Yesterday was the day our Government, in the form of our PM, unconditionally surrendered to the EU by signing the Withdrawal Agreement. The other, the winning side, not only jubilated – it is already tightening the screws even further. There are some very illuminating remarks made by EU ‘diplomats’ during that signing ‘ceremony’ yesterday.
For example, we read that, should our PM (sorry, my keyboard rejects typing her name) not get this wonderful surrender through Parliament, she’ll be expected to come back grovelling, trying to renegotiate with the victorious powers, but:
““We can change the staples and the colour of the paper, but beyond that, we can’t do much,” says a diplomat from a country usually friendly to the UK. “The EU will not give up the backstop. It cannot. So you can do some tweaks, but will that really make a difference?” Anything more fundamental, another EU diplomat warns, risks unravelling a deal which, while it may have left British MPs fuming, has also upset several EU member states who believe Michel Barnier gave up too much leverage by agreeing to write a customs deal into the divorce treaty.” (DT/paywalled).
The same chatty EU ‘diplomats’ had this to say about the Remainers’ hope for an extension to article 50:
“If the ‘no’ vote comes, there is a presumption that Article 50 could be briefly extended, until July at the latest, but only to enable the British to elect a new prime minister, hold a general election, a second referendum, a Norway/EFTA negotiation – or whatever else emerges. Even this is not guaranteed. […] there is also rising impatience with Britain’s inability to make it’s mind up. The EU side may think the best way to help is to sit on its hands. “The UK should not presume an extension,” says one wearied EU brexit negotiator, […]” (DT/paywalled).
EU ‘diplomats’ and by extension the leaders of the EU countries regard our, the 17.4 voters’ preferred option of leaving with ‘no deal’ and going for the WTO option, as ‘self-harm’. After all, sovereignty to them is harmful and Ms Merkel is on record saying that all EU countries must give up their sovereignty to the EU. From that point of view, it is unacceptable that we dare to want our country back, want to make our own laws, have control over our borders and specifically over our money and taxation. But the EU really does love us and just wants us back – under Brussel’s boots, of course. Mr Verhofstadt even remarked that they negotiated this treaty to ‘protect’ us poor Brits …
Mr Juncker and Mr Trajani (President of the EU Parliament) – our new would-be overlords – have already urged our MPs to accept this surrender and Spain has made their position clear, to the disgust of EU ‘diplomats’ who wish they had kept quiet. Mr Juncker’s remark shows why this demand came at an inopportune time, just before the signing of that Surrender Document, because it let the cat out of the bag re Gibraltar:
“Madrid successfully extracted statements of support from the EU27, and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission. Speaking after the Brexit deal was endorsed, Mr Juncker said, “Please don’t underestimate the importance of this question for the kingdom of Spain.“We are with Spain,” he added in a clear sign that the EU would back Madrid over the Rock during the trade negotiations that will begin after Brexit Day on 29 March 2019.”(DT, paywalled, my bold).
As if to emphasise that it will be a free-for-all EU vultures to rip off the juicy bits of the UK corpse once this shameful document is agreed in Parliament, our dear neighbour from across the Channel has declared that he will ‘force’ the UK into the hated ‘backstop’ unless we agree to give up our rights to our own waters and ‘allow’ the French access to our fisheries (see here). The Dutch and Danish leaders have kept quiet about this so far, but they will certainly demand exactly the same. That means, should Parliament agree, the choice for our country is between the devil and the blue sea: surrender our Fisheries, or surrender our Union thanks to the backstop. These won’t be the talking points our PM will mention when she goes on her ‘charm offensive’ to sell our surrender …
Two points are beyond my comprehension: why is it that even ‘leavers’ in Parliament are so scared of a clean break on WTO rules? John Redwood MP has made it clear again and again that there’s nothing scary about this. Also read this article by Stewart Jackson in today’s Brexit Central: “Parliament cannot simply ‘block No Deal’ as some are claiming – it’s the default option”. To me, it seems our MPs are thick, not us Leave voters!
And why is it that the powerful clique of Remainers, from our former PMs to Lords to MPs, never ever mentions the huge disadvantages of remaining? I’m not even talking about being subjugated to the ECJ and the ECHR, or about taking rules from Brussels without having a say. Being so keen on emphasising an economic catastrophe should we leave, how come they never mention that ‘getting back’ into the warm arms of Brussels means we’ll be liable to pay for the catastrophe that is the €urozone?
Liam Halligan has written a great article on this – again behind a paywall – where he describes the looming economic disaster, not least due to Italy’s budget proposals. He says that this issue has barely been on the horizon in the UK. I’ve certainly not heard Remainers mention it! His conclusion ought to stiffen the spines of Brexiteers to resist:
“it is an axiomatic truth that the EU remains blighted not just by rising populist outrage, but by an ill-designed and deeply dysfunctional monetary union – a union that will lurch back into a fully-blown crisis, which it lacks the fiscal and monetary scope to tackle, when the next global economic downturn hits in 2019 or 2020. This is the context in which British politicians are calling for a second referendum, lashing us to the EU. This is the background to Theresa May’s utter capitulation – backing a legally binding Withdrawal Agreement that vetoes a true Brexit and a non-binding “future relations” statement that’s nothing but warm words.” (my bold)
Indeed! Since our politicians – Leave and Remain MPs alike – are so focussed on Trade and the Economy instead of our Sovereignty, this quote ought to wake them up: an economic disaster will be certain if we remain.