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Brexit? Done! Post-Brexit EU Trade Deal? Done! Tying-off Remaining Odds & Ends? Erm…
1653-days after the UK held a referendum giving Britons their first opportunity to vote on EU membership, the Conservative government of the United Kingdom has succeeded in Brexiting from the European Union and agreeing a basic free trade deal allowing mostly uninterrupted trade to continue between the two European neighbours.
While the timeframe (4.5-years!) seems a long time, keep in mind that it takes two to tango and that the EU seemingly did everything in its power to delay Brexit and a post-Brexit trade deal, and it only relented when British politicians showed the strength and resolve to get the job done.
Very noteworthy is that every time the UK government seemed to dither or lose confidence, the EU quickly ramped-up their effort to quash Brexit and the post-Brexit trade deal that followed-on a year later.
“Every day we teach others how to treat us.”
Indeed! Therefore, European Union leaders have taught United Kingdom leaders to firmly and resolutely pursue all future goals with the EU and to never, ever, show weakness or indecision.
I hope that lesson has been learned by UK politicians. If it hasn’t, someone has been busy studying far less important matters.
As Expected, There Have Been Some Delays at the Ports
Of course, this was expected. How could it not occur when both sides spent 4.5-years bickering, rather than solving problems?
But, you get what you pay for.
Perhaps if we paid UK Parliamentarians double the remuneration we do now, we’d be twice as happy with them? Hmmm…
Minor gripes aside, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has gotten the job done — and that, in the middle of an unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic! Well done, Boris!
Yes, some minor adjustments will be required. It’s been reported by the BBC that some Northern Ireland shipments have been turned back or refused, and UK residents will face more paperwork than ever if they want to visit the EU, especially if they want to bring their pets along.
In summary, the whole process could’ve been smoother, faster and more complete. But aside from the few things to be worked out, Brexit and its follow-on trade deal with the EU has been delivered as promised by the Prime Minister and his government.
Hearty Congratulations to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to his Conservative Party, and to other Brexit Supporting UK Parliamentarians!
Rather than suffering a failure of statecraft, the leaders of the United Kingdom and the European Union got the job done in the middle of a massive COVID-19 pandemic and they deserve a huge round of applause and our undying gratitude!
Finally, the UK can begin to maximize its opportunities and again become a full partner in the world community of nations.
Finally, the UK can forge its own trade deals with other countries and blocs.
Finally, the UK can design its own foreign policy to benefit the interests of the United Kingdom and its people.
Finally, the UK can create its own domestic policies to benefit Britons and visitors to the United Kingdom.
Finally, the UK can renew and re-energize its relationships with the other Commonwealth of Nations countries.
And the UK can begin to concentrate on what works best for itself and its people, instead of having to clear everything with a foreign power, first.
Even while we’re still under the shadow of the horrible Coronavirus pandemic, its clear to see that the UK’s future is going to be bright and prosperous. Just give it a few months and we’ll see a reinvigorated country — one that no longer hesitates to reach for better and produce better than ever!
Now the UK can Get On With Building a Better Britain!
Now that the EU restraints have been cast-off, the UK will have a free hand to solve its domestic and foreign issues, and to become all that it can and should be.
Brexit has occupied 4.5-years of time and effort, and there was precious little oxygen left in the room to discuss other matters needing attention.
First on the list must be to complete the campaign to eradicate COVID-19 from the United Kingdom, to further assist both individual Britons and those businesses hurtfully impacted by Coronavirus, and to reset the economy when it is safe to do so.
Second, the UK needs to level-up the incomes of those stuck in the bottom economic quintile — thereby ending homelessness in the UK. Maybe the government will create a programme to pay unemployed Britons a minimum wage (or better!) to plant 1-billion trees per year in the UK, neatly solving three problems at once; Homelessness, Unemployment, and helping the UK to meet its CO2 Reduction Targets via their natural photosynthetic process whereby trees store carbon for up to 500-years, in the case of oak trees.
Third, the UK needs to put a major push to become a major exporting country like Germany. I can hardly wait for that! However, it is inappropriate to spend money, time and effort on this in the middle of a major Coronavirus pandemic.
