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UK Election: Strengthening Britain’s Brexit Hand

by John Brian Shannon

UK election 2017 - The six party leaders

With a fresh mandate from UK voters, Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiating hand should thereby be strengthened — allowing her to obtain the best Brexit deal for Britain. Image by Samankashwaha

Some very smart people a long time ago, decided to prevent another World War by doing their part to help unify the countries that share and haven’t always *shared well* the European continent.

Not that any of those people are alive nowadays, but to preclude another internecine war they created several brilliant Euro-centric political institutions such as the European Community, the European Economic Community, the European Union, the Eurozone, the European Court of Justice, and other political, economic, and judicial European institutions — and they enthusiastically embraced internationalism and multilateralism via institutions such as the United Nations and NATO.

It wasn’t all about preventing another war, of course. By 1972 it had become as much about improving the pan-European economy as it was about presenting a united bloc to the militarily powerful Soviet Union.

Britain’s decision to join the EC and later the EU was obviously a part of that geopolitical master plan — and if you read the texts carefully enough, with only a little ‘reading between the lines’ it becomes obvious to all but the most tone-deaf reader that Britain wasn’t permanently joining the EC.

To put it forthrightly, Britain joined the European project to help Germany and other countries ‘gel together’ under a unifying organization primarily to prevent another European war — and it’s possible to research and find texts to prove Britain planned to leave once the continent became permanently united under one political structure.

Therefore, only those too young to remember the history of the EC, the EEC, and the formation of the EU, don’t see that Brexit was always on once the continent had become irrevocably joined.

Not only did Great Britain pay more than it’s fair share in WWI and WWII, it also contributed more than asked during the Cold War, and it contributed more to the European project than any country with the notable exception of the United States.

Now is the time for Britain to leave the EU and make up for lost time. So said 17+ million British voters on June 23rd, 2016.


It is against this backdrop that a majority of Britons still want Brexit, a clean Brexit, and a fair Brexit.

And why shouldn’t they? The UK has paid more than it’s fair share towards the continent since 1914 and still contributes more than it receives from the EU. Britain, the cash cow.

Yet some in Britain can’t stop haranguing the government for having the audacity to try to deliver what the people voted for — Brexit.

Never since Prime Minister Winston Churchill called upon Britons to prevail no matter the hardship has a country needed the strong support of its citizens and all levels of government.

Brexit is going to be one of the biggest challenges the UK has seen in decades.

And instead of ‘All Hands on Deck’ with every person in the country coming together to strengthen the hand of the Prime Minister and her negotiating teams during what will undoubtedly be difficult negotiations complete with EU officials acting the part of the suddenly jilted lover, we have some British people doing everything in their power to derail Britain’s chances of getting a good deal!

It’s your future, people!

I know you lost the referendum, but for God’s sake don’t sabotage your country just because you don’t like the democratic result.


Of course, it’s the job of the loyal opposition parties to provide policy alternatives to the sitting government’s plans. Nobody can blame them for performing their noble calling which has roots going back hundreds of years.

Yet this time around, it seems that some are so upset they lost the democratic referendum that they actually want the government to fail, they want the Brexit that was approved by 17+ million voters to fail, and they want to demean anyone who supported Brexit.

Really, if you prefer the EU to the UK, why don’t you just move there and become a citizen? I’ll help you pack.

This is no time for un-democrats to undermine their own country’s democracy, and who believe in the superiority of an un-elected Brussels cabal that lives off the largesse of UK (and German!) taxpayers — both countries pay much more per capita towards the EU than any other country.

All of which conspired to force the hand of the Prime Minister to call an election to prove to EU negotiators that Britain is united and moving forward with Brexit, and to quell the small number of UK-based naysayers — both in the Houses of Parliament and on the street — who get far too much airtime on slow news days.

With a fresh mandate from voters on June 8th Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiating hand should be dramatically strengthened, thereby allowing her to obtain the best Brexit deal for the UK.

This Prime Minister has gotten stronger every month since taking the job and calling an election to silence the outliers and to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations will determine Britain’s destiny for decades, and may turn out to be a stroke of genius.

Voting to tie one hand behind Theresa May’s back will only serve to weaken the United Kingdom. Surely no true Briton would consider such a thing.

READ: What Mandate for Theresa May? (Project Syndicate)

No Taxation Without Representation!

by John Brian Shannon

“No Taxation Without Representation!” was a term coined by Reverend Jonathan Mayhew in a sermon in Boston in 1750.

By 1761 the terminology was changed by James Otis who said; “Taxation without representation is tyranny!” referring to the level of resentment felt by American colonists at being taxed by a British Parliament where the colonists elected no representatives and received no tangible benefit.

It became an anti-British slogan in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Eventually Britain lost control of its colony, and after a dreadful war that colony became known as the United States of America.

They say the only two certainties in life are Death and Taxes. But surely not far behind is the Negative Fallout of taxation without representation.

And in the 1700’s Britain made a costly error. After all, how many can say they once owned the territory we now call North America and lost it?


Some 250 years later, the EU Parliament having failed to learn one of the most important lessons of modern history, is now doing a similar thing.

The EU Parliament wants to tax Britons, but not allow them representation in the European Union Parliament from March 29, 2017 through March 29, 2019 — even though Britain will remain a dues-paying European Union member during that time.


The un-democrats in Brussels think it’s fine to continue taxing Britons £30 million (net) per day but won’t allow them a seat at the table! That totals £22 billion from March 2017 to March 2019, in exchange for exactly zero decision-making ability during that time.

