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Brexit: Why I Favour ‘No Deal’

by John Brian Shannon

Once upon a time, I believed in the goodness of the human spirit and I rather naively believed that people would work together to solve common challenges — allowing humanity to triumph over chaos and that everyone, from the leader of the largest country down to the youngest intern, would eventually find themselves living in a de facto nirvana.

Boy, was I wrong!


Be Careful What You Teach Me!

It seems something’s been lost and I can sum it up thus; ‘I’m alright Jack, I’ve got mine!’ which seems to be the overriding imperative in this age.

No longer are people hardwired ‘to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem’ as they were in my generation.

Can you spot the difference between those two statements? Many can’t.

So it is with international relations these days where if ‘Country A’ wins, it automatically means that ‘Country B’ must lose. Such Neanderthal thinking!

Surely humanity has evolved beyond the brute ‘logic’ of the apes of the jungle where ‘Win-Lose’ paradigms are a fact of life and to ‘Lose’ means certain death?

But apparently not, for ‘Win-Lose’ paradigms are popular in certain circles, while more advanced humans employ ‘Win-Win’ thinking to solve their challenges.

It’s almost like there are two species of humans living on planet Earth in the early 21st-century; The intellectuals on the one hand who work the Win-Lose side of the street and the geniuses who work the Win-Win side.

You’ll recall a quote from your philosophy studies which comes from Albert Einstein who wisely said; “Intellectuals solve problems while geniuses prevent them.”

Ahem. Yes. Not too much of that these days, is there?

The other quote of note comes to us courtesy of former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, who said; “Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.”

So its a mystery to those on the Win-Win side why Win-Lose remains so popular even as Win-Win is obviously a superior problem-solving method. Is it because ‘Genius’ thinking continues to be as ‘unrewarded’ as it was in the time of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge?

(Someone should fix that. Let’s call it what it is; Systemic Problem #1 on planet Earth)

Is that why some (political actors especially) default to Win-Lose paradigms in the early 21st-century — because there’s more profit in that?

If so, it’s only a matter of time before some madman decides the only way to ‘Win’ is to nuke everyone else and then ‘he’ and ‘his people’ can ‘Win’.

I’ll bet there’s a ‘scenario’ written in someone’s ‘playbook’ where that ‘instant-win’ is purported to be ‘the final solution’ for humanity.

I thought we outgrew that kind of thinking at the end of the Cold War — because those doing the heavy thinking at the time were ultra-responsible humans who knew that ‘law of the jungle thinking’ would eventually spell the end of life on Earth.

So, the question is; Are we as a species regressing to Win-Lose thinking?

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” — Proverbs 26:11

Let’s hope not.


‘What’s This Got To Do With Brexit?’ You Ask

Well thank you for asking!

We were talking earlier about Win-Lose thinking, and how intellectuals employ Win-Lose ‘solutions’ to ‘solve’ present-day problems.

Meanwhile, others believe in ‘Win-Win’ solutions that work to ‘solve’ present-day problems and ‘prevent’ future problems.

“Intellectuals solve problems while geniuses prevent them.” — Albert Einstein (remember?)

Theresa May worked diligently (and naively) to solve present and future problems in the UK/EU relationship with a view to improving that relationship in the post-Brexit timeframe.

I wouldn’t call Theresa May a genius. But if a person worked hard to solve present problems and to prevent future ones in a Win-Win spirit of fair compromise, such a compliment can’t be too far off the mark.

Unfortunately, Theresa May (rightly or wrongly) felt she couldn’t trust many in the Conservative Party and therefore, she took the Brexit ball and ran with it by herself as far as she could.

Having been shut out of the process, Conservatives were unable to give their full support to Theresa May — and worse — the EU failed to see the brilliance of her Win-Win thinking; Thinking designed to solve present UK/EU problems and prevent future UK/EU problems.

I think Theresa May’s intentions were 100% admirable, naive… and worth a try!


Heroes Often Fail

Ultimately, Theresa May failed to garner enough support among Conservatives and other parties in the House of Commons — and the EU did its part to ensure her eventual failure by insisting on the Win-Lose backstop portion of the deal — a thinly-disguised attempt to grab Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom.

READ HERE AND HERE (skip to point #7 if you’re short on time) where I suggest that the EU needn’t try to steal Northern Ireland using diplomatic stealth, clever language and convenient circumstance to ‘take’ NI from the UK, because the British Royal Family (which owns Northern Ireland, having purchased those Irish counties outright from the poverty stricken Irish citizens at the request of the Irish government in the year 1800) should ‘give’ NI to the Republic of Ireland.

