“No-deal is better than a bad deal”

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Listening to the BBC's Radio 4, I'm amazed about the amount of talk and discussion the simple sentence quoted above has generated. All of it displays a profound ignorance of both language and logic. The sentence is obviously not a meaningful statement – for that its terms would have to be defined, which they aren't – but is in fact a definition (and, using that, a tautology).

No-deal is, of course, the default position of there being, as it were, no deal in effect. Anything worse than that is, by definition, a bad deal. A corollary of that being, that any deal better than no-deal becomes a good deal and a success, however small, of the negotiations.

Having achieved these simple definitions, the sentence on top does, in practical terms, become a statement of sorts after all. It tells Britain's European counterparts: “Do not even bother to offer us bad deal. We have already got the default, no-deal position in the bag, so unless your opening position offers something more than that, there is no use talking to you in the first place.”

Rather trivial, indeed. But having read Jean-Claude Juncker's and other's rants and their delusions about punishing Britain for not cowing down, it seems not trivial enough not to need stating explicitly.

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