Fourth, the UK needs to finish the many projects still on the books — like HS2 and others. But closely following those projects should be a plan to reclaim 100-square miles from the sea surrounding the UK, annually. In a country of 68-million (as of last week) all the existing land will soon be spoken-for, and thankfully, much of the sea surrounding Great Britain is shallow and therefore perfect to build-up and fill. Beside the obvious benefit, is that seawalls at 40-feet above the high tide mark will build resiliency into the UK’s shorelines with easily available rock and gravel/soil. Doing so at-scale means creating half a million good-paying jobs and building dozens of scenic golf resorts and hotels, thousands of seaside homes, and themed communities to support them.
And that’s just the beginning of the benefits of Brexit, folks!
Thank you again to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to government negotiators, to the UK Cabinet, and to all MP’s and Lords who followed the instructions of Britons and voted for Brexit and a post-Brexit trade deal! Well done!
Written by John Brian Shannon
Will there be a UK/EU Trade Deal?
One would hope there will be a UK/EU trade deal signed by 2021, but there’s no reason good enough to give away the entire country as a way to obtain a trade deal — a deal that should be as important to the EU as it is to Britain.
The EU mindset seems to be to stridently ask for everything and if the Brits are incompetent enough to grant everything, then the EU won’t mind taking it.
But it seems that every time the UK government stands up for UK business and for Britons, the cries of being treated unfairly reach another record-setting crescendo.
Listen to the rhetoric that the EU side is using to force the UK to agree to their terms:
“The UK needs to take “significant steps” in the coming days to secure a trade deal with the EU, the European Council president said.”
“Charles Michel said talks were approaching a “moment of truth” ahead of a crucial EU summit…”
“The Irish PM, Micheál Martin said “movement” was required before “end-state negotiations”…”
“…Mr Michel said… the UK side needed to take “significant steps”…”
“The coming days are crucial,” he added.” — Excerpts from BBC
There’s nothing like putting all the pressure on the UK side hoping they panic and agree to sign everything away at the last minute! That’s obviously the EU tactic here.
The EU (so far) has Taught the UK that Polite Diplomacy Doesn’t Work
“Everyday, we teach others how to treat us.”
The UK side has played the entire Brexit thing very politely. In fact, too politely.
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May flew to Brussels dozens of times (often on very short notice) with no way to prepare as she wasn’t always told what was to be discussed — only to return later that day, disappointed, frustrated, empty-handed and beat-up after listening to another EU browbeating.
On top of all that, she was forced to face the then-cowed UK Parliament (not all of them, but enough to add more misery to her day) and face the then mostly pro-EU media.
She deserved better than she got.
I still feel sorry for Theresa May who was the UK’s diplomatic champion yet got nothing but disrespect from all sides. She deserves an OBE for her perseverance and for displaying almost superhuman goodwill towards the Inquisition panel over in Brussels.
Now we have Prime Minister Boris Johnson fighting for the UK and with a very capable team. Good luck, Boris! You’re going to need it.
More than anything else, were I advising UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, I would suggest he hire several of the UK’s best psychologists to explain to Boris and his team what is going on in the EU heads.
And I’m happy to inform you as to what those psychologists might say…
‘Mr. Johnson, there’s no agreement that will ever be good enough for the EU. They are suffering because their best example of what the EU is trying to attract to their bloc decided to leave and they are embarrassed and upset. And to add further pain, the UK was their 2nd-best economic contributor to the European Union annual budget.’
‘Nothing you can offer them Boris, will ever be good enough, no matter what! Therefore, trying to give them a sweet deal on fishing rights, automobile trade, energy, or anything else in an attempt to soothe their hurt feelings represents the worst kind of political folly.’
‘Therefore, please walk away Boris if they’re going to put a higher priority on their bad mood than on their future relationship with the UK and The Commonwealth of Nations.’
Let ourselves never fall into the trap the EU has set for itself.
Theresa May: How Hard Can it Be to Follow Voters Instructions?
London, UK: Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government loses a historic vote in the UK House of Commons on her cherished (and reworked) Withdrawal Agreement by a vote of 391-242, a margin of 149 votes.
History: On January 23, 2016 an historic vote was held where 52% of those Britons who cared to show up at the polls, voted to Leave the European Union. They didn’t vote for a complicated Withdrawal Agreement, nor did they vote for a high-sounding, but non-legally binding Political Declaration.
Britons voted to Leave the EU. Nothing more, nothing less. They didn’t vote for a Withdrawal Agreement, nor did they vote for a Political Declaration.
