BREXIT: ANOTHER COCK-UP


Fudge

This blog’s been quiet for a wee while, as we say in Scotland, but Moraymint’s been watching the world, as intently as ever, continue its process of unravelling in keeping with the trend since the turn of the century. Economically, politically and socially we live in interesting times (understatement).

For example, yesterday’s Brexit nonsense was in keeping with this general trend, itself consistent with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, namely that everything in the universe tends towards disorder. Prime Minister May’s attempts to achieve a Brexit breakthrough in her dealings with the European Union’s bureaucrats who are leading the negotiating process (in all respects) disintegrated within hours. No great surprise there.

What happened yesterday was emblematic of the chaos at the heart of government and the wider chaos inflicted on the whole British political class by the British people’s instruction to them last year to get the UK out of the European Union. Pretty much the whole species that is the British political class, with a few notable exceptions of course, is on the wrong side of history – and they’ve no idea how to handle it; there’s no precedent in recent times, in living memory, for what’s going on at the moment.

For over 40 years the British have been governed from afar, by unelected, unaccountable foreigners. Today, all of a sudden, our politicians are expected to be British politicians and statesmen – and they’ve absolutely no idea what that means in practice, nor how to behave under the circumstances. The levels of Brexit incompetence, from the Prime Minister down, are breathtaking really.

But it’s not just Brexit, is it? The UK is an unholy mess, economically, politically and socially. In all my life, I’ve never known anything quite like it. And so we’re back to what happens when, for a generation, a nation state cedes sovereignty to some other governing entity whilst pretending to be governing itself. When the veil is removed you realise that what’s behind the veil is a bunch of puffed-up, over-remunerated cupcakes who couldn’t run a bath.

But, of course, the EU was always designed to have precisely this impact on its member states, to emasculate national politicians in favour of governance by technocrats. That’s why the EU’s negotiators are running rings around our lot; they’ve had 40-odd years’ practice at manipulating nation states to bend to their will. Today, the EU negotiators are determined either to see Brexit shit-canned and the process reversed such that the UK stays shackled to the EU, or to demonstrate to the world that to leave the EU is to be destroyed economically (ie no deal), pour decourager les autres.

What the EU’s negotiators can’t understand, nor will they until it happens, is that the UK can and will survive, nay thrive, in the big bad world beyond the European Union. The sad thing is that so many of my fellow citizens are scared fartless of national sovereignty, self-determination, freedom and democracy. But then, they too are, to a greater or lesser extent, a product of the terrifying machine that is the European Union. My only consolation in all this is to be quite certain that ultimately the EU itself is doomed. Thankfully, in the end, the EU will go the way of all tyrannies, for the EU is what might be called a soft tyranny, but it is a tyranny nonetheless (ask the unemployed people of Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Croatia, France and Portugal for example). At what ultimate cost remains to be seen.

The sooner the UK is clean out of the European Union, the better. I’ve just added Arlene Foster, Leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, to my Christmas card list.

28 comments

  1. Brexit suggests we’re on the right side of history Whatever the theorists say, ordinary people seem intuitively to feel the opposite.

    By Robert Tombs

    16 December 2017

    9:00 AM

    How nice it would be, in this season of good cheer, to find something hopeful to say. Being a historian, I shall try: history often helps us to see our problems in proportion. But let us grit our teeth and begin with the depressing news.

    Worst is the sudden emergence — or re-emergence? — of an unusually angry division within our politics and society. A large part of the political class, and seemingly a sizeable proportion of the country’s educated elite, have distanced themselves from the majority of the country. Never in modern times has there been such an overt and even contemptuous attempt to deny the legitimacy of a popular vote. Edmund Burke in the 1790s gave credit for our freedoms to ‘the wisdom of unlettered men’; William Ewart Gladstone believed that ordinary voters ensured the morality of government; the great French political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville realised that everyday experience enabled people to make sensible choices. But today, some prominent voices imply that only those with university degrees have opinions worth listening to. We might be back in the 1860s, when the Liberal MP Robert Lowe, who opposed giving working men the vote, sneered that ‘you should prevail upon our future masters to learn their letters’.