British MEP’s (Member of the European Parliament) can make statements, answer questions and challenge EU MEP’s on their assertions, but they can’t enter any room where actual EU decisions are made, nor will they be allowed to vote on legislation in the EU Parliament.

Which isn’t democratic! No public relations agency on Earth could spin that situation into an example of democracy.

When British taxpayers are paying £22 billion over two years with no political representation, it’s a textbook case of taxation without representation.

The question to ask yourself is; Could Britain spend that £22 billion ‘better’ than the EU?

Were I Prime Minister Theresa May, I wouldn’t unilaterally pull out of the EU via the WTO route, because this situation hasn’t begun to gather momentum!

Once British taxpayers realize that they are (and have been for a long time!) sending £30 million per day to the EU and now British MEP’s can’t vote on EU legislation, they’ll realize how badly they’ve been used.

The longer this goes on, the better for the Brexit camp as it shows what the European Union is all about. And in Britain’s case, it was always about using Britain as a cash cow to fund EU priorities while flying under the media radar.

“Fool me once, it’s your fault. Fool me twice, and it’s my fault.”


Not only does the EU Parliament want Britain to continue to subsidize the European Union to the tune of £30 million per day until March 29, 2019 — it also wants Britain to pay a £52 billion ‘divorce payment’ now and in full — before Brexit negotiations begin.

The question to ask yourself is; Could Britain spend that £52 billion ‘better’ than the EU?

Nigel Farage called it the EU ‘Mafia’ racket (which he later retracted) while others having come to the realization of what it represents to the British taxpayer will rightfully conclude it’s a case of taxation without representation via extortion — because the EU won’t allow Brexit negotiations to proceed until the payola is received.


The European Union wants 74 billion pounds (in total) before Brexit negotiations begin

The EU wants Britain to pay £74 billion before Brexit negotiations begin but won’t allow Britain a seat at the EU decision-making table even as Britain remains a dues-paying member of the European Union.

And that isn’t democracy, that’s tyranny mixed with kleptocracy.


Related Article:

Article 50 Invoked: Time to Make a List!

by John Brian Shannon

With Article 50 invoked, plans for successful Brexit negotiations that lead to successful outcomes for both parties are imperative

Now that UK Prime Minister Theresa May has officially triggered Brexit by notifying the European Commission President Donald Tusk of Britain’s intention to leave the European Union, it’s time to make a list.

So, what should be the nature of that list?

As any self-respecting diplomat knows, it should be a list of the Top Ten items most likely to be agreed. This is a tried and true tenet of diplomacy where diplomats set up a success-based paradigm for their negotiators to increase the opportunities for successful outcomes via the negotiation process.


We all know when things begin well they have a much better chance of ending well. Conversely, if things begin badly they tend to get worse over time and end in disaster. It’s a simple human nature equation.

It’s not true in all cases, but when negotiations begin with goodwill on both sides and work from a list of negotiating points, negotiators craft success after success, leading to a conclusion everyone can live with (and yes!) celebrate.


Listen to the Voice of Experience Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand

Experienced diplomats like Henry Kissinger and Andrei Gromyko would never have considered entering negotiations without a plan for success, nor a plan that didn’t feature a Top Ten (or Top Six, etc) list of items to be discussed and solved, in order to set up a successful track record to enhance future negotiations.

It directs negotiations toward intellectual honesty — because it instantly proves whether goodwill exists, or whether the person on the other side of the table appears there under duress or to bamboozle the other party. Neither of which will result in anything good.

  • Choosing the items to be negotiated by whim of individual government ministers (because each minister quite rightly represents their own constituents, and consequently see the negotiations only through the prism of their local agenda) is probably the worst way to enter negotiations.
  • Another contender for the worst way to enter negotiations is for the media and/or the court of public opinion to be the de facto deciders of the topics to be negotiated, for the media loves a good story (who doesn’t!) and fireworks between politicians sell a lot of newspapers. One can’t blame the media, in fact, more power to them! But negotiations led by the media acting in its own best interest will always result in the worst possible outcomes.

The only way to ‘win’ is via ‘Win-Win’

The wisest course of action for Theresa May and Donald Tusk is to sketch-out a list of items at which negotiators could succeed early, thereby giving the negotiations some much-needed early momentum. It’s important to announce those successes so that credibility is enhanced for both sides and it’s likewise important to share the accolades with negotiators.

In the absence of success stories, the media default mode is to declare the negotiations ‘a disaster’ and both leaders will be pilloried out of politics. And that’s as it should be.

It’s unimportant which matters are up for discussion first, what is important is that negotiators succeed early and often. Any success, whether large or small drives the media narrative and the international consciousness.

Gibraltar, that status of EU citizens in the UK, territorial fishing rights, a so-called ‘divorce’ bill, the colour of passports, etc. are all bandied about by the media (and that’s great, they do a great job of informing the public) but which of these should be placed or not placed on the initial Top Ten list for the earliest and best success?

Only the two governments know the answers to that question.

Or, maybe they don’t. And if they don’t, there is no better day than today to place a phone call to the other leader in order to ask; ‘What points could we find early agreement on?’ Which is a wonderful way to begin any day.

I respectfully urge UK Prime Minister Theresa May and EC President Donald Tusk to ask the other; What points could we find early agreement on?

In that way, instead of the narrative defaulting to what sells newspapers, the narrative will be controlled by the leadership. That’s Leadership with a capital ‘L’ please.

Leadership, respect for the other and working towards a track record of success is the way to Build a Better Britain and the way to create a more united European Union! Anything less, is unworthy of these two great statespersons.