It’s just another form of genius the Royal Family should approve — thereby putting an end to the problem of too much blood spilled and treasure spent in the 19th, 20th, and early 21st-centuries — and to prevent future problems.

It’s been a black hole in successive Monarchs’ finances since 1800, and British taxpayers have paid billions in subsidies to help UK citizens living in NI, and thousands of needless deaths occurred there, and the RF, the UK government, and British taxpayers should be glad to be rid of the responsibility.

No more need to send billions annually to NI to support an economy on permanent life-support through no fault of the excellent Arlene Foster and her DUP colleagues! it’s merely the way the entire Northern Ireland economy has ‘evolved’ rather than being ‘managed’ since 1800. And, no more needless death, destruction of lives and property, people maimed by horrible weapons, and no more heartache!

And the blame for it rests on foreign operators who wanted NI for themselves for more than 219-years — even more evidence of Win-Lose thinking by mediocre people.


With Northern Ireland Handed to the Republic of Ireland There’s No Longer Any Need for the Hated Backstop Clause in the Withdrawal Agreement

Such thinking could solve every remaining problem between the UK and the EU.

  • Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement (sans-Backstop) could then be approved and implemented by the House of Commons.
  • The Political Declaration too could be approved and implemented by the Commons and UK and EU politicians could host plenty of photo opportunities to celebrate their brilliant solution.
  • The Royal Family would be free of continued responsibility by virtue of ownership of the land of Northern Ireland, the UK taxpayer would no longer need to subsidize UK citizens living in NI — and even if UK GDP stayed the same — billions less would be spent to subsidize Northern Ireland — leaving billions suddenly available for Wales, Scotland and England. Not to mention the NHS.
  • UK citizens living in NI would of course, under my proposal, be invited to move to Great Britain (and only if they actually did move to GB by 2021) they should be eligible to receive a generous moving allowance from the UK government. Even if those combined amounts equalled the annual subsidy paid to float the Northern Ireland government for one year — it would make it the last year of NI subsidies!

Well That’s All Good. Why Favour ‘No Deal’?

As a previous generation of UK politicians surrendered some amount of sovereignty to a foreign power which is clearly illegal under the UK’s constitutional framework, it means the UK ‘joined’ the EU illegally and therefore isn’t required to ‘leave’ the European Union as the UK was never a legal member of the EU to begin with.

That’s why the UK can’t enter into a legal agreement to leave that had no force in law to start.

ab initio: A Latin phrase meaning ‘from the beginning.’ A marriage that is ‘unlawful’ is ‘void’ — ab initio — as if it never happened.

Just drop off the key, GB, and set yourself free!


The UK Joining the EEC and the EC Was Legal; Joining the EU Wasn’t

Therefore, whatever arrangements were in place immediately prior to the UK illegally joining the EU would automatically be reapplied (EC rules and regulations) and be legally enforceable until such times as both entities (the UK and the EU) agreed to any subsequent changes in their relationship — which is why in a previous post I suggested an incremental negotiation process should take place going forward.

Therefore, the only negotiation of any immediate consequence is; How much time to give UK businesses to return to EC rules and regulations in place at the time of the illegal accession to the European Union?

It seems pertinent to choose October 31, 2019 in order to streamline the whole operation.


Does the Royal Family need to ‘Negotiate’ with the Republic of Ireland?

No. Under my proposal, the RF would notify the Republic of Ireland (now) of its intention to quit Northern Ireland by December 31, 2020. And that’s it. That’s all the government of the Republic of Ireland is entitled to by the present owner of Northern Ireland.

(Under this proposal) we’re ‘giving’ it to you, you’re not ‘taking’ it. Do you get that?

Maybe they don’t want it. Maybe they’ll give it to Steve Bannon. Maybe they’ll drive all their sheep up there and use it for pastureland. Who cares?


A Better Modus Vivendi

What matters is, this proposal is designed to end present problems and prevent future problems in regards to the sorry situation that’s existed in Northern Ireland for decades. Genius!

No longer would there be a need to send billions annually to subsidize Northern Ireland — and any NI residents who want to move to Great Britain prior to December 31, 2020 should receive generous funding from the UK government to relocate without losing (potentially) hundreds of thousands of pounds sterling. Genius!