    Why has Brexit caused such a strain to our politics and, more worryingly, to our sense of community? It was fashionable not long ago to say that no one cared about ‘Europe’. What has changed? It goes much deeper than debates about the merits or demerits of the single market or the customs union — technical issues that few people on either side understand and which experts seem to think will have few long-term consequence.

    Brexit has become a question of identity. Theresa May touched a sore point when her innocuous comment about ‘citizens of nowhere’ caused such outrage. I am not the only person who feels an odd sense of déjà-vu when listening to Remainers. The philosopher John Gray recently ventured a comparison with the ‘fellow travellers’ of the 1930s. Others recall George Orwell’s contrast between ‘the vast majority of the people who feel themselves to be a single nation’ with ‘the English intelligentsia’ who ‘take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow’. When I hear prominent Remainers unquestioningly supporting the demands of the EU Commission, however incoherent and excessive, I cannot but remember the opposition leader Charles James Fox happily admitting during the Napoleonic Wars that ‘The Triumph of the French government over the English does in fact afford me a degree of pleasure which is very difficult to disguise.’

    Is this just coincidence? There does seem to be a sectarian strand in our political culture whose natural home is in what the French call ‘internal exile’. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this was associated with religious Dissent — that high-minded elite of Unitarians, Quakers, Wesleyans and so on — who felt both outside and frankly morally superior to the vulgar and immoral masses, to the fox-hunting Tory squirearchy and to the worldly Anglican Establishment (‘immoral, wine-swilling, degraded clergy’). Think Fielding’s ‘Mr Allworthy’ versus ‘Squire Western’. The consciously progressive and enlightened elements in our own society and their great institutions (including the BBC and the Guardian) were born of and still seem to cultivate this Olympian inheritance. It includes a revulsion against British history or, more precisely, against an internalised caricature of British history: imperialism, exploitation, oppression. We rarely know enough to form a more balanced picture: few advanced countries teach their children less history than we do.

    Are we really divided almost equally into two hostile camps, the 52 per cent and the 48 per cent? I doubt it. The referendum and its agitation created that impression, but diehard Remainers are a small minority, however influential. Before the referendum raised our collective blood pressure, very few Britons identified strongly with the EU vision of ‘Europe’. The EU’s own polls showed that only 2 per cent described themselves only as ‘European’, and only another 3 per cent as ‘European and British’. The Pew Research Center, polling at the time of the referendum, discovered a similar number: only 6 per cent in Britain wanted more powers given to the EU (compared with 34 per cent in France, for example). Simple arithmetic shows that most Remain voters would oppose the crash Europeanisation urgently advocated by President Emmanuel Macron. How many of the 48 per cent were reluctant Remainers, persuaded by alarmist predictions? These are the people who, polls suggest, now want the government to push on with Brexit.

    Perhaps Christmas is a good time to count our blessings, or at least relativise our problems. We have a weak government, but not as weak as that of Jim Callaghan when we were the first industrialised country to have to ask the IMF for a bailout. We may be demoralised, but less so than in the 1970s, when the country seemed ungovernable. We have difficult decisions to make in foreign policy, but nothing could be as disastrous in blood or treasure as the invasion of Iraq (which I supported — I trusted Blair!). We may perhaps be humiliated by paying Danegeld to the EU, but not so humiliated as by Eden’s Suez fiasco in 1956. We might even be feeble enough to accept foreign jurisdiction over European citizens, like the Chinese empire in the 19th century; but that would be infinitely less shameful than the Munich betrayal in 1938.

    But saying that bad things could be worse is poor consolation. What about things we can truly be cheerful about? We have a generally uncorrupt public life. We instinctively trust our fellow citizens — or most of them. We are pretty tolerant of each other, and still on the whole quite civil. As my phrasing may suggest, there has been some decline in these areas over the past half-century. But in compensation, we are less snobbish, less conventional, less prudish and more open-minded. We remain, as for more than a century, non-violent in our private and public existences. We are far from perfect and should not be complacent: all our virtues are relative, better than in many countries, worse than in some. Above all, the good things we have inherited need constant maintenance at a time of rapid economic, social and demographic changes comparable with those of the early Victorian age. The Victorians made a huge common effort to cope: are we capable of such effort?

