The Times, a.k.a. RemainCentral, has published an editorial today on the outlook for the EU after Brexit. Some very intriguing points are being made – points which had been there all along but were busily disregarded, not least by RemainCentral.
The article has the title: “The Times view on the European Union after Brexit: Troubled Continent” (link, paywalled) and starts with a gentle look back:
“Forty-seven years ago this month Britain joined the European Economic Community, the forerunner of what became in 1993 the European Union. It did so at its third attempt at a time of economic and strategic weakness. Britain’s growth had for years been underperforming its continental counterparts while the government found itself increasingly shut out of decision-making over rules it was often obliged to follow.
Since then Britain has done an awful lot to shape the EU. It spearheaded the creation of the single market. And it pushed for the expansion of the EU to include the newly liberated countries of central and eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. But this journey will come to an end on January 31 when Britain leaves, capping what has been a tumultuous decade in the EU’s history.” (link, paywalled)
Didn’t we do good as EU members! It’s no wonder that the generation of 18-34 year olds are such keen Remainers: they simply have never known a time when the EU wasn’t there. I do wonder though why those of that same age group, who had never known life outside a communsit regime, managed to get rid of the Wall and ultimately the Soviet Union itself. Perhaps the ‘soft power’ of a Nanny state was more effective than the brutal subjugation by a ‘Father State’?
Next, there’s a recapitulation of ‘events’ which hit the EU – remember though that these events hit us as well as we were still firm EU members, albeit not of the Eurozone. I never thought that the feud between Blair and Brown on joining the Euro turned out to be such blessing for us:
“Brexit was only one of a series of shocks to hit the bloc over a decade. The first half was dominated by the financial crisis that had begun in Greece in the last weeks of 2009. This swiftly turned into an existential threat to the eurozone, as financial contagion spread to other vulnerable economies. Yet even as a line was finally drawn under the Greek situation in mid-2015, an even greater crisis was under way.
The arrival of more than a million refugees, encouraged in part by the German chancellor Angela Merkel’s ill-judged decision to throw open Germany’s borders, led to the near collapse of the EU’s Schengen passport-free travel area as member states reimposed border checks. The legacy of that crisis continues to poison EU politics to this day, fuelling support for anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic populist parties.” (link, paywalled)
Remember that ‘Eurosceptic’ and ‘populist’ have been the preferred terms of abuse thrown at Leavers. Also, replace ‘anti-immigrant’ with ‘racist’ and you get a good description of how the Remain MSM described us. As the GE showed, the whole UK must be riddled with such hateful critters, else why didn’t get gentle Corbyn his majority, especially when he promised such wonderful things … and isn’t it odd that these same invectives are now being used for huge numbers of people right across the EU, not just in the ‘enemy’ states of Poland and Hungary? Let’s continue:
“That the bloc overcame these crises and was able to stick together when faced with the trauma of Brexit could be cited as evidence of its durability. […] Yet this stability is illusory. Economic growth remains lacklustre and underpinned by a vast central bank bond-buying programme, without which market confidence might evaporate. […] Political instability across much of the EU’s southern neighbourhood means that the risk of a new refugee problem remains.” (link, paywalled)
The ‘trauma of Brexit’? Wasn’t it us who were traumatising the UK by voting to Leave? Moreover, have they already forgotten how Cameron, once a ‘spearhead’ for reforming the EU, for taking in those now so populist new members of the former Warsaw Pact states, went round the capitals of the EU member states, begging for concessions, some concessions, any concession, to avert a Referendum? That was only four years ago – what a long time ago that is!
Remainers always seem to regard the EU as totally blameless for the various crises described above, even if yet again EU intransigence might possibly lead to an even more severe crisis. The next quote is especially interesting when we recall M Macron’s plan to ‘make the EU a global player again’, as we reported here earlier today. RemainCentral writes:
“If the EU has been tested by unprecedented internal shocks, the next decade may be defined by how it responds to the extraordinary external challenges that have emerged in recent years. The EU started the decade brimming with self-confidence, believing that it was destined to play an enhanced role on the global stage. Today it finds itself fighting for strategic relevance, squeezed between an increasingly assertive China and an increasingly uninterested and even hostile United States.
The rules-based system that gives Europe’s smaller countries global clout is under unprecedented strain. […] EU efforts to form a united front in response to common challenges, from defence to climate change to digital taxation, have so far had limited success.” (link, paywalled)
Doesn’t it look as if that ‘rules-based system’ the EU prides itself of might in fact be the very system which might lead to its collapse? Doesn’t it look as if other EU member states are now also finding that these rules are in fact strangulations, thinly cloaked by that threadbare excuse for an “EU Democracy” , a.k.a. EUropean Parliament? As for that final paragraph – one would have to have a heart of stone not to weep:
“Europe enters the new decade under siege. Britain may consider itself well out of it. Yet a weakened Europe that becomes a playground for great powers is not in Britain’s interests. Nor have the economic and strategic factors that led the UK to seek a role in European decision-making 47 years ago gone away. The challenge of the next decade must be to create robust new mechanisms for co-operation to strengthen both Britain and the EU.” (link, paywalled)
Poor EU – and horrid us, especially as we dared to vote for Brexit while everything else is still so scary – and never mind that remaining in the EU would have us dragged deeper into that mire. Instead, this particular opinion piece cannot let go of Remain arguments while creating a ‘new front’, namely that, post-Brexit, it’s our turn to help the poor, downtrodden EU. If RemainCentral believes that, after all they and the EU have thrown at us Leavers it’s now our duty to be magnanimous to both Remain and the EU, then I think I can already hear the voices of us unwashed, populist, ‘eurosceptic’ peasants out here: ‘on yer bike, matey!’