The mainstream media are even more confused than usual by Wednesday’s not unexpected defeat of the government. The amendment of clause 9 not only does not stop Brexit, it actually makes a UK/EU deal less likely.
Who Is To Blame?
The first thing to be said is that the Prime Minister has only herself to blame, although we can also fairly blame the Tory Party for installing a Remainer as leader. As I suggested in my last article, ‘Appeaser Theresa’ clearly does not want out and is planning on staying so close to the EU that re-joining would be fairly straightforward. ‘Der Kameron’ clearly had the same idea.
Instead of going for a clean break they opted for dirty, the so-called ‘soft Brexit’. This has entailed huge delays and the current mess in Brussels. It cannot be emphasised too strongly that all of this was unnecessary. We could have denounced the TEU on 12 months’ notice, but that would have meant listening to experts, of course.
By dragging the process out and going for a trade deal the PM set the stage for Wednesday’s richly-deserved humiliation. No deal the EU would give us would be worth having anyway, so why bother? We have no ongoing obligations to the EU, save for our budget contributions during the notice period. Whoever heard of an industrial nation paying forty billion quid for access to a market which did not buy its goods? How many new Jaguars would you expect to see in a day in Paris? If any? I don’t think I saw a single one last time I was in gay Paris.
Membership of the EU costs UK plc roughly £200-250 billion a year, mostly in excess regulatory and labour displacement costs. That’s not counting the cost in lives due to almost unchecked narcotics imports – most of the heroin and cocaine reaching our shores comes via trucks from Europe. The single market death toll barely featured in last year’s referendum campaign, but on any view it’s several thousand a year.
The traffic congestion costs alone, due to the shift in freight from rail and the road-smashing impact of 44 ton Euro-juggernauts, is probably of the order of £25 billion a year. Entering into negotiations with Johnny European to stay in his beastly market was always madness.
With respect I am not sure that any Euro-madness would be too mad for m’learned friend. Dominic has always been a keen Euronutter, no offence intended. He even believes that the Factortame cases were rightly decided! That’s right – he’s a lawyer who has persuaded himself that Parliament can bind its successors. No wonder they made him Attorney-General. Dominic (we do know each other) is clearly trying to frustrate Brexit. Has he succeeded, or has he shot himself in the foot?
The New Clause 9
New clause 9 does not stop Brexit. If enacted, it would not withdraw the Article 50 denunciation, nor would it postpone the two-year denunciation period.
The Commission is making up the Article 50 procedure as it goes along. Dominic Grieve and Anna Soubry, the idiots (no offence intended) have just wrecked the EU’s improvised timetable. Thanks to their silly amendment every Brexit MP and peer will be able to have a go at the deal if one is actually signed. Having to do it via an Act of Parliament instead of a Henry VIII Order will make it thrice as hard to get a deal through.
The alternative to a deal is no deal, rather like the alternative to global warming is the weather we’ve just been having. Nothing in the Withdrawal Bill stops the Article 50 process, nor could it, since Article 50 operates in the international plane. Just as the Commission will have to get a deal through the European Parliament Davis and May will now be faced with a full-scale Parliamentary battle to get their dodgy deal approved. Great! The agreement, if any, should sink faster than the Bismarck after the dear old Dorsetshire finished her off with 21” torpedoes.
Admiral Tovey had the right strategy for negotiating with Johnny European. Pound him to pieces with heavy main battery gunfire, send in a cruiser to finish him off with torpedoes and keep a good lookout for U-Boats whilst you take on board survivors.