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The best example of European ‘Low Ambition’ has arrived (in the UK of all places!) and British citizens should be enraged.
After piddling around for over 2 1/2 years, the UK government is now putting out ‘feelers’ about how the UK public would react to an Article 50 extension. Pathetic.
There are many valid reasons why citizens and the media should virtually veto this idea — and number one on the list is that it cynically works to strengthen the hand of Remainers many of whom still can’t accept the June 23, 2016 referendum result and are actively working to this day to subvert the will of the majority.
Is Theresa May actually trying to create the conditions necessary to start a civil war? Because without her feeding the anti-Brexit movement at irregular intervals over the past 30-months it would’ve died out of its own accord as it wasn’t that strong to begin with.
What kind of leader would work against the wishes of a majority of referendum voters to strengthen the losers of such an historic referendum? Sir Winston Churchill (who earned his title by the way) is rolling over in his grave at this very moment.
Again, Britain’s leaders must stop acting like they’re representing the 120th-largest economy in the world and begin acting like they’re representing the 6th-largest economy in the world. Yes, even if that is scary. Oh Winston, where are you?
Britons and the entire world are dying to hear Winston Churchill snarling, ‘This will be Britain’s finest owwwa!’ in full British bulldog mode.
And far less of;
‘IsItAlrightToSitHere?Oh,ItIsn’t?OK,Sorry,I’llSitRightOverHereThenIfThat’sOKWithYou. AndI’mWillingToPay£39BillionForThePrivilege,ButIfYouWantMoreThat’sOKToo. ButPleaseJustGiveMeSomeTimeToSellItToMyGovernmentFirst.
Followed by the mandatory 5-minute round of air-kisses between the two. Sickening.
Let’s Look at the Pros and Cons of a Delayed Article 50
As there aren’t any ‘Pros’ let’s skip directly to the ‘Cons’ of an Article 50 extension:
- It might create a civil war in the UK: Or it might strengthen the present divisions which could lead to the kind of polarized society we see in the United States. Which is great if you’re a UK politician trying to make a name for yourself by using ‘Divide and Conquer’ tactics leftover from the feudal era, but it’s never good for a country. Yes, it might work for you but it will permanently damage the country. Anyone who uses such tactics to further their own career, prolong their premiership, or gain a fleeting advantage over their political opponents should be fired by their party for fomenting public strife.
- Adding even more uncertainty is bad for the economy: Keeping the fight going for whatever reason instead of getting on with the business of the country has had a deleterious effect on the UK economy. As long as a Remain vs. Leave fight continues business confidence within and outside the country is negatively affected. Leave won. Remain lost. Even Remainers in government must get over it, or do the honourable thing and resign their Parliamentary seat. This applies to the House of Lords as well. If you can’t accede to the will of The People you’re not a democrat, you’re a despot. And nobody wants you — except the losers of the 2016 referendum. Bye! We (the people who believe in democracy) won’t miss you. Don’t call. Don’t write. We don’t want to know.
- The UK looks weak in front of the entire world: As the world watches, the way Brexit has been handled on the British side makes Britain look disorganized, unsure of itself and led by a closet Remainer, that is at all times afraid of its own shadow… and this! this? is the UK that hopes to become a major exporting nation in a globalized world that (try not to laugh here) is supposed to be based on a meritocratic government and society according to Theresa May? Give us a break!
- There is nothing to be gained by extending Article 50. Nothing! The same (apparently intractable) problems will remain and nothing more can be said then, that hasn’t already been said between the two sides. If they can’t get it done in 3-years (!!!) what makes them think they can get it done in 3-years + 3-months? Ludicrous! The EU says the draft Withdrawal Agreement can’t be renegotiated (which is incorrect, as it’s only a ‘draft agreement’ or ‘proposal’) and if they want to sell cars, etc. to the UK they will sign a revised (no backstop) agreement at some time before the 11th-hour on March 29th. And I don’t blame the EU one bit for trying that bluff on a weak UK Prime Minister. I would too, as would any negotiator. But Theresa May will be a fool if she falls for that ol’ negotiating ploy. Everyone can see it for what it is. So why can’t Theresa May? Inexplicable!