    We depend on the health of our institutions, both ancient and modern: they structure, symbolise and regulate our common life as a nation. We all know them. In no particular order: the monarchy, the BBC, the NHS, parliament, devolved governments and local authorities, universities and schools, the armed forces, the police, charitable organisations, the civil service, churches, even private institutions such as sports associations. We need to cherish them, where necessary by showing them tough love: we are rightly angry when the BBC shows bias, when MPs cheat or abuse their power, when educational institutions or charities pay their leaders vast salaries, when the police behave unjustly, when companies evade taxation, when sports stars misbehave. We need constantly to resist our institutions being captured and used by factions or lobbies: they belong to us all. We have been fortunate in our history. For many centuries, Britain has been among the richest, safest and best-governed places in which to live. Most of us alive today have enjoyed unprecedented peace and prosperity. However much we complain, however much we demand, we must realise how fortunate we are among all those who live and have lived on our planet.

    But we may be entering a more dangerous age, and certainly a more volatile one. Globalisation and economic instability, technological innovation and the shifting balance of power will change our world. The revolution in communications may have as seismic an impact as the printing press, which began two centuries of cultural and political earthquake.

    Even within established democracies, what would once have seemed unthinkable is now commonplace: whoever predicted the victory of Trump, the apotheosis of Corbyn, the invention of Macron, the crisis in Spain? No one knows the future of China or the dangers posed by newly nuclear-armed states. No one can tell whether the ‘clash of civilisations’ warned of by the American political scientist Samuel Huntington may break out. No one can predict whether we shall manage to limit climate change.

    Brexit means that in the face of all these dangers and uncertainties, we have chosen a national, rather than an international, path. This choice, which may turn out to be truly historic, is at the root of our present dissension: it has, at least for a time, divided what David Goodhart calls the ‘Somewhere’ people from the ‘Anywhere’ people. We have chosen to leave an organisation which, whatever its many failings, was an attempt to deal with modern problems by supranational organisation. For more than a century, theorists have advocated just such an approach: the nation was obsolete, the future lay with great continental or even global federations run by high-minded elites.

    Whatever the theorists say, ordinary people seem intuitively to feel the opposite: they look for security to the people they know and trust, and to governments over which they have some direct control. That is what Brexit means, and it will leave us with two huge tasks. First, to work to restore and enhance our solidarity as a multinational nation. Second, to show that like-minded countries can work together while maintaining their democratic sovereignty. As William Pitt might have put it, we must save ourselves by our exertions, and help others by our example.

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  2. MM

    Slightly off-topic, perhaps, but have you noticed that the BBC news website now includes a link to “Why you can trust BBC news”? The first topic at that link is “impartiality”.

    This seems extremely odd. With (so far as I can remember) no exceptions at all, the BBC has headlined negative stories about Donald Trump ever since he was elected. It clearly promotes certain causes, amongst them feminism and same-sex marriage; routinely runs hostile coverage of “right wing” parties and movements; and habitually calls IS “so-called Islamic State”, as though IS isn’t really Islamic (surely the one thing we DO know for sure about IS is that it’s Islamic fundamentalist?)

    We all know the problem with “fake news”, but Trump, “populists” and “Vote Leave” didn’t invent it. From recollection, wasn’t “spin” first promoted in a big way by Labour under Tony Bliar? Didn’t Gordon Brown frequently misquote authors (amongst them George Orwell), changing their references from “English liberty” to “British liberty”? (There’s a good book about this called “Boom and Bust”).

    I think the BBC is impartial about party politics in Britain, but the above examples suggest that claims of broader impartiality are far-fetched. There even seems to be bias towards one club on its football website!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Oh, for sure that had not escaped my notice at all Tim. Indeed, I would take issue on your point that the BBC is impartial about party politics: http://tinyurl.com/hobaac3

      In any case, I do find it simultaneously extraordinary, patronising and ironic that a state-funded broadcaster should portray itself as The Ministry of Truth. The world of politics and media becomes more Alice in Wonderland by the day as far as I’m concerned. My abiding impression is of a growing gulf between the politico-media bubble and the real world of ordinary people like me.

