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After years of on-again, off-again negotiations, the UK and the European Union still haven’t been able to sign a viable trade deal allowing uninterrupted trade between the two countries.
But the UK has faced far bigger challenges in the 20th-century and in every previous century, and wound up victorious every time — therefore, in regards to Brexit, it’s time to cut our losses and move-on, and Leave the European Union just as UK voters instructed their politicians to do back on June 23, 2016.
In fact, all the years of back and forth negotiations, all the friction that’s occurred between the two blocs since 2016, and the billions the UK has handed over in the meantime to continue paying more than their fair share of the EU budget, has resulted in even more needless emotional trauma to all sides.
It’s now patently obvious that a WTO-style Brexit in 2016/17 would have been better for the UK, it’s business community, and for ordinary Britons too, had Britain just ‘up and left’ without a deal and went straight to a WTO trading relationship (beginning January 1, 2017) with the European Union.
Had UK MP’s followed both the letter and spirit of those instructions, the UK would’ve left the European Union on January 1, 2017 (probably on WTO terms) and gotten straight to work on what matters most to Britons — and all of it without a 1389-day delay!
Think about it. 1389-days later (and counting) we’re no closer to a Brexit trade deal with the EU than in January 2017!
After all the gyrations, after all the negative publicity, after all the name-calling, and all that grief — and nothing to show for it 1389-days later. Which I many times predicted throughout the entire Brexit saga.
It isn’t good enough; It isn’t what citizens are paying their politicians for in either bloc. The entire shambolic escapade of (former UK Prime Minister Theresa May) trying to get a deal — while the EU was seemingly trying to not get a deal — has been a colossal waste of everyone’s life. And that translates into a lot of wasted time and money for everyone.
I understood the EU’s position perfectly, it’s just that others didn’t.
The European Union doesn’t want a sudden exodus of countries from it’s bloc and therefore, making the UK’s exit from the EU seem like the biggest ordeal in the world might deter some EU-member nations from leaving.
My point is, UK politicians should’ve known that. They shouldn’t have fallen for so many false narratives/red herrings/obfuscation. But they did — and that’s the problem.
And that disability is called naivety.
European Union leaders shouldn’t be blamed for trying to make Britain’s exit from the EU as difficult as possible; I can relate to that, because if my 2nd-best economic contributor was trying to leave my bloc/organization/family, I’d be tempted to make life difficult for them. But I would hope that I didn’t get too carried away with making them PAY, PAY, PAY! for wanting to leave and skip to the infinitely more important point of trying to arrange a workable new arrangement, ASAP.
And that ability is called maturity.
Therefore, I respectfully call on UK politicians to become much less naive with regard to the European Union’s position (a bloc now proven to not be working in the best interests of the UK — and why would it? It’s in business for the EU) and I respectfully call on EU politicians to begin thinking in much more expedient terms for the remainder of the year so that a viable trade deal can be arranged between the two parties — to benefit citizens and businesses on both sides of the English Channel.
There can be only one Captain of a ship.
Every sailor knows this. It’s a fact of life that all sailors know to be indisputable. No sailor challenges this view. It’s simply not up for discussion within professional navies.
For example, no professional crew member would ever feel so self-entitled as to waltz onto the bridge of a Navy or merchant marine ship and begin steering the ship and issuing commands — because aboard ship every member of the crew has specific duties for which they are well-trained, and in the absence of them performing their duties to near-perfection, the ship is likely to sink, run aground, miss it’s intended port by many miles, or get blown to smithereens by a foreign navy.
All sane people observe the hierarchical structure because they’re smart enough to know that only the Captain has the authority and necessary training to be in overall control of the ship.
Of course, every seaman/seawoman dreams of someday becoming the Captain, that goes without saying. And yearning for the top job is an admirable thing for crew members.
If they have the right aptitude and attitude, someone in the chain of command will recognize their diligent efforts and ensure they receive the appropriate training to allow them to become Captain, and they will be a Captain once they’re ready for the whole job. (And it’s a big job)
It must be repeated: There can be only one Captain of a ship, and this thinking is just as true in the corporate world, as it is in the world’s major organized religions, and in government.
And ‘the Captain’ of the UK House of Commons is the Prime Minister
Now, MP’s aren’t required to ‘like’ the Captain, they aren’t required to feel ‘afraid’ of the Captain, nor should they be compelled to do something ‘illegal’ by the Captain of the House of Commons.
But, there can only be one Captain of a ship — and Boris Johnson is it — whether individual MP’s like it or not!
So, get over it snowflakes.
How the Prime Minister Chooses to Deliver Brexit is Up To Him!
It’s not up to individual MP’s to decide how to negotiate Brexit with the European Union, nor is it up to backbench MP’s to decide whether the EU was dealing in good faith during Brexit negotiations that took place in the past, nor in talks with the EU that may take place in the near-present or future.