- After the EU/EC elections in May 2019, the UK will be facing the ‘Hard Crew’ — not the ‘Soft Crew’ of jolly old (and powerful) Jean-Claude Juncker and businesslike (and powerful) Donald Tusk — both of whom almost like the British. The Hard Crew is most decidedly NOT going to be easier to negotiate with. The Hard Crew is NOT going to allow any better deal for the UK. The Hard Crew is NOT going to put up with some of the shenanigans we’ve seen from the British side. And the Hard Crew certainly won’t consider changes to the proposed backstop. And the Hard Crew (and this is important!) won’t be bound by any self-serving and pollyanna Political Declaration that has absolutely no force in law. Might as well tear that up right now Theresa because the Hard Crew isn’t going to entertain one word of that document unless some part of it happens to favour the EU side. If you think the EU aren’t your friends now (and they aren’t, they’re quite rightly negotiating and bluffing for their own side, not the UK side) just wait until you meet the new boss!
Finally, Theresa May has been getting better and better by the month. However, she’s failed to grasp some important points which may prove disastrous to Britain and to her legacy once she leaves office.
Her oft-repeated statement which she quoted on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday goes like this; “Don’t let the search for the perfect become the enemy of the good.”
Which is a nice thought but it misses the mark and she doesn’t see it. Brexiteers aren’t asking for “the perfect” — they’re asking for a “successful” Brexit. What Theresa May thinks is “the perfect” is what Brexiteers merely consider “the bare minimum” level of Brexit success.
Remember the four metrics of Brexit success?
- Take back control of the UK’s borders and immigration
- Take back control of the UK legal system
- Take back control of the UK economy
- Take back control of UK trade
And her draft Withdrawal Agreement as it presently sits (unloved by anyone in the world except Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker) satisfies only 3-out-of-4 of those metrics, but is otherwise an excellent document.
Which results in a failed grade for Theresa May as far as Brexit negotiations are concerned.
A ‘No Deal’ Brexit is far superior to the present draft Withdrawal Agreement as a No Deal Brexit WILL ALLOW THE UK to strike any trade deal it wants, post-Brexit.
Theresa May is living a fairy-tale if she thinks that allowing the backstop to remain in the draft agreement and then post-Brexit trying to negotiate her way out of the backstop with the Hard Crew is going to get the UK out of the backstop. (What???)
Sorry Theresa. I like you. But the EU is trying to steal Northern Ireland from the UK by stealth (If I were them, I’d try the same thing!) employing the backstop to arrive at the point in time where a UK Prime Minister’s choice would be narrowed down by events to only one of two choices; Either surrender Northern Ireland to the EU, or the UK becomes trapped in a worse deal.
Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement as it stands would’ve gotten her a 1-out-of-10 grade in Political Science class. That’s a 10% grade. Not even up to the D- mark that we all feared in high school.
Yet, with one change (dropping the backstop, or alternatively, putting a firm end-date on Customs Union membership) would turn that very same draft Withdrawal Agreement into an A+ agreement, or 95% if you prefer that measure.
Who wants an even worse deal than at present? Hands up! None? See Theresa, I’m right!
So choose to drop the backstop, or alternatively, get a firm end-date on Customs Union membership and you’ll be the hero of Brexit and live out your life in the House of Lords after your premiership ends! Or, choose to be reviled worse than Guy Fawkes — for being the Prime Minister who delivered the British people into the hands of the EU’s Hard Crew and concomitantly trap Britain in an even worse deal than it presently has.
There’s no other options left. Taking the path of least resistance with your EU pals is no longer an option. The time has come to show some mettle or get out-of-the-way and let someone who can get the job done, get it done.
And forget about cancelling Brexit. That should be a treasonable offence even for British MP’s including the Prime Minister. The People voted to Leave and you must follow their instructions.
Of course it’s nice to leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement that allows an easy Implementation Period so that no one has to work too hard at moving to a new way of doing things, and it’s nice to create fluffy and pretty Political Declarations that sound wonderful and sweet (but in reality will rank as nothing once the Hard Crew gets into power) and all the other sweet, flowery, diplomatic and fluffy things that the new relationship with the EU could and should be. But none of that is based in reality.
And unfortunately, no matter how we try to pretty it up, we live in reality, not in non legally binding documents. And no one wants to be trapped in a worse deal.
So, put on your big-girl pants and get the final and most important part of the job done, or get out-of-the-way and let someone else who can, get the job done.
You’ve been great, but obtaining a successful Brexit is bigger than any one Prime Minister (or two, or three!) and it must be done right.
Hurt feelings, being pushed aside for a more proactive and bolder Prime Minister, or not being able to build the legacy you want are far less important than the British people getting out of the EU (which is what they voted for) and either obtaining a better Withdrawal Agreement prior to March 29, 2019 or moving smartly along to a No Deal Brexit by the same date, are your only two options.
Any other paths are merely flights of fantasy that only serve to waste everyone’s time, including yours.
Well Brexit fans, that was a year, wasn’t it?
