In the West December normally heralds a wind down towards Christmas and the prospect of spending time with friends and family, eating chestnuts over open fires and cheering ourselves for a busy year of achievements with thoughts of the New Year to come.
This December the families of the UK will find little to cheer about, now we have seen the full horror of the Brexit “deal” about to be served up to us, it will be no Christmas treat!
The various institutions of the EU are extremely reluctant to let the UK out of the ponzi scheme they are running, which subsidises French agriculture to the tune of 9 Billion Euros a year, as contrasted to the UK’s 3 billion Euros! Added to that (and despite the fact we are a coastal nation ) the British receive about 30% of the fish that can be fished in British Coastal waters – the rest is allocated to other members of the European Union. Leaving the EU would mean we would retain 100% of fish stocks in our waters and that would be a massive improvement to our domestic fish exports.
The EU has created a hybrid “deal” which has two parts. The first is the “Divorce” Settlement and that is going to mean that we will have to pay the EU £39 Billion to “leave” the Club and with that we will have to agree to what is known as the “ Irish Backstop” as the Northern part of Ireland operates an open border with the South (Eire) and to prevent the need for customs posts, (which could inflame Irish Nationalists) the UK will have to agree a different Customs treatment for Northern Ireland – in the event we cannot reach the second stage of our negotiations which is a post Brexit Trade Deal. We must sign and agree the Divorce Settlement before we can agree the Trade Deal.
Theresa May is having a very hard time trying to sell her deal to Parliament, simply because the “Divorce” deal is unacceptable to the British State, because the “Irish Backstop” is required by the EU to be written into Law, a law we cannot change unilaterally it can only be changed with the consent of the EU. So for Americans, it is a bit like having an “Open Borders” arrangement with Canada and should anything go wrong with that, or the US is unhappy with how it is operating, the US can only end the Agreement “if” Canada agrees to end it – otherwise the US has to continue with it whether it likes it or not!
This type of “Deal” runs completely counter to the UK Constitution, where it is not permitted for any foreign power to have Dominion over the United Kingdom and added to that there is a well accepted convention that no Government shall sign any Agreement that binds any future Government – all Laws must be able to be changed by future Governments – clearly the Brexit Deal on the table is totally unacceptable from a Constitutional point of View. Theresa May and the EU say the “back Stop” will never be used, but once the Agreement is signed potentially the UK is locked into this Agreement forever and naturally the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, (who the Conservatives need to prop up the Theresa May Government) rejects this back stop out of hand and won’t support this deal!
The second part of the Deal, has not actually been agreed. The EU and the UK sat in many a darkened room developing a 500 page Document which is supposedly the “blue print” for a deep and special Trading Relationship, but in truth it is page after page of aspirations rather than anything concrete. As many commentators point out, it has taken Two Years just to agree a divorce deal, and even that has proven to be totally unpalatable, so agreeing a Trade Deal which is massively more complex could take many years, during which time the fear is we will be locked inside the EU, forced to pay billions more for the privilege of being shackled to an organisation that has absolutely no incentive to agree to anything. Without a deal we are going nowhere, we will have no control over EU rules and will have to keep paying up as we are held in suspended animation at the whim of the EU and the other 27 fractious countries who would ALL have to agree any final deal anyway!
Meanwhile, you have the ghostly and discredited figure of Tony Blair, fresh out of his role as Middle East Peace Envoy (sic) advocating yet another Referendum, but this time (Blair says) the result will be absolutely binding, cynically believing that by forcing the UK to have yet another Referendum the people will be so sick of it all they will vote Remain just to hear the end of it.
With Paris ablaze and riots breaking out all over Europe and the rise of what the EU sneeringly calls “populism” the Autocrats in Brussels completely miss the point – Europe wants Democracy and National Sovereignty and the EU point blank refuses to acknowledge that.
So the UK’s Brexit deliberations will rumble on, with the next instalment in January as the EU panic at the prospect of the UK crashing out of the EU in March 2019, which for many of us would be a blessing!
So as we see the dying days of 2018 slipping by, let’s drink this Christmas to the rights of Citizens to elect and remove their leaders and to the benefits of National Sovereignty, which like America the British hope to rescue from the not so tender mercies of an increasingly authoritarian European Union.
Happy Christmas America from Great Britain !
Constable Christine BSc MBA is a political journalist and Associate member of the Board of the Susquehanna Valley Center.