THE RULESof chicken are straightforward: two occasions hurtle in opposition to every diverse at tempo and the principle to pass out of the manner—the chicken—loses. After posing with feathered chums at a poultry farm in Wales, Boris Johnson, the unusual high minister, made it certain that he wouldn’t be the principle to swerve.

Mr Johnson demands that theEUbin the Irish backstop (beholdarticle) agreed on as piece of the deal reached with Theresa Would possibly per chance possibly per chance, his predecessor. TheEUhas time and again ruled this out. In the event that they’ll’t compromise, he squawked, “if they in reality can’t originate it, then clearly we now include got to put together for a no-deal exit.” The game may possibly possibly unprejudiced play itself out in quite loads of diverse ways (behold chart) sooner than October Thirty first, the date on which Mr Johnson is committed to leaving theEU.

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Predominant to a success the game is to appear certain no longer to chicken out. Brexiteers teach that theEUby no methodology in reality believed Mrs Would possibly per chance possibly per chance’s “no deal is more fit than a tainted deal” line, which weakened Britain’s negotiating hand. Mr Johnson has gone all-out to expose that he methodology it.

Sajid Javid, the unusual chancellor, has pledged an extra £2bn ($2.5bn) for no-deal preparations, on top of the £4bn-odd that Philip Hammond, his predecessor, direct apart. Some £100m will be spent on adverts warning the public and corporations to put together for the worst. Michael Gove, who led the Vote Leave advertising campaign with Mr Johnson in 2016, meets top officials day after day to orchestrate “no-deal” preparations. Add the magic words “no deal” to any spending query and this may possibly per chance acquire its choice to the chancellor’s desk nearly straight away, says an aide.

But through no-deal preparations, setting apart theatre from actuality is hard. Below the recent bluster, in most departments preparations involve blowing the dust off broken-down plans. Britain has been here sooner than. In March and April, the ideal time a no-deal exit loomed, departments were working 24-hour response models. Primarily based on the Institute for Authorities (IFG), 16,000 civil servants were beavering away on Brexit plans.

Some progress has been made since. Earlier this month the Bank of England approved that “UK-basically basically based corporations include made further preparations with a notion to againEUpurchasers” in the tournament that Britain leaves with out a deal. It would no longer quiz lending to corporations and households to consume up. An upgraded customs arrangement, wished to take care of the excellent choice of customs declarations that can must be made once tariffs are in direct, used to be no longer ready for March or April, but will now be partly in direct by October.

Powerful extra aloof wishes to be performed. By dint of itsEUmembership Britain has around 40 free-alternate deals with non-EUinternational locations. The executive has acknowledged that it wishes to reach bilateral agreements with these international locations, so that the agreements roll over even when Britain leaves theEUwith out a deal. Up to now it has managed to roll over lower than half of. Britain has made even less progress on diverse global agreements to which it is party through itsEUmembership, including on nuclear analysis and competition.

But there is fully so worthy the executive can originate. A lot of the points thrown up by a no-deal Brexit are inherently bilateral, requiring theEUto play nice, aspects out Anand Menon ofUKin a Altering Europe, a judge-tank. Britain may possibly possibly unprejudiced throw originate the port at Dover, as an illustration, nonetheless it’d be for naught if officials in Calais put into effect tests. The Confederation of British Industry says that theEU’s preparations dash in the relieve of Britain’s. And whereas the executive will resolve the route Britain takes out of theEU, it is corporations that can feel the outcomes, and that must decide action to mitigate them. But “corporations originate no longer include to,” says Sam Lowe, a researcher on the Centre for European Reform, one other judge-tank. “They wish executive to accept as true with this price.”

Kicking alternate into action is extra difficult than it looks. The first region is Duke of York syndrome. Some corporations keep in direct contingency measures the ideal time a no-deal exit loomed. Many felt that their money used to be wasted. “Marching them relieve up the hill again will be a region,” acknowledged Martin McTague, from the Federation of Cramped Firms, a lobby community, specifically when Mr Johnson himself acknowledged someday of his advertising campaign to change into high minister that no-deal has a “million to at least one” chance of going on. “The million-to-one line will resonate better than a technical note or a billboard from executive asserting ‘put together’,” says Joe Owen of theIFG.

2nd, scaring alternate into action sits uneasily with Mr Johnson’s pathological optimism. A top level notion of the specter of no-deal alarming satisfactory to procure alternate to put together energetically would frighten the horses; too rosy an account of the long flee and other folk will no longer put together.

The markets, on the least, are taking severely the executive’s obvious decision to head away with or with out a deal. In Mr Johnson’s first week as high minister the pound fell by 3% on a alternate-weighted basis. It’s miles nearing $1.20 in opposition to the buck, its lowest stage for the reason that referendum.

The executive hopes that focus on of a mammoth fiscal boost will counterbalance the gloom. It’s miles asserted to be planning an autumn finances that can possibly possibly procure the economy “going gangbusters” by exit day. Mr Johnson has floated diverse giveaways, including raising the thresholds at which other folk originate up to pay the easier payment of profits tax and further cash for theNHSand police. On the poultry farm he promised to compensate farmers who lose out from any no-deal disruption.

But Britain may possibly possibly no longer be ready to exhaust its away out of no-deal chaos. In such an tournament, annual borrowing would anyway upward push by some £30bn (1.4% ofGDP) as the economy slowed, official estimates suggest. A executive which promised loads of extra spending and tax cuts on top of that can possibly possibly take a look at the boldness of investors. And a no-deal Brexit is possible to be basically a shock to the provision aspect of the economy. Fiscal stimulus aimed at supporting keep a matter to would originate nothing to abet bottlenecks at Dover or corporations that were no longer legally allowed to sell into theEUmarket. No longer all kinds of chicken reach cheap.