Subsequent to the EU referendum, the UK held a General Election in June of 2017 where all UK political parties as part of their party platform supported Brexit. Not one party ran on an anti-Brexit platform. And no surprise there, as each party was simply mirroring the will of The People since the June 2016 EU referendum.
Since that time, Prime Minister Theresa May and EU negotiators have been attempting to agree a deal for the UK to leave the European Union over-and-above the simple wishes of the UK electorate and that proposed deal has become known as the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
That’s the deal that was voted down in the House of Commons in January 2019 by a historic margin of 230 votes. Never in British history had a bill been so resoundingly defeated.
Now that same bill with minor changes has been voted down by British MP’s by a healthy 149 votes.
I suspect that much of the failure of this latest iteration of the bill was because MP’s had only a few hours to study the reworked (and incredibly complex) Withdrawal Agreement, as Theresa May presented the new version less than one day before it was up for a Parliamentary vote. Très gauche, Theresa!
Near-Term Parliamentary Process: Tomorrow (March 13, 2019) MP’s will vote on the so-called ‘No Deal’ scenario and on March 14th they will vote on whether the UK should go to the EU (cap in hand) to ask for an Article 50 extension — to give more time to UK and EU negotiators to come up with a deal — notwithstanding that 2.5 years hasn’t been long enough and notwithstanding that not one single issue will have changed in the meantime, and the EU is under no obligation whatsoever to accept an Article 50 extension.
Let me repeat that statement; If an Article 50 extension is requested by the UK, the EU is under no obligation to accede to that request, nor will any issue have changed (nor the opinions behind them) in the meantime. Therefore, what exactly would be the point of the UK applying for, or the EU accepting, an Article 50 extension?
See? There’s no logical reason to extend the Article 50 deadline.
And from the point of view of UK voters, an Article 50 extension would reward mediocrity — the kind of mediocrity that is represented by 2.5 years of limp-wristed and on-again-off-again negotiating that doesn’t deserve another chance.
What Would Margaret Thatcher Do?
Anyone who saw how Margaret Thatcher operated would know that she wouldn’t have done the EU dance, allowing them to call the tune every step of the way.
For tomorrow’s vote, Maggie would’ve simply whipped her MP’s to vote for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit — and that would be the end of the present 2.5 year-long period of economic uncertainty — and it by far would be the best thing for the UK economy and for Britons wondering where all this unguided or lightly guided Brexit will end-up.
Sometimes, You Have to Do the Smartest Thing – Which Can Sometimes be the (Temporarily) Unpopular Thing
And that’s what Theresa May hasn’t yet learned.
Margaret Thatcher, on the other hand, learned over her long career that no matter what promises have been made, no matter how uncomfortable the short-term might be, no matter the (short-term) howls of protest, senior politicians must stand up and do what’s best for the country, and do it with a sense of urgency and purpose.
And what’s best for the UK at this moment in history is for Theresa May to ‘whip’ her MP’s tomorrow to support an automatic ‘No Deal’ Brexit and just get Brexit done and dusted — thereby putting a definite and permanent end to the present economic uncertainty.
Her detractors will say, ‘Yes, but Theresa May is no Margaret Thatcher!’ and whatever else anyone ever said about her, Maggie commanded a high degree of respect from her political friends and enemies due to her having the courage to always and without fail do ‘the right thing’ as she saw it — no matter the obstacles.
If Prime Minister Theresa May can summon her inner Margaret Thatcher tonight and direct her Parliamentary whips to force every Conservative MP to vote FOR a ‘No Deal’ Brexit tomorrow, all the uncertainty building in the UK economy would dissipate within a matter of days. And Britons and UK stakeholders could get on with the job of making Brexit Britain an astonishing success story and the EU could concentrate on its internal problems. Phew!
It would be the defining moment of Theresa May’s premiership.
The entire world would thank the Prime Minister and breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, even in Brussels!
Small numbers of Remainers might complain for a few days, but on the whole, being decisive now would solve more problems than continuing along the present course.
Can Theresa May (BPE) the Bureaucrat Par-Excellence make the switch to Theresa May (PPE) Politician Par-Excellence and be the politician that’s so desperately needed at this crucial moment in Britain’s history?
We’ll soon know.