The slogan “No deal is better than a bad deal” was a refrain briefly taken up by the Prime Minister but then dropped. The way things are going, no deal – which means reverting to trading under World Trade Organisation rules governing the vast majority of countries in the world – is our best and last hope.
The need for us to be ready to walk away from the table and abandon our supine efforts to secure a deal with the EU – a deal at any cost – is becoming daily more apparent. The revelation that we are now apparently prepared to remain in the customs after 2021 and until we can find an alternative to a hard border in Ireland is just the latest example of how our defeatist establishment, working hand in glove with Brussels, is humiliating the British people for their temerity in voting for Brexit.
Unbelievably, at this rate it will take longer to leave the EU than it took to defeat the Continental powers in World War II, if indeed we really leave at all.
Week after week, since referendum day, our Sir Humphries in Whitehall and our leaders in Parliament have abjectly capitulated to every demand an arrogant and overweening EU has put forward, while the Eurocrats and some of their willing proxies, like the Irish Taoiseach, poke fun and twist the lion’s tail.
First, they insisted we talk money and the Irish border before any discussions could take place on trade relations. We rolled over.
We never set credible deadlines. We never even tried to pretend that we would walk away to a WTO-type future.
Lacking vision, we gave the EU all the negotiating leverage by insisting that we must have a trade deal with it at any price – a trade deal with an entity that represents exports of just 13 per cent of our GDP, to the detriment of the other 87 per cent.
Even though there is a border now in Ireland for currency, excise duties and VAT, we let the EU make a soft border on the island of Ireland become a huge “problem”. Legged over again.
Last autumn, in Florence, the Prime Minister gave away the border and agreed to pay up, asking nothing in return. They say “_Non_”, we concede again and again. She gave away security without setting out any demands or achieving “give” from the other side. In the words of the aptly named rock band, Dire Straits, “money for nothing”, and the only “chicks for free” are those coming home to roost…
On defence, they say we cannot participate in the Galileo satellite project even though the UK is the brains behind it and substantially funded it. More humiliation. We should take our our money and develop our own system. How exciting would that be for UK innovation and technical expertise.
The same tactics are being pursued in science and other projects.
Tantamount to extortion.
To read John Longworth’s piece for Briefings For Brexit in full, click here.