The clean-break Brexit 52% of us voted for is being eroded, and the speed of exit obstructed. Nine months have been wasted, the EU is already inventing excuses to do nothing, a so-called Brexit Government is watering down expectations, and its unelected leader continues to exploit developments for her own ends. If Theresa May is an egalitarian One Nation Brexiteer Tory, then Jean-Claude Juncker is a teetotal libertarian.
If you doubt the reality of the above, then you may also have doubted the points I made last year about the importance of March 31st as a date after which Brussels can easily turn Brexit into a nightmare….if we let it.
Since I posted this piece on June 29th 2016, it has evoked 121 comments and been viewed by 64,757 people….making it the 5th most visited Slogpost of all time.
The minute it began to attract traffic, I was in receipt of a trollswarm of naysayers dismissing the observations as “fake”; so later that day I published this rebuttal, but it didn’t stop the systematic attempt, in the following months, to infect every online forum on the subject and diss every retweet of the posts.
My main intention in writing the posts was to encourage a speedy conclusion of the exit process of leaving the EU, such that the bulk of all negotiations and formalities would be completed before the 31st March 2017 – on which day all negotiating procedures in the European Union, and blocks on legislation, will change in major ways that cannot fail to make the departure process slower and more frustrating for the United Kingdom.
Our vainglorious Remainer helmsperson Theresa May has, in the nine months since then, succeeded in writing Brussels one letter. Instead of having the bulk of work complete, we’ve just started.
I bring this subject up again now for the following reasons:
- Because the changes are not fake – they are real…as I will demonstrate by use of the Lisbon Treaty amendments introduced since 2014
- Because I have yet to see any genuine rationale explaining the ridiculous delay in getting to where we are….ie, nowhere
- Because I continue to maintain that the geopolitical game plan is to watch, wait and play every possible card to stop the process – and that powerful Fifth Columnists are still at large in the UK Government.
- Because the last 72 hours have confirmed what I suspected right from the outset: that the EU’s MO will be tactics of delay, displays of petulant arrogance, and exploitation of the Treaty changes after April 1st.
Let’s first of all close down the mendacity in relation to changes in negotiating procedure and “the exercise of Sovereign democracy” within the EU. The Remain neocon-to-Leftlib camp has skillfully skirted round the procedural changes by saying there will be no Article 50 changes after April 1st 2017. This is at best a half-truth and at worst a cynical 3-card wordplay designed to obfuscate the obvious. Next time somebody tells you I’m talking bollocks on the issue, I suggest you capture and then use the following snip taken directly from Clause 4 of the official European Parliament confirmation of the Lisbon procedural changes. So confusingly worded is the change, I have had to use red and blue guidelines to deconstruct the key elements:
For example, it opens with Lisbon retaining the principle of double majority voting (whereby both Council seats and State populations are used to “weight” the vote) but then says in fact it won’t exist in its current form after tomorrow (circled in blue). It then writes about reducing qualified majority voting (not double) to 55% for a proposal to pass…and then further suddenly introduces blocking as a concept which will require just 4 States out of 27 to vote against a proposal.
Declaration 7 is the Stealth bomber flying under the radar: after 2014, the blocking support required was reduced to 75% of the blocking minority – plausibly, just three States. After March 31st, however, this will require just 55% in terms of Member States with the new double majority voting rules….which favour smaller Members more than the old ones did.
Worse still, the blocking is open-ended – governed only by the vague phrase ‘a reasonable time period’.
In a nutshell, whereas before March 31st Finland, Luxembourg and Cyprus couldn’t block a deal the Commission had agreed with Davis, Fox, Johnson, May, Hammond & Ptrs, as from Tomorrow (Saturday April 1st 2017) they can. And this isn’t like dealing with the House of Lords: piddly States like these could mess Britain around for an as yet indeterminate period.
The confusion obviously arises from the way the “explanation” jumps unhelpfully from block to pass and DMV to QMV. I’m cynical enough about this shower to believe the practice to deceive was quite deliberate – but you don’t have to take my word for it: the last three days have shown very clearly that filibuster is now the only game in town. What Führerin Tweedle-Dummerkel told Britain on Wednesday was mirrored yesterday morning by Tweedle-Dummer Platécran: “Britain will have to wait ‘cos we weren’t ready” and “it would be foolish to negotiate departure protocol and trade terms at the same time” – we having difficulty with the walk and chew gum thing, an’ all.
The bad news about that is control of the timetable does indeed lie with the Commission not the Brexiteers, and always has. Which brings me to perhaps the two most blindingly obvious questions that have never been even halfway satisfactorily answered by Cap’n Theresa and the scurvey crew of the Mayflower: why did you – knowing that process control lies with the EC – piss away nine months before sending the billet doux? And knowing that, why didn’t you simply opt to repeal the British Act of Membership and tell Drunker politely to stick it in his next dry Martini?
This final point really does merit some serious interrogation. Several things need to be taken into account.
First of all, there is a 5:1 Remainer majority in the Conservative Parliamentary Party, and a large majority for Remain in the Cabinet. In an extraordinary development this afternoon, it was announced in the House that after completion of the Brexit process, 12,000 or so Brussels-originated laws will be cut and pasted onto the UK’s statutes, until all Parties and local government have had a polygonal bunfight about which ones to keep, change or repeal. I wish the élite good luck with that one – but it begs the question, I thought we left the EU to get rid of most of the red tape that came with it?
I have the same fear I’ve felt all along about May and Brexit disorder: I think she will try and use it to call a “back or sack” election.
Next there is the question of Scotland wanting to be independent of the UK and also an EU member – whether the rest of Britain is or not. Gossip inside the Tory Party suggests May is emphatic in private that she will not go down in history as the person holding the parcel when the Scots broke up the UK.
