In the Murrination, Brexit XIX: The EU referendum and the divorce process, Part III, we made the analogy between the divorce process of a married couple and Britain leaving the EU. In the section named ‘The aftermath’, there is a point of reflection during this process that is critical to the outcome, and that is how well or badly the separation process unfolded. If it went smoothly, whereby both parties acted reasonably, then inevitably, the leaver might question the decision. However, in cases where the separation degenerates into an open conflict, then it only reinforces the leaver’s decision as being correct. On a personal level the challenges of a separation are very hard, and if we are able to be honest with ourselves, our behaviour during the process reveals who we are to ourselves and those around us.
This critical inflection point was reached when Donald Tusk gave Spain a veto over any deal that affected Gibraltar within the Brexit trade agreement. This caused Gibraltar to become a pawn within negotiations. The act of placing this British Overseas Territory ceded to Britain in 1713 under Spain’s authority was a critical step. It has polarised British views against the EU and hardened her negotiating strategy as it is clear that the EU will do all it can to punish Britain for leaving.
The bottom line is that Britain should now prepare herself for the worst case hard Brexit, and any additional beneficial terms gained through negotiation should then be considered a bonus.