Everything that could’ve happened, did happen — except for a 2nd EU referendum which (speaking hypothetically) if the Leave side won, might’ve put a stop to the complaining of Remainers who still can’t reconcile the fact that they lost the referendum 2 1/2 years ago. It’s time to move on, folks!
But what if Remain had won a 2nd referendum on EU membership, you ask? It would’ve turned it into a best-out-of-three affair that would’ve required another costly and divisive referendum to settle.
If the UK had unlimited funding and unlimited time — a best-out-of-three referendum scenario would’ve worked out nicely, wouldn’t it?
Just for the record, Brexit would’ve won it two-in-a-row, thereby preventing the need for any third EU referendum and Remainers (I’m sure!) would’ve thanked Brexiteers for saving taxpayers even more millions for a third EU referendum. Because for Brexiteers it’s all about saving UK taxpayer money. You’re welcome! Just another Brexit dividend.
Fortunately, as time is short, there’s no time for another referendum to ensure ‘The People’ voted the ‘right way’ and only the usual malcontents are holding placards and yelling at cars, because, well, they didn’t get their way!
That old democracy thing really sorts them out, doesn’t it? (“Why can’t I just get my way every time?” “Because, democracy.”)
Only 90 Days Until Brexit
Although UK Prime Minister Theresa May tried mightily she wasn’t able to get a draft Withdrawal Agreement passed in the House of Commons that would’ve allowed the UK and the EU an easier transition through Brexit and (bonus for the EU!) a £39 billion, one-time payment.
However, the EU is well-known for its last-minute 11th-hour deals, and nobody should expect the draft Withdrawal Agreement to be modified enough to pass in the UK House of Commons and be approved by each EU27 country until at least March 15th. That’s just the way they do things there. Hey, they’re allowed to use whatever negotiating ploys they want, as is the UK. All’s fair in love and divorce, they say.
In the meantime, Theresa May has but one option: Prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit with as much enthusiasm as she can muster, getting all of her departments moving in the right direction, and she must continue with the non-Brexit business of running the country — until the 11th-hour people want to talk again.
And they already know what they must do in order to gain a deal that will pass on both sides of the English Channel: It’s as simple as removing the Irish backstop, or putting a firm end-date on UK Customs Union membership. Either of those choices are fine.
And once that happens the UK House of Commons will pass the amended draft Withdrawal Bill with plenty of bipartisan support as party politics must step aside for the good of the country at such historical moments, and it’s likely the EU27 parliaments will pass it as well.
For EU countries, there’s not only continuing access to UK markets to think about, there’s that £39 billion one-time payment to gain or lose. And if they miss it they’ll have only themselves to blame because all it takes to obtain that £39 billion payment is a signed Withdrawal Agreement — and that means signed by both sides — the UK and each of the EU27 countries.
Steady-On, Theresa, Until the EU Get Serious About an Implementation Period + Withdrawal Agreement
According to the terms of Article 50, Brexit will occur on March 29, 2019 and it’s the default option — no matter what else happens or doesn’t happen in the meantime. If the Withdrawal Agreement never gets signed, Brexit will still occur. Let’s make no mistake.
However, Theresa May has no power to force the EU negotiators to the table in order to arrive at a mutually beneficial Brexit agreement. If they want a deal, they’ll show up prior to March 29, 2019.
But if they don’t, the UK gets to keep the £39 billion and spend it on the NHS and other important parts of the UK economy and the UK will be completely (and mercifully) out of the European Union governance architecture. Which might involve a little ‘short term pain for long-term gain’ for both sides.
Yet it’s coming out a little more each day that a ‘No Deal’ Brexit scenario isn’t as scary as Project Fear has made it out to be. Let’s try to forget how wrong they were over the past 2 1/2 years. Nobody is listening to their ‘sky is falling’ toxic talk any more.
Almost every economic indicator in the UK is on the uptick since the EU referendum and a lower pound sterling works to make UK exports affordable overseas. Which is a very good thing for British manufacturing — a sector that has fallen to less than 10% of UK GDP since the 1970’s when it contributed 25% to UK GDP.
One of the best things about Brexit is that the UK will again forge its own trade relationships with the rest of the world instead of being tied to the EU economy which has fallen from 25% of global GDP in 1993 to 11% of global GDP in 2016, and is projected to fall further to 9% of global GDP by 2020.
While we should wish the EU27 well, it’ll be a breath of fresh air for British exporters to finally leave the bloc. Yet, let’s hope the UK can leave the EU on good terms, with a decent Withdrawal Agreement that’s acceptable to all 28 nations, and with a CETA-style trade agreement.