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      1. Thanks MM.

        As I wrote on my blog recently, we’re living in an age where paradigms are breaking down. For example, the massive monetary stimulus injected in 2008-09 really should have worked as all the textbooks said it should. If the fall of the USSR was the discrediting of “socialism”, then the period since 2008 is the equivalent discrediting of “capitalism”. This leaves the establishment with precious little to inform its thinking.

        https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/115-paradigms-lost/

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nigel tells it as it is:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. arfurbryant · ·

      “…the aspirations of the people and the aspirations of our political leaders and class are in a very, very different place.”

      Absolutely spot on, Mr Farage!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. arfurbryant · ·

    Nice one MM.

    There is one inescapable fact in all of this and it is something the protagonists would do well to remember: The people of the UK had a referendum and decided to leave the UK. Everything else is window dressing. Unfortunately the window dressers are also the main players.

    For their part, the EU will do anything to ensure the UK remains in the EU. If the UK exits and does well, the EU is doomed and Juncker knows it. The EU is fearful of losing the second largest economy and the ensuing queue of other countries who will be brandishing Article 50 papers.

    For our part, unfortunately the UK’s main player – the PM – voted to Remain. She may well outwardly state her desire to deliver Brexit to the people but she appears unable to stand firm and negotiate from a position of either personal or national strength. Pathetic aquiesence to virtually every whim of the EU will simply drag the affair out. All these ‘transitionary periods’ may well last years into the future and the UK may well be under EU legislative control for many years to come – in spite of the referendum result.

    It may be true that the UK has no legal pressure to pay ANY form of so-called divorce bill. However, I can accept that some sort of payment may be sensible to soothe ruffled EU brows. Personally, I think the EU needs us more than we need it. TM should take a firm stand, threaten to walk (and MEAN IT) if the EU can’t be grown up about finding a set of genitals and honouring the wish of the UK voters.

    If the UK government cannot find the commitment to push Brexit through, the UK will end up being the despised black sheep of a dysfunctional family, the members of which suffer from a degenerative and terminal disease. If Merkel leaves the stage, the growth of the Right will strengthen this dysfunctionality and the EU’s porous borders and ineffective bureaucracy will lead inevitably to violence and failure.

    Speak softly and carry a big stick…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Good points there, arfur, thanks. It’s interesting to note the consistency of views about this process from the Leave side of the camp. Wherever and whenever one reads comments on websites written by people who either declare they voted Leave, or one can reasonably assume they did, the themes are generally the same: Brexit means leaving the single market, leaving the customs union, rejecting the jurisdiction of the ECJ, securing the nation’s borders, positioning the UK for a bright, self-determining future trading freely, globally, and only paying to the EU what a reasonable person might agree that the UK owes, itemised for transparency. All clear objectives with a positive tone.

      By contrast, the continuity Remain camp seems to argue not for the untold benefits of EU membership, but rather to rage at the majority decision to leave the EU: leaving the EU is madness, an ill-informed, bigoted, narrow-minded, fascist, Little Englander decision which will impoverish the nation and belittle the UK on the world stage. And that’s it. There’s no attempt to argue the advantages of the UK being governed by an unelected, unaccountable foreign oligarchy where the main players are hellbent on pummelling the Union’s member nations into an undemocratic dance macabre, ‘ever closer union’, and pursuing the top-down creation of a continental superstate. Pray tell me why doesn’t the Remain brigade sing a sweet song about European Union membership, rather than simply firing a relentless barrage of disdain at those of us who voted for the recovery of national sovereignty?

      It’s weird.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. arfurbryant · ·

        That’s very insightful of you, Moraymint.

        But what is weird to you and me is simply operating under normal politburo rules for the Council and the Commission. The two remaining big players (Germany and France) can control the minnows because they control the money. The minnows would never dare try to leave because they are trapped, particularly if they use the €. They will become increasingly dependant on the money-controllers and will be coerced by the type of extortion being used now by the EU against the UK.

        The UK Brexit, on the other hand, poses a much greater threat to the Hegemony as it shows the minnows that there may be life and prosperity-without-shackles outside the EU.

