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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Brexit: Hard, Soft or Stupid?

Yesterday, David Davis began his 'negotiation' with the agents of the EU Commission about the terms on which Britain will carry through its invocation of the relevant provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, for the cessation of Britain's membership. It was emphasised on all the visual media, that the EU side of the table had extensive piles of briefing material while the British had none.

The British people has no idea whatsoever their government is seeking in this vital negotiation. All inquiries are referred to Mrs May's 'Lancaster House Speech'; which is uninformative and no longer relevant. It is uninformative because it has no specifics; it is irrelevant because since she made that speech she has tried, and disastrously failed, to establish a strong political base in the Commons for herself. On becoming the prime minister, she made the spectacularly stupid remark: "Brexit means Brexit". Brexit means nothing: it was dreamed up as a code-word for the process that no-one understood - how to interpret and implement the intentions of the narrow majority in the 2016 Referendum - and it copied the term Grexit which had been coined in the previous year to cover a potential Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone.

I voted for leaving the EU as part of the mass protest against the political class - even more the continental version than the British - and, more specifically, against the idiotic scare stories that were being promoted by George Osborne and David Cameron. I expected the remainers to win, but I hoped that their majority would be so small that it would serve as a warning to the class [right across the Union] that they were pushing the mass of the people too hard in a direction of austerity and integration that the people deeply resented.

It was obvious that the political class would still be in power on the day after the referendum; and my hope was that they would be sufficiently chastened for their europhilism to be modified. Instead, the class leadership crumpled. Cameron ran away early on the morning the result was announced; and in quick time a mild remainer, Mrs May, became a prime minister who was totally unprepared to address the situation. Inevitably, she rid her government of Osborne; then, at her own discretion she appointed three 'Brexiteers' to lead the negotiations and thus to shape the path that that the UK should take in implementation of the referendum vote. Boris Johnson has developed his role as an insubstantial buffoon and a pretty ineffectual Foreign Secretary. The important role of planning the way through 'Brexit' [whatever that might mean] was divided between Davis as lead negotiator with the EU and Fox as the man who would - apparently - make trade deals with the rest of the world that would substitute worldwide markets for what Britain might loose in a Europe that was closed against British goods and services. So far as one can tell, these are two dafter buffoons than Boris, who have been given licenses separately and in their own ways to ruin the country.

It is essential that Britain remains within the European Economic Area: news items every day show that supply chains from toffee factories to radiotherapy suites depend unconditionally upon that precondition; and the UK must be prepared to pay whatever has to be paid, immediately and for the indefinite future, to get out of the EU political institutions [Commission and Parliament, in particular] and to remain within the economic union. There must be a massive national uprising if and when it becomes clear that the 'hard Brexiteers' are trying to produce any other result. As I pointed out a few days ago, India, China and USA - in particular - are notorious for overriding trade agreements whenever point protectionism is needed to protect one of their industries or service activities. It is the height of folly for any responsible adult to pretend that a series of one-to-one trade agreements - even if they could be effected - would be validated by events.

Allegedly, some members of the Cabinet, unable to halt the buffoons, are arguing for a long adjustment period, during which more rational thinking should be allowed some space. Against such 'slow Brexiteers' there are those who argue that the national referendum result was binding, that it must be implemented in the most ruinous way, and that it must be done quickly to give effect to the 'will of the people'; who will be free to repent of their votes at leisure. Mrs May has no authority to adjudicate on this contest.

Mercifully, Corbyn has shown himself to be completely out of his depth on the matter: otherwise, the Labour opposition could be extremely difficult at this time. The Labour party will not provide the focus for the national revolt: so we all may have to fall back on Vince Cable to be the nation's lightening conductor. Let us hope that, if it comes to that, he has the necessary stamina. At least, he got his doctorate in Economics before the Econocracy had gained their mastery of the field.

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