Those MP’s aren’t ‘in the know’, they likely haven’t a minute’s worth of Foreign Secretary experience, and almost for certain they’ve never been a political or trade negotiator for the government of the United Kingdom.
Nor (likely) have they served as the CEO of a major company with a corporate GDP of any significance (Ford, GM, BP, Toshiba, Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc.) so why is it they think they know better than the Prime Minister and former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom how best to run the country and deal with the European Union?
How is it they think they know better than a majority of British voters who voted to leave the EU on June 23, 2016? (In a democracy, the voters are always right, and even if they’re wrong, it’s their call!) And even now, public opinion polls are running 60% for Leave and 40% for Remain with very few Undecided voters.
Why is it they think they know better than the Prime Minister and then seek to impose their will on him — and when they don’t get their way! — they embarrass the PM by crossing the floor to join the opposition bench, or ride off into the sunset, or send disparaging resignation letters to the newspaper, or in other ways seek to punish the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for not doing what they wanted?
Who do these people think they are?
When such MP’s try to embarrass the legal Head of Government and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, such actions serve only to further the interests of foreign powers, and as such, those MP’s aren’t worthy of the honour of being called ‘British citizen’ let alone being granted the title of ‘Member of Parliament’.
MP’s work for ‘The People’ and are to fulfil the wishes of ‘The People’ in a timely manner and in a responsible fashion.
The term, ‘timely manner’ does not provide remit enough to drag Brexit out over +3-years with an all-in cost to the government and the economy of £69.5 billion (so far) nor does the term ‘responsible fashion’ authorize MP’s to cancel Brexit when ‘The People’ have clearly chosen to leave the European Union.
MP’s work for ‘The People’ and must do as ‘The People’ instruct them to do. And only the Prime Minister gets to decide (after consulting with his Cabinet) which policy vehicle will be utilized to carry out voter instructions. MP’s shouldn’t be shooting their government in the foot because they’re not getting their way on Brexit! Boo Hoo!
Pity the Poor Prime Minister!
…For here’s what he’s been told:
- ‘The People’ instructed the government to leave the EU. There was nothing on the ballot about ‘Deal’ or ‘No Deal’. Further, in the 2017 UK General Election where every party ran on a pro-Brexit platform, the Conservatives won. Therefore, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who is also the official Head of Government for the United Kingdom — is obligated to follow voter instructions — no matter what certain backbenchers or Cabinet members think about Brexit. Obviously!
- The European Union told the UK Head of Government, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that they’ll only accept Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement (which failed miserably 3-times in the UK House of Commons) and told Boris Johnson that further Brexit negotiations won’t be tolerated. In short; It’s the failed WA, or nothing. It’s the ultimate brinkmanship game designed to bring the UK to its knees and have it trapped in a bad relationship with Brussels forever! Insanity!
- The UK House of Commons voted strongly in favour of the European Union Bill to leave the EU (498 votes to 114) but now with cold feet on Brexit, they won’t let the UK Head of Government, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, employ a ‘No Deal’ threat as a way to gain a better exit agreement than the thrice-failed Withdrawal Agreement. Thanks to the UK House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson now has both hands tied behind his back and he’s supposed to get a better Brexit deal than the thrice-failed WA deal! You couldn’t make it up, folks. More insanity!
- The UK House of Commons voted to prevent the UK Head of Government and Prime Minister of the country from calling an election to settle matters by putting it to ‘The People’ for a vote. Why are British MP’s so afraid of ‘The People’ who employ them? Even more insanity!
- Some individual MP’s (seemingly) do everything possible to embarrass Prime Minister Boris Johnson, (seemingly) to weaken the UK’s bargaining position vis-à-vis getting a better exit deal from the EU than the oft-failed Withdrawal Agreement and, (seemingly) take every opportunity to make the UK appear weak, uncertain, and ready for takeover by a larger power, namely, the EU. Even more insanity!
So, why oh why and for the love of God… don’t certain UK Parliamentarians understand that they’ve greatly weakened the UK’s bargaining power and effectively tied the hands of the UK Prime Minister, thereby preventing the better deal they say they want?
Or, is it as I fear, that they fully understand what they’ve done and are working (at first secretly, but now overtly) for the interests of a foreign power called the European Union, instead of the interests of their own country, the United Kingdom?
It seems Remoaner sleeper agents embedded within UK institutions and government were once among the loudest to chant, “Brexit!” “Brexit!” “Brexit!” — but every time it appeared that an actual Brexit day was approaching — they’d pull the rug out from under whichever UK Prime Minister was in power and work intensely to ‘delay, delay, delay’ Brexit until the British people would finally give up on Brexit and surrender to the European Union.
My only question is; Who are the Remoaners and why do they hate their country?
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!