        To address your point about the difference in voting, the people who voted Leave were probably older and/or more practical than the younger/more superficial voters for Remain who have no idea what life was like when the USSR was controlling its sub-States. To them, leaving is a big scary leap into the unknown. To us, staying in is accepting outside rule and the likely future of a gradual sink into obscurity.

        The Media and the Remainers made the debate about Economy or Immigration, both of which were a smokescreen to hide the true goal of a European Federal Superstate. For me the decision was always about democracy.

        We have a very interesting year ahead…!

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  5. DeeDee99 · ·

    Parliament doesn’t represent the people: it represents various vested interests – not least the EU itself.

    Unfortunately, under our rigged political and electoral system, there is very little we can do about that. People will always vote against the party they fear the most and, ironically, that preserves both Labour and the Tories.

    It’s now obvious that Theresa-the-Appeaser will do anything to get a deal from the EU. She’s capitulated to every demand and the indication now is that in order to ensure NI “leaves” on the same terms as the rest of the UK, she will sign the whole UK up to regulatory “alignment” with the EU ….. ie the EU will continue to make regulations and we will simply implement them like the good little satrapy the pro-EU Establishment want.

    I think the only way we will ever really get out of the EU is if there is massive civil unrest – to the extent the Establishment fears for its survival. But as we’re not French, that’s unlikely to happen.
    The best we could hope for would be a Momentum-style organisation for Brexit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Spot on DeeDee …

      Like

  6. reallyoldbill · ·

    With every passing day it seems more conclusive that the UK negotiators and government are being outfoxed by their EU counterparts. Much as I would have preferred a trade deal with the EU before leaving it is now clear that it will be impossible to conclude by March 2019. Every EU member state plus the parliament has to ratify such a deal and even if there were no trouble makers (like Eire) pursuing their own agendas – and there will be – there is simply insufficient time because the EU has been deliberately dragging its heels. To date I haven’t read of one single concession that they have made and all the movement has come from the UK. Time to admit defeat and simply walk away. That should mean no payment at all to the EU which would certainly concentrate a few minds. More importantly to my mind it would also mean that the reported fudge on the jurisdiction of the ECJ over the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, which no grown up democracy in its right mind should accept, would also bite the dust. I voted to leave precisely to stop EU creations like the ECJ and parliament having any say at all over life in the UK. I never had much faith in Mrs May to deliver a full and proper Brexit, despite her rhetoric, and I now have none whatsoever.

    Those like Ms Soubry MP who suggest that the only solution to the Irish border issue is for the whole UK to remain in the Single Market or Customs Union, with all the EU oversight and free movement of people that such a decision would entail, simply prove how out of touch they are with the views of the majority of the electorate. Just why does she think that we voted to leave in the first place? Nobody that I read or spoke to suggested that leaving the entanglements of the EU would be a simple process, and they expected to suffer some short term pain or problems, but they very fact that it is so difficult is the reason most voted to leave; it has grown like an out of control cancer into every area of UK life. Politicians have known since before we joined the original EEC that there would come a time when it would be impossible to leave because we would be so integrated; they just had to keep that secret from the public for long enough. Official papers released from the Foreign Office dated 1971 clearly show that to be true. This is probably our last chance to leave, whatever the cost, and woe betide any politician of political party that screw it up. History, and certainly 17.4 million people, will never forgive them.

    It is good to see you back Mr Moraymint – I wondered where you had been. Compliments of the season to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Great comment, Bill. And the same festive greetings to you and yours. I love Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    “the EU is what might be called a soft tyranny” – indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. An excellent post as always MM. I was quite astonished yesterday watching the proceedings unfold. It was like a slow motion car wreck. The BBC couldn’t wait to deliver the “good” news. Then Arlene Foster had to spoil their party for them. I thought Brown was the worst Prime Minister in my lifetime, but i am starting to revise my opinion. May is completely inept. If she honestly thought she could sell out the DUP then she is not fit to be PM.

    I have to say when the stitch up to put May in place occurred last year my heart sank. Then she announced that the shouty woman Rudd would be in charge of the Home Office and the gormless undertaker would be in charge of the Treasury. Both of them hard line remainiacs. It didn’t bode well and its becoming increasingly grim.

