While Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt continue to battle it out for the Conservative crown, there is one striking consequence of unfolding events that is particularly bad for Britain. The European Union is being let clean off the hook.
We know only too well of the incompetent and duplicitous performance of our politicians who thought they could say one thing about respecting the result of the referendum, then do the opposite. One would have thought they would have learned a lesson from the stunning support for the Brexit Party in the recent European elections and the Peterborough by-election.
Sadly, it’s not the case. While the Tory leaderships contenders attempt to talk tough about leaving the EU by October 31st, they too slip into the mindset of trying to placate our ‘friends’ in Europe by effectively signalling they are desperate for a settlement. Having been handed the future of our country on a plate by the UK’s lamentable negotiations to date, the continuing mantra that No Deal must be avoided plays right into the EU’s hands.
In George Orwell’s words, ‘during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act’. I believe that this is what the Brexit Party is doing, telling the truth and this is why it is being met with such resistance by the political establishment.
Over 20 years ago, in 1997, the Referendum Party, funded by Sir James Goldsmith, campaigned under the banner ‘Let The People Decide’. The mainstream political narrative at the time was that the Euro would bring better employment prospects and higher living standards to 300 million people living in Europe. But they were wrong. The reality is that the Euro was a last desperate attempt by the post-war elite who, having failed to deliver political union, foisted the Euro on an unsuspecting public to try and forge monetary union.
The Referendum Party won enough votes to persuade Mr. Blair, Mr. Major and Mr. Ashdown to abandon plans to surrender our currency which with the benefit of hindsight was a Godsend. The Euro is now grinding the weaker economies of Europe into poverty and curbing European growth which has halved since the 1990’s as a percentage of the world economy.
Our elected politicians have silently over many years transferred Britain’s sovereignty to the European Union beginning with the 1957 Treaty of Rome followed by the European Communities Act of 1972, the Single European Act of 1987, the 1992 Maastrict Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. Had they signed up for the Euro as well, we would now be a vassal state, not a proud sovereign democracy.
I personally have never understood the need to conflate trade with the surrender of our sovereignty. After 1815 when we defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, Europe had a golden period of free trade until the Kaiser and then Hitler had an attempt at European domination.
The recent negotiation of our exit from the European Union has again demonstrated the misalignment between the current political establishment and the people. We hold all the cards, with our economy representing the same economic contribution as the 19 smallest members of the EU. We are the second largest contributor to the EU budget, our intelligence services are the best in Europe and we have a trade deficit of £96 billion with the EU.
In spite of this, we have allowed the EU to insist that we agree a financial payment (which ignores our capital contribution over many years) as well as other pre-conditions. Their treatment of us has been highly disrespectful and in breach of Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty. Our Prime Minister ended up with a ‘pig’ deal which was neither ‘fish nor fowl’ and would have been significantly worse than staying in the EU. Our Civil Service has lost sight of who they serve and by whom they are paid. Margaret Thatcher once asserted that ‘advisers advise but ministers decide’ and it is evident that this has not been the case over the Brexit negotiations.
The logical and responsible solution now must be to make it clear to the European Commission that we favour a sensible and co-operative free trade deal that builds on the relationship that currently exists. This is in the best interests of both Britain and Europe. If this is not forthcoming, then we have to leave on WTO rules on 31st October 2019 following which, I believe, the economic reality of the weak European position will ensure that common sense prevails. Under no circumstances should we make further sorties to reopen negotiations and suffer the lack of courtesy that we have endured at the hands of Messrs Juncker, Tusk and Barnier who have clearly overplayed their collective hand.
The Brexit Party has enjoyed success because it aligns itself with the people who see all too clearly that the spotlight should remain firmly on the EU. The people’s voice has been strong and unequivocal. So should be our country’s in its approach to making Brexit happen. The people will not let the UK political establishment off the hook for failing to deliver.
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