accept that starting point. You might say this is worth it for Brexit because in two years, three years you’ll be free to negotiate deals with other countries, but you’re not going to be in that position immediately.
The topic shifts to the Khashoggi affair, as Saudi Arabia galvanizes support from other Arab states and hints at retaliation through higher oil prices if it is is punished. Does Donald Trump have the Saudi back with his focus on preserving US arms sales to the kingdom?