    There was a good post today on Guido Fawkes which I wish I had kept. The poster was essentially saying that his take on yesterday’s fiasco was that the EU and the Irish had cooked up a scheme between them which they announced to May in the morning. The British instead of dismissing it out of hand took a diplomatic approach. However the Irish blabbed to the press and the DUP got wind of it and were furious. I dont know if any of it is true but its clear that the EU are playing games and May’s conciliatory approach is encouraging them to be even bolder.

    I fear that we are going to be sold a pup by these spineless goons. May has bribed the DUP once, maybe she can bribe them again? It doesn’t bode well. Oh for a Mrs. Thatcher. She would have Barnier, the clown Verhofstadt and the drunkard Juncker begging for mercy by now. We are cursed with the most inept Prime Minister for decades at the time when we need a real leader. Someone else remarked that the way things are heading we will have one of those big gathering s outside Parliament like we have witnessed in Eastern Europe demanding these idiots step down. Its not the British way but I fear we ma have no other option.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Everything starts and ends with leadership. May is utterly inept, ergo we’re f****d. It’s not rocket science. Absolutely, Theresa May must be consigned to the dustbin of history, along with Major, Brown, Cameron and others of that ilk. Useless, the lot of them …

      Like

  9. Guys,

    Read this piece by Brendan O’Neill – it’s dynamite ands shows what we’re up against!

    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/destroying-the-nation-to-preserve-their-power/20616#.WibPeUpl-Ul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      A truly beyond-outstanding analysis of just what we’re up against. There are days when I’m convinced that we’re at war without weapons – for now, anyway.

      Like

      1. Good link – and his article on Ireland itself in this context is particularly good.

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  10. MM, quite simply we are lions led by donkeys (sorry donkeys, that’s an insult to your relative intelligence compared to the f@&%kwits that populate Westminster, the civil service & much of our media).

    To quote Del Boy, ‘quelle surprise Rodney’, that a Remain led government, advised by a Remain dominated civil service can’t negotiate it way out of the EU’s paper bag.

    It was clear to all of us in UKIP that without a Leave dominated negotiating team, that actually believed in Brexit it was always going to end up as a dog’s breakfast.

    It drives me to distraction that when only 12% of our turnover relates to trade with the EU and over 90% of our businesses don’t sell to the EU, ergo the bulk of the UK economy doesn’t need the EU, we are allowing ourselves to be given the runaround by the EU. If this was to happen in a private company the shareholders would sack the board.

    Quite simply we need someone of intelligence and conviction, say Jacob Rees-Mogg, to tell the EU in a matter of fact way that unless, given our massive trade deficit with them, there is an FTA in place by March we will trade under WTO rules after we leave. And we will undertake a massive revolution in the way we run our economy to make it the most competitive and easy place to do business on the planet (which we should do anyway but can’t whilst straightjacketed within the schlerotic & coporatist EU).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks John, and you make some good points about the relative insignificance of the EU to the UK’s economy and the impact of expecting a Eurofanatical Establishment to extricate the UK from the EU. It was, as you say, always going to be a dog’s breakfast. The more I watch this process, the more I want the UK simply to crash out of the EU, lock, stock and barrel, and thereby make necessity the mother of invention. I have every confidence that the Brits would survive – even if the political class didn’t (no great loss there).

      Hope you’re well … and Merry Christmas!

      Like

      1. Remainers routinely overstate the importance of trade with the EU. But trade is still important – to both sides.

        A BIG danger here is a one-sided trade deal with the US. For instance, if we admit GM foods and chlorinated chicken, we won’t be able to export food to the EU. If the City veers towards American rather than European practice, the US will take a bigger share of activity in London, whilst British companies will find themselves progressively excluded from European markets.

        Britain has already been dubbed “treasure island” for big corporates. The two versions of capitalism are clearly diverging, with the EU pro-active over excessive market shares, taxation and transparency, whereas the US seems to have lost whatever ‘trust-busting’ fervour it once had. Other countries are leaning far more towards European “responsible capitalism” than American “laissez-faire”. Recent polling shows the British rejecting (what they think of as) “capitalism” – even amongst Tory voters, big majorities favour nationalising rail and water. The government don’t “get” this, which is why they’ve got about as much chance of tre-election as an icecream on a gas-ring.

