The EU-UK trade deal is done. But its content has distracted from the collateral damage that still remains from the Wihdrawal Agreement. Great Britain is no more “independent” than it was before 2016.
Almost a year ago today, Boris Johnson told Conservative MPs that “Next year will be a great year for our country. I do not think it vainglorious or implausible to say that a new golden age for this United Kingdom is now within reach”. The Prime Minister doesn’t so much over-egg his puddings as leave the shells on – and he never learns. Now he claims claims that the trade deal will be able to withstand “ruthless legal scrutiny from the star chamber legal eagles” (by which of course he means the ERG hardline Brexit club). After a while with BoJo’s expansive claims and scantily-veiled lies, one gets to understand precisely how he gives himself away: for legal scrutiny is exactly what he now fears – in the same way as a year ago, he was probably certain, even without Covid on the horizon, that fiscally, economically and on the EU front, Blighty would face a tricky year.
Let’s get real from the outset: only an enormous and obviously negative revelation is going to stop the EU/UK Trade deal from going through Parliament next Wednesday. It’s clear that the Emperor Boris wants to limit any real “due diligence” in relation to the detail: but even if Clean Brexiteers were to give it the forensic once-over, the mood isn’t there in either Commons or Country to rock the boat now. Equally clear 36 hours after the announcement is that no EU State will oppose the ratification on their side of the Channel.
All in all, Johnson’s “Let’s get Brexit done” has become, over the last year, something with which a large enough majority can agree. Nothing will stop the scorched earth Remainer Einsatzgruppen
volk from their poking and plotting and damp perspiration of potty forecasts; but in the end 2020 was such a ghastly year for the aged in general, the female retired OAP in particular, mass understanding of the cost of liberty and the confinement of corporate dictatorship, by the end of it any glimmer of light from beyond the Lockdown tunnel became a must-have. “We may be driving to Hell in an antique gokart – but at least only we are at the wheel”.
Such is, I’m afraid, a naive view. Hence the need for some reality in relation to those fundamental issues of sovereign destiny control where we are more nervous back-seat driver than skilled F1 Grand Prix winner.
Such reality really doesn’t need to wait for any ERG fine-tooth combing: for most of the dangerous stuff went through without touching the sides a year ago
Above all, we should not be distracted by the ‘trade’ word. There are two reasons for this: first (and briefly) it may indeed be a €660 billion deal, but in the 45 years we were EU members, we lost money on it 44 times. So effectively – unless something changes – we will simply be facing more annual calls on the National Debt to the tune of around €70 billion. The obvious question to ask in that context is, why would anything change – except for the worst – now we are non-EU members?
There is also in that – already – a sign that we will let go of the need to reduce our dependence in loss-making EU trade, now that “a trade deal has been done”. This is completely the wrong mental attitude: the EU ‘free’ market is an inefficient, serially bent stitch-up and our task must be to have an annual target of growing ex-EU trade deals alongside a disappearing rump of sloping-pitch sales to the Europeans.
The second factor is that, in this insane era of packaged financial radioactivity , balance sheet fantasy, rigged investment markets and electronically-created fiat funny-money, personal, sovereign and corporate debt have dwarfed real commerce in terms of “importance” as perceived by the business media, the Hedge Funds and the nerds in charge of algorithmics. The Slickers are now in charge of valuation, and blocist lenders increasingly take the view that all credit is just fine because they’ll be baled out.
One such blocist lender par excellence – perhaps excremence would be a better noun – is the European Investment Bank (EIB).
If you want the full strength on the incontinent lending policies and continual whiffs of corrupt Franco-German favouritism that surround the EIB, I recommend very highly the site Bankwatch which gives you a grown-up view of just how much we can trust them to either stick to a deal, or to last the full term before going up the pictures.
An EIB collapse alone would be enough to drag us down with the SS Eutanic. This is one reason why it matters: the UK’s callable capital disappeared from the balance sheet after the Withdrawal Agreement. The new funding is coming from….hold your breath…..Poland and Romania. Good luck with that one
However, the really big UXB is in when UK responsibility for EIB losses ends, how long it takes to get our money back, what interest we’re paid on the money EIB owes us, and why on Earth the eurozone might rein in the EIB’s previous policies…as opposed to handing us ever larger bills in an insouciant manner.
The answers are, respectively, twelve years, twelve years, nothing, and ‘they won’t’.
If you think that is a win for the UK, you need to spend more time in specsavers.
I think it is important to look at Brussels actions since the UK’s 2016 Brexit referendum on EU membership. Cynical use of sovereign leverage, manipulation of money markets, the employment of NATO pressure, desperate searches for new stonewall materials, admin implosion predictions, Covid fear-mongering and Biden-lobbying on the Irish issue.
Remoanoids screen out all this negotiating reality, for very few of the politicised Guardianista Green-to-BigState-via-Sexuality-Race-Culture space cadets understand it – and even fewer have ever engaged in it.
But money – however perverted its form – still makes the world go round. For gigamoney is the default fuel of the Powermobile.
As to the fishy farce, we already know enough to be worried about it: Frost wanted to turn the EU down flat (which he had every right to do), Brussels wanted fourteen years, and we have ended up at five and a half years. This is a big win for the EU, not us: the maximal levels of fish taken will be hard to police, and 5.5 years is a long time in politics. Brussels is gambling that, during that period, the world economic situation will go from bad to worse, the Tories will fall, and a Remainer-dominated Coalition will be formed. In the meantime, their fishing rights are ensured – but our financial commitments are near-infinite.
Finally, there are three ‘domestic’ signals that should not be forgotten: neither wooden stakes nor silver bullets have been applied to Sir Mark Sedwill. He is back in London esconced cosily at the Rothschild Bank…and retains his key EUNATO coordination position, as well as Whitehall leadership on the issue of biowarfare counter-spin. Second, Dominic Cummings has been cast into the outer darkness. And third, the is our Nigel.
Mr Farage sees the trade deal as a great leap forward. His main objective was always to protect the City, which has played a large role in his life
Thus, the Secret State and the Geopolitical Establishment are firmly in control; Boris of course will stick one finger up to the wind and – if necessary – the other one up at us.
To round up what’s happened: Farage called his original Party the UK Independence Party. He seems content with the result, but we are no less tied to the two biggest world blocs – the US and the EU – than we were before. We must obey the idiot Biden on Irish issues, we must continue to meet protectionist rules on British exports, and we must carry on doing the bidding of NATO’s fear-mongering neocon hegemonistas.
Our politicians are as prone to corporate bribery as ever, and subject to the growing power of a Secret State in the hands of a small number of sociopaths in the shadows. They are in no way controlled or held accountable by Her Majesty’s rip-torn and risible Opposition.
We are about to face the biggest fisco-economic catastrophe in recorded history, and our economy remains ludicrously dependent on the very financial services that most stand to be shattered.
For me, it feels like a Munich Moment. On verra.
Enjoy your Sunday lunch.