It starts with acknowledging the consequences of one.
Britain’s conservatives are fond of Australia, an Anglosphere place with a flourishing economy, fine weather and fabulous beaches. So when trade talks with the European Union were briefly suspended before resuming this week, and Boris Johnson told Britons they might end up not with the Canada-style free-trade agreement he wanted, but instead leave on “Australian terms”, he made the prospect sound beguilingly sunny.
This is typical Johnsonian spin. If the latest face-to-face talks should collapse and Britain end up with no deal, the terms on which it leaves would not be those that apply to Australia, which has many side-deals and is seeking its own free-trade agreement with the eu. They would be closer to those of Afghanistan, Bhutan or Congo: Britain would have no trade deal at all with its largest trading partner, and little prospect of getting one.