Is Boris bluffing?

Today’s wailing in the press is about how Boris has not made any attempt to approach the EU and that no deal is the default option. Guido has noticed, too, and cites more evidence.

Convincingly maintaining that you are prepared to walk away, even by appearing uninterested at all in the transaction, makes for good haggling. There is in fact no difference in appearance between a Boris genuinely happy with leaving without a deal, and a Boris who really wants a deal but thinks the EU will blink first. If they do, we may find that Richard Tice is right and we get a “reheated” Theresa May withdrawal agreement.

So Remainers, no need to panic: just because Boris is maintaining coercive credibility does not mean he will push the button. Leavers: keep holding your breath.

Updated: 6th August 2019 — 12:59 pm