According to the Financial Times (18 January), "Britain has failed to finalise most trade deals needed to replace the EU’s 40 existing agreements with leading global economies and will not be close to doing so when Brexit occurs on March 29, according to an internal Whitehall memorandum...
"Almost none of them are ready to go now and none will be ready to go by March,” said one government official who has seen the internal analysis of the Department of International Trade’s progress".
"No deal" Brexit doesn't just mean the UK losing its arrangements for quick and easy trade flows with the EU.
It means the UK losing all, or almost all, its trade deals with everywhere in the world.
The most advanced negotiations are for a deal with Switzerland, but even those are not nailed down.
After 46 years in the EU, all Britain's current trade arrangements are EU trade arrangements. All lapse with Brexit unless replaced or continued temporarily thanks to a transition deal; none have replacements ready.
For that reason, almost all businesses above the small-local-business level are horrified by the idea of a "no deal" Brexit.
About a third of everything that is produced in the UK is exported, and about a third of everything that is consumed in the UK is imported.
Socialists do not take our cue from what businesses want. Sometimes, even, we can choose our stance by just saying no when business says yes, yes when business says no.
But basically, we're independent. We are neither yea-sayers nor nay-sayers, but work out independently what is good for the working class. The British labour movement made its start in politics with the Chartist movement, which organised alongside the bourgeois Anti Corn Law League against trade barriers on corn, but with its own independent slant.
Economic disruption, shortages, huge queues at ports, higher prices, are as bad for the working class now as they were in the days of the Corn Laws.
Labour should neither haggle with May to get a tweaked version of her deal (maybe with a customs union), nor back the hard-right Tory "no deal" option. It should go for the only other option available: a new public vote, and a fight to consolidate the majority for Remain.
I hear a lot from Leavers on the subject of "regaining sovereignty". Can one of them please explain to me how this is going to a direct effect on them, or for that matter an indirect effect?