Anything less than that minimum level of success would be a case of leaders on both sides of the English Channel shooting themselves in the foot.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
Just like clockwork and as promised by the Theresa May government preparations for a possible No Deal exit from the European Union will begin on January 1, 2019. The Prime Minister has said it all along yet no one believed her, even though there were plenty of examples when she informed the media in advance on what actions she would be taking in relation to Brexit and when, and then did exactly as promised.
She didn’t keep her promise to hold the vote on the draft Withdrawal Agreement last Tuesday. However, politics isn’t like baking a cake where you simply assemble the ingredients, mix it all together, and throw it in the oven for an hour.
Forgive the Prime Minister for a promise that was broken for a good reason.
Why allow a vote when the thing you’re trying to approve will certainly fail? That would’ve wasted the time of every MP in the House of Commons and provided the EU with an advantage over the holiday season; Namely, EU officials getting to spend the holidays blaming the UK for failing to pass the draft Withdrawal Agreement which would’ve put the UK government deep into defensive territory by the time they returned to Parliament on January 7th.
Theresa May and her government have looked wobbly at times throughout the past 2.5 years, but at ‘mission critical’ points she and her ministers have delivered. Strange, but heartening.
“Through perseverance, many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” — former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881)
The latest example of that is the kept promise to begin preparations before January 1, 2019 in case of a No Deal Brexit by ensuring enough medicine will be available for every Briton (including Theresa May’s medication for her diabetic condition) and now, the UK military has offered to assist the government in the immediate post-Brexit timeframe — including 3500 troops for government use.
Such army personnel can drive transport trucks, direct vehicular traffic at the ports, fly goods by military aircraft to remote parts of the UK, and fill any staffing or logistical gaps that could be created in the case of a sudden No Deal Brexit scenario.
It may be highly unlikely, but it’s still good policy to plan for gaps or shortages in the system.
“Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.“ — former U.S. President, Ike Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)
In a fluid situation it’s a great thing to plan ahead, yet once having arrived at the ‘gap in the road’ (for example) or having arrived at a day when there actually are milk shortages (for another example) it’s ongoing planning that will save the day.
Ongoing resourcefulness and a permanent ‘CAN-DO’ attitude, combined with relentless pursuit of important goals is what will allow Britons to succeed every time. Ask any gold medal athlete or any 5-star general, or any platinum selling recording artist. A ‘CAN-DO’ attitude is a million times more valuable than a ‘CAN’T DO’ attitude.
It’s those qualities that Britons have displayed over the centuries that worked to create the great United Kingdom we see today; The 6th-largest economy in the world (and for a few centuries, the largest economy in the world by a significant margin!) with a very high standard of living and quality of life in the here and now.
Although all of those stats could and should be even better than they are at present, it’s still a magnificent accomplishment.
Micheal Gove & Sir Nick Carter Give Hope that there is No Problem Too Big for the UK to Handle
‘Hope’ is a powerful word. If people have hope, if they see a reasonable plan forming, and if they see people like Micheal Gove handling the worst-case scenario far in advance of any potential problems, it provides the hope that’s required for human beings to maintain a high level of life satisfaction and function most efficiently. There are more quotations about ‘Hope’ than about any other single word in the English lexicon.
“Nothing is ever a problem” must be the mantra of the Brexit Secretary if the UK’s exit from the European Union is to succeed.
Whether help from the UK military will ever be required or not, it’s good to know that General Sir Nick Carter, the Chief of the Defence Staff has reached out to Micheal Gove, the Brexit Secretary, to inform him that it’s available if needed.
That’s a government and a military infrastructure working together to ensure that nothing is ever a problem for Britons. See; Operation Yellowhammer.
In the meantime, the more and better the UK government and the UK military prepare for a No Deal Brexit, the more EU negotiators will become convinced that the UK really is leaving the EU and that they may need to modify the draft Withdrawal Agreement in order to prevent a so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ scenario — which will negatively affect the EU’s trade surplus with the UK presently running at £95 billion per year (net, £67 billion annually) and with no ability for them to replace that massive (obscene?) trade surplus anywhere else.
By virtue of Brexit Secretary, Micheal Gove, and Chief of the Defence Staff and General Sir Nick Carter working together to prepare for a No Deal Brexit, Theresa May ensures that the EU will be much easier to deal with henceforth and she can expect the Irish backstop (a red herring if there ever were one!) to be dropped from the draft Withdrawal Agreement so that the European Union’s £67 billion (net) annual trade surplus with the UK isn’t lost over something far less important.