There’s no need for a ‘Brexit deal’ as the original treaties allowing the UK to obtain EU membership were illegal for any UK government to sign, and therefore, as it was never a legal joining, let EC rules and regulations be reapplied from October 31, 2019 onward. Genius!

And forget about the never-approved but much-talked-about £39 billion exit fee. The UK was never a legal member of the EU and the UK paid much more to the EU governance architecture than it ever received. Genius!

If the UK and the EU ever decide they want a trade deal similar to the highly-regarded CETA deal with Canada, great! Until then, EC rules and regulations would continue to apply. Which, if UK politicians from a previous decade hadn’t erred, would have remained in effect all along. Genius!

Two Brexit Flops Cost the UK Billions & Have Put Britain Years Behind Schedule

by John Brian Shannon

Now that the UK has missed two ‘firm’ Brexit dates, the pressure’s on. And because Prime Minister Theresa May couldn’t get the job done (twice) doesn’t mean the world has stopped while Conservatives get their act together.

The world is moving-on, in case you didn’t notice the EU Parliament Election 2019 results.


How Time Flies!

One of the best things Theresa May did during her time as PM was to visit U.S. President Donald Trump early in his presidency and ask him to move Britain ‘to the front of the line’ in regards to Britain’s place in any future trade deal with the U.S.

‘Success!’

You’ll recall that U.S. President Barack Obama famously said that ‘the UK will move to the back of the line’ regarding any trade deal with America — because Obama was the consummate globalist, and the EU his partner in compelling the UK to join their globalist plot to control much of the world’s trading system. Hey, it was worth a try! I’d have said the same thing were I the U.S. president to keep the EU, my (much larger than the UK) trading partner, happy.

But, sometimes: ‘Success’ has a shelf-life

As of today, President Donald Trump has 597-days left in his first term and if you believe the opinion polls, Joe Biden (corporatist, globalist, former Vice President under Barack Obama, and the present leading contender for the top job in the U.S.A.) might win the next U.S. election and could conceivably send Britain ‘to the back of the line’ in regards to any future trade deal with that gigantic economy.

The moment where the UK could’ve gotten a great trade deal with the U.S.A. will have passed, should Trump lose the next U.S. election!

And there’s the lollygagging of Theresa May dangling Brexit under everyone’s nose from July 16, 2016 until today (June 1, 2019) and any of those 3-years were the prime time to get Brexit done, a U.S. trade deal done, a CPTPP trade deal done, an EU trade deal done, a Commonwealth trade deal done, and an EFTA trade deal done.

Among many other important things. Too many to list here.

But no. Theresa May probably realized early-on that she wasn’t up to the task of Brexit and just decided to hang-on to power as long as possible. Very disappointing.


Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way!

The time for talking is over!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; If the ruling Conservatives don’t deliver Brexit by October 31, 2019 they’ll be unceremoniously booted from power by voters at the next General Election — and may not form a government for a full generation — or even two or three generations.

Politicians must deliver what they promise or they’ll be removed from power by the new generation of voters who want responsive and accountable politicians.

‘Talking about talking’ for months and years, is over!

In case you missed it in the last EU Parliament elections last week, voters aren’t going to tolerate mediocrity any longer. The gravy train is over, folks!

But if Conservatives get Brexit handled by November 1st (the new ‘firm’ Brexit date is October 31, 2019) I hope they’re ready for a lot more work. Because there’s a lot to do. Especially now that Brexit has been kicked down the road 3-times.

“The reward for doing good work, is the opportunity to do more.” — Dr. Jonas Salk


Going, Going, Gone!

Perhaps Conservative politicians aren’t aware of some of the items that will appear on their watch, so let’s inform them of these (already partially-missed) opportunities, and soon to be fully-missed opportunities.

“Don’t tell me what you can do, show me what you have done.” — Henry Ford

So, today is Day 1050 of Theresa May’s premiership and she has shown us, the EU, and the world, that she wasn’t the person to deliver Brexit. Standing up to EU elites for the rights of Britons just wasn’t her forte. No one can be everything, but standing up for Britons is an important job skill for a UK Prime Minister.

It’s plain to see that the governing Conservatives NEED A LEADER who can get Brexit done. So much of Britain’s future depends on getting Brexit out of the way — because, frankly, more important items than Brexit await.

And not one of them can be done until Brexit is done and dusted.


Brexit is Merely the Stepping Stone to a Better UK Future

Let’s do this exercise year by year, because in the best-case scenario each item on the following list would take the UK Parliament approximately one-year to accomplish. Which is depressing, because each of these items should take the UK Parliament 6-months at most.

