As Juliet Samuel makes clear in a cogent and compelling piece for the Telegraph;
Despite the EU’s moderation on paper, however, prospects for a smooth Brexit are currently far from rosy. The weekend’s headlines were flavoured with a classic Brussels tincture – a poisonous media briefing and a Jean-Claude Juncker soundbite. None of this would have been unleashed without Berlin’s blessing and suggests that German attitudes are hardening. Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to have bought into the idea that the EU must make an example of Britain in order to protect itself. The wrong side is winning the argument. This may be because most EU governments don’t yet believe they have much to lose. They cannot conceive that Britain would ever walk away from a deal, however unpalatable its terms. On this, they have misjudged.Samuel makes clear that we must prepare now to walk away without a deal, and assume that this will be the outcome of the negotiations. If we manage to reach a satisfactory deal, fine. But if we don't, as seems more likely, we will be ready.
We should not underestimate the global economic and financial shock of leaving with no deal. We must be prepared to look after the UK's interests, and if possible those of the Commonwealth and of the USA - the anglosphere. We will need emergency wartime powers and more importantly a national consensus that may mean a wartime cabinet - with opposition ministers sitting in government. Parliament needs to be ready to legislate on the hoof, reservists ready to be called up, the red duster fleet ready to serve the nation and yes, possibly even rationing systems to be devised and rolled out and temporary state control of food, fuel and power. Bills must be drafted NOW to meet an emergency.
This election is an essential fore-runner to facing a time of such emergency. The Prime Minister needs the backing of the country - the Commons will not be of one voice in the debate to reject a humiliating and wounding offer from the EU, but once the house has voted in favour of walking away, they will all be behind it or face the wrath of voters. The Lords are a different kettle of fish. We cannot allow these deeply corrupted and befouled fifth columnists to sabotage the national interest. Mrs May no doubt also has a reserve plan to deal with these foreign agents in our midst.
I do hope the Bank has been quietly buying back the nation's gold reserves so foolishly squandered by the last Labour chancellor. As the talks collapse and gold shoots past £1,400 an ounce we will need every kilo we can get.