Some MPs seriously believe that, if push came to shove on this issue, the Prime Minister would rather Remain in the EU and keep the Scots onside.
I don’t find that hard to believe at all. But it is another reason to delay any final decision for as long as possible….in the hope that changed circumstances in the EU, in the global economy or north of the Border either remove the thorn in her side, or give her an excuse to switch sides on the basis of changed worlds.
Finally, we mustn’t forget the geopolitics of the US, NATO, energy and world trade in all this: whatever happens to Trump – or whatever he causes to happen in foreign policy – Britain is going to need US cooperation an awful lot if we genuinely leave the Union. As a guy who at the moment looks like he might not even make it to the end of one Term, Trump remains at best a loose cannon – and at worst an unwarrantable risk – for a scheming survivor like Theresa May.
Deviating just a fraction here, I think we also need to keep a collective eye on Boris Johnson. He dithered until the last minute in Spring 2016; but when he declared for Brexit I felt he was merely sniffing an unexpected victory. I now suspect I was wrong: I think he hoped to fail gallantly (but only just) and then take advantage of Camerlot weakness….following which he would wind up as a PM knocking the EU for six most of the time….aka good old Boris.
Notable the day after the referendum was a shocked BoJo stressing the need for delay, and his decision made weeks before to play cricket with friends, including a stayover, at the weekend….not the action of a bloke ready to run for Number Ten starting Monday. In the event, he got the Foreign Secretary job – very little of which, it seems to me, has been focused on Brexit.
Boris has always fancied himself as the part-Turk, part American English gent walking tall on the geopolitical stage, despite the weight and height disadvantages he enjoys. I doubt very much if he is a Brexiteer at heart.
Like Mother Theresa, he is a born opportunist. And like her, it is rumoured that he favours an early election.
Let’s say the PM does call an election: I cannot see any way she can fail to improve her position and increase her power. As predicted here consistently, it’s now very clear she wants to be the woman who completed Thatcher’s ghastly vision in terms of privatisation and zero State provision. If she went down eventually as the leader who “saved Britain’s trade lifeline”, united the Party and destroyed the Left forever, then that’s going to be a more difficult result to obtain outside the EU than in.
She is also acutely aware that the EUNATO anti-Russian globalists vastly outnumber gung-ho Brexiteer buccaneers in the Conservative Party. Jeremy Hunt, I’m told, has been making noises about “the unpopular collapse of health provision” if Britain leaves the EU in bad odour. He is a rabid Remainer with very powerful friends. Despite repeated denials, Chancellor Hammond has also been leaking like a sieve with anti-Fox/Davis ‘incompetence’ spin. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon declared in February 2016 that “in the light of a rampant Putin”, it would be unwise to leave the EU. He is sceptical about the euro (aren’t we all) but not about the EU per se. And more generally, this week has seen an outbreak of Whitehall leaks about Brexit “making little or no difference to immigration levels”.
Despite the never-ending torrent of fake news and risible scare-spin from the Leftlib via Blair to Soros camp, as of six weeks ago only 24% of UK voters wanted a second Brexit referendum: As that includes most Scottish voters, the English best-of-three tendency is perhaps little more than 15%. May can point this out clearly, and reject it as an option; but she can also say that progress towards a now widely accepted Brexit is being hampered by the self-interest of unrepresentative élites….and opt for an election.
The Labour Party and LibDems would be splattered in any election involving Corbyn and Farron leaderships. Their votes would go to UKIP, although at what level would depend on economic and/or geopolitical developments, and whether the Nuttalls Mintoe is still at the helm. Under FPTP, it is far from certain that there would be any seats breakthrough by UKIP: indeed, my sense is that some bourgeois Kippers would desert to the Tories, having been less than impressed with the new leader – and believing May to be “a safe pair of hands” for delivering Brexit.
The bottom line is that, as always, May comes through clearly as a cunning schemer, but a counterfeit Brexiteer. She is leaving all options open for as long as possible, but her decisive moves since last June suggest she is hoping to wind up with a halfway house Brexit. Whether we in the genuine Leave camp like it or not, this is probably the solution with the best chance of making the Tories unbeatable and united, keeping Scotland on board, smashing Labour, nd leaving the door open for a European future should circumstances make that the best option.
In many ways, this would seem at first sight like the outcome that is “best for” Britain. My own view is that it would quickly lead to proper British democracy occupying the cell on Death Row, and the perhaps irreversible success of the creeping corporate surveillance State in occupying the vacuum left by direct, inclusive democracy. There is a tendency – led by Jeremy Hunt – in the contemporary Tory Party to see any effective Opposition to Thatcherism as doomed, and levels of unrest among the UK poor as a thing of the past.
That represents misguided triumphalism of the sort one expects from psychopaths, and it will end in tears. But the showdown could easily be a decade away at least – and by that time, there will be a teenage generation maturing that has only ever seen resistance to the neocon philosophy as utterly futile.
It’s why The Slog and other sites like it have consistently asked the British Left to take its head out of its bum; and having done that, to stop using the mouth in that head to spit venom at others who also want the dark Friedmanite mission to fail. You don’t have to be a socialist to find the May administration deplorably dysfunctional, but you do have to be sane and numerate to grasp the need for a united anti-Conservative electoral pact. As Labour activists lack those personality elements, it seems to me that, sadly, this should be a very easy wicket for Mother Theresa.
An apt anagram of Theresa is The arse. I therefore propose from here on the refer to the dear lady as The arse May. I sincerely hope that her fellow travelers find this offensive.
Other relevant Slogposts from the archives: The emerging Theresa May (July 2016) The continuing fight against EU fascism (August 2016) May’s lucky choice of Enemies (February 2017)