If huge corporations can get big things done, if Malala can get big things done, and if little Greta Thunberg (age 16) can get big things done, then 650 UK Members of the House of Commons plus 800 Members of the House of Lords ought be able to get some big things done! (If not, let’s hire Malala and Greta to run the UK government!) You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Don’t you? (Hahaha!)

Let’s make a list (in no particular order) and let’s say that each item should take no more than one year to accomplish. And let’s also say that due to the 3-years of Brexit delays we’re already 3-years behind schedule. So, not a moment to waste!

  1. A free trade deal with America. Once Trump is gone, a U.S./UK free trade deal is gone too!
  2. A free trade deal with the CPTPP countries, the biggest trading bloc in the world once the UK leaves the EU, with member countries from three oceans.
  3. A CANZUK trade deal (Note: some CANZUK countries are also CPTPP signatories)
  4. A free trade deal with The Commonwealth of Nations (India alone, is the 5th-largest economy by PPP in the world)
  5. A free trade deal with the EU, and although the EU economy has fallen from 13% of global GDP and is expected to fall to 8% of GDP by 2025 it’s still relevant to the UK economy.
  6. A free trade deal with the EFTA countries, some of which have spoken privately about joining politically with the UK, after Brexit. (A strength-in-numbers equation)
  7. Northern Ireland belongs to the British Royal Family (Northern Ireland was purchased outright in 1800 by King George III with the King’s own money and granted to his niece) but with the best of intentions and after having spent billions (perhaps even a trillion pounds?) on it since the year 1800, it’s time to return that jurisdiction to the Republic of Ireland. There was a time for British involvement in Northern Ireland but that time is now past. However, such a transition cannot be done in the middle of a fractious Brexit situation, it must be done without undue delay following Brexit. Any UK citizens living in Northern Ireland at the time of the changeover should be compensated (and of course) given the opportunity to move house to England, Scotland or Wales.
  8. Many more countries are lining-up to join The Commonwealth and want trade deals with the UK, post-Brexit. (Think; AU nations that aren’t already Commonwealth members, some Middle East countries, some Atlantic-facing South American countries, as well as some Indian Ocean island nations that aren’t already Commonwealth members) Which should provide trade opportunities and easier access to certain tropical paradise islands for Britons.
  9. With Brexit out of the way, the UK can determine its own immigration policy and do as Canada does, which imports skilled immigrants to ‘fill holes in the system’ but only where a Canadian isn’t trained or available to do that particular job.
  10. With Brexit out of the way, the UK can re-write its agricultural and fishery regulations for the benefit of Britons — and not for the benefit of the ‘five dairy cows in France’ or the thousands of EU fishing boat owners who ply UK waters scooping up kabillions of fish every year.

Three-Years of Economic Uncertainty, But Only Because the UK had an Uncertain Prime Minister!

For 3-years Theresa May argued with herself, with her Conservative party, with opposition parties, and with the EU, in an attempt to deliver a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, a Political Declaration, and a Joint Instrument (all of which weren’t on the June 23, 2016 referendum ballot) and in the end, just couldn’t get the job done.

“For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for battle?”
 — 1 Corinthians 14:8

Not that it’s a military battle with the EU. Far from it.

But that point doesn’t make it any less an existential fight for the United Kingdom — as a foreign power (the EU) was (illegally, according to the UK’s constitutional documentation) handed some amount of UK sovereignty by British MP’s from a previous generation — and now, the EU (a foreign power and an economic competitor) continues to make the rules for the UK in many areas; Including labour law, fishery and agriculture regulations, European Court of Justice, Court of First Justice (now, General Court) and in other ways, UK sovereignty was given away for free to a foreign competitor power. Shameful.

Only in Britain could political leaders vote to give away the UK’s hard-won sovereignty, acting against the UK’s longstanding constitutional framework and pass it off to voters as ‘normal business’. It remains an unprecedented act in the history of free countries!

In countries like Canada, where the Constitution of the country was written in plain English expressly so that every citizen has the ability to easily understand it, such a thing would’ve never occurred.

Example: “The resources of Canada (underground, on the land, in the lakes, and in Canada’s territorial marine areas) are owned by the citizens of the country, and such resources are to be administered by the provinces on behalf of, and for the betterment of, the residents of each province.”