        In short, Britain mustn’t jump out of the EU frying pan into the US fire. Independence mustn’t mean becoming a happy hunting ground for American corporates.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. moraymint · ·

          Thanks for that insight, Tim …

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Oldschooltie · ·

    It is difficult to see how this will end. The PM cannot deliver on “BREXIT means BREXIT” with half her cabinet, leading members of her party, Labour, Lib Dems, HoL, BBC all determined to undermine the Referendum result. She is seeking a fudged BREXIT just as many UK PM’s have fudged matters with the EU over the decades. A fudge will merely adds to the resentment that lead to the Leave vote in 2016.

    It is clear that the EU do not want a comprehensive Free Trade deal at this stage. The UK should prepare for trade under WTO now and wait to see if the EU is prepared to discuss a trade deal longer term.

    Many who voted Remain do not support the EU project but were frightened by Project Fear (No 1 reason for voting Remain according th Lord Ashcroft polling – 24 June 2016).

    Polling by SKY News in 2013 revealed:

    “Meanwhile 80% of current ‘IN’ voters would consider leaving if certain aspects of potential future EU integration were forced on the UK, being made to join the Euro chief among them.”

    http://survation.com/poll-for-sky-news-reveals-breadth-of-opinion-over-europe/

    If the UK remains tied to the EU in anyway we can expect to be subjected to the most recent ‘plan’ to further the project:

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/6704/eu_propaganda_and_a_frightening_roadmap_to_federalism

    One can see what Blair discussed with Juncker on his recent visit to Brussels – “Education, Education, Education”!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Oldschooltie. I think your point about the overwhelming majority of the British Establishment (political, economic, business, academic, institutional, BBC, other mainstream media etc) being four-square behind the continued existence of the European Union (and presumably, therefore, behind ‘ever closer union’) – and the UK’s membership of that Union – is the central reason for the enactment of Brexit being such a total shambles.

      Quite how we extricate ourselves from this mess is anybody’s guess. My concern is that if our politicians don’t grip this soon, there will be hell to pay across British society at large if it transpires that the UK will in fact not be leaving the European Union – which is a real possibility in my view.

      Like

  12. Good article, MM

    You are right about the staggering incomptence of these people.

    What is scary is that, if she hadn’t had to depend on DUP votes, Mrs M would, pretty certainly, have agreed to a deal creating an internal border within the UK, and setting at least two dangerous precedents – one internal, for Scotland, and the other external, for Spain re. Gibraltar.

    Did she (and her advisers) really not anticipate the DUP response? Not to have done so seems dense in the extreme. And did she fail to see how giving Dublin its own way would play out in Edinburgh, Madrid and, for that matter, Belfast? This suggests that Britain is governed by complete idiots – the same ones who thought charging 55p a minute to call a benefits help-line was a good idea.

    The back-story here is that the economy is starting to fall apart. It took the government (and the OBR) seven years to work out that productivity growth wasn’t suddenyly going to jump from 0.2% to the pre-2008 level of 2.1%, or that this pre-’08 level was a function of big annual increases in public spending anyway.

    I could weep to see what is happening, tempered by relief at having moved abroad. One can only hope that the coming crash is cathartic, and a catalyst for change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Tim; agreed. I was minded to hyperlink readers of the above post to one of your own blog posts explaining the reality of the UK economy, but will save that for later. I’ve been brewing for some time to do a post on the bigger picture vis-a-vis the state we’re in, economically, politically and socially. I take the view that the overwhelming majority of my fellow citizens are largely blissfully ignorant as to the reality of our situation today. Arguably, why would they be in any other sensory state, I suppose? The political propaganda machine backed up by a largely supine Fourth Estate kind of ensures societal acquiescence. But, like you, I think we’re heading towards a socio-economic cliff-edge which will, of itself, massively disrupt the cosy political status quo that we experience today, for better or worse. Hopefully the former, of course …

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