Pretty simple stuff. No loopholes there. And no citizen in Canada needs a constitutional scholar on hand to understand those simple and self-evident concepts.

But alas, there are 10 major things for UK politicians to accomplish first (post-Brexit) long before we can begin thinking about formalizing the UK’s constitutional framework and writing it out in plain English so every Briton can easily understand what belongs to the state and what belongs to individual Britons.

And based upon what we’ve seen since June 23, 2016, that’s probably a good thing.


How Many Billions of Pounds Sterling Have Been Lost in the UK Due to Economic Uncertainty Caused by the Overly-Extended Brexit Negotiating Process? (Which Ultimately Failed)

No one knows for sure, of course. And the organizations that do know aren’t going to publish those stats!

Will Philip Hammond the Remainer Exchequer admit that the overly-long Brexit negotiating process has cost the UK billions over the past 3-years? I doubt it.

How about the CBI, which receives millions in funding from the EU? I double-doubt it.

How about Remainers? Never.

So, we know there’s been a cost. Brexit could’ve been completed within a year and the uncertainty factor wouldn’t have lasted long, nor amounted to much. But those trying to quash the UK’s exit from the EU thought that if they kicked the can down the road long enough, the icky democratic referendum result would go away.

But it didn’t. In fact, voters came roaring back last week voting in the EU Parliament Election 2019 — and The Brexit Party (only weeks old!) sent 29 MEP’s to the EU Parliament — while the Conservatives lost 15-seats and are down to only 4 MEP’s. Labour retains the same number of seats (10) but with a smaller percentage of the popular vote.

Remainer politicians have cost the UK economy billions, but inexplicably, they think they’ll get re-elected at the next General Election!

IMHO, every obstructionist politician (anti-Brexit = anti-democratic) in the UK House of Commons will be tossed from power at the next General Election in no uncertain terms.

And astonishingly to some Remain MP’s — many of the people who will vote for The Brexit Party in the next General Election IMHO will be true British patriots who also happen to be Remainers — who’ve seen exactly what 3-years of uncertainty have done to the economy and that harm far and away surpasses the cost of any WTO-style Brexit!


Look What Came Across the Wires as I Finished Writing This Blog Post Today!

UK, Brexit, Opinium poll for The Observer posted in The Guardian June 1, 2019

A survey last week by Opinium suggests Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party would be only 20 seats short of a majority in a UK General Election with Conservatives reduced to only 26 seats in the House of Commons. Opinium poll for The Observer published in The Guardian June 1, 2019.

“According to a seat predictor by the Electoral Calculus website, the result would leave Farage 20 seats short of a majority, with 306 MPs. The Conservatives would be reduced to 26 MPs, suggesting they could be the minor party in a coalition with Farage.”The Guardian

Day 1042 of Theresa May’s premiership: Theresa May resigns

by John Brian Shannon

On Day 1042 of her premiership Theresa May resigns in an emotional speech in front of 10 Downing Street (her resignation to be effective June 07, 2019) thereby triggering a leadership race within the UK Conservative Party sometime in July 2019.


The Arc of Theresa May’s premiership

  1. Theresa May was hired by the Conservative Party to be ‘The Brexit Prime Minister’ and she no doubt (even her political enemies agree) tried her level-best to deliver a worthwhile Brexit but ultimately failed in that task.
  2. Her premiership excelled in fixing the economy, attained record employment levels, increased healthcare spending and healthcare rankings, and in many other ways she succeeded, yet failed to deliver Brexit.
  3. Conservatives will likely hire a Brexiteer Prime Minister who will now match the EU’s ‘businesslike’ approach in order to secure Brexit.

The Different Negotiating Strategies Between the UK and the EU Played a Significant Role in Theresa May’s Downfall

In the end, Brexit was Theresa May’s nemesis because she employed a ‘diplomatic’ approach (which put her on the moral high ground) while the EU used a ‘businesslike’ approach to Brexit (which allowed them a better chance to ‘Win’).

And now that they’ve ‘Won’ (thus far) by preventing Brexit in 2016, 2017, 2018 and now well into 2019, I wonder how they feel about the prospect of a possible WTO Brexit being directed by one of the Conservative candidates for the PM’s position who will almost certainly be a Brexiteer.

EU negotiators and their (hard-nosed) ‘business tactics’ have surely contributed to or caused Theresa May’s fall from Conservative Party grace and subsequent resignation and they must now deal with the fallout of their approach. Good luck!


Thumbnail image courtesy of euractiv EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER