Let me start by saying that my dislike for the corrupt, bloated, unaccountable, feudally inefficient bureaucracy of europe is deep-seated and visceral. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with an unelected, federalist elite, a top-down revolution, if you will, that can’t even sign off its own accounts? However, what the Maybot has tortuously negotiated is probably the best that anyone will get in the circumstances, considering all the red lines that the EU and the UK need to impose on any agreement.
Our ‘wish list’ of requirements is lengthy. It includes frictionless trade, passporting, financial services, freedom of movement, independence from the ECJ, the ability to do deals with the rest of the world and no hard border in Ireland. The cliché that a compromise, is an agreement ‘where both parties get the equivalent of what neither of them wants’, is apposite here. Why, therefore, should we be surprised that the extreme Europhiles and Brexiteers are erupting into a chorus of disapproval at the final result.
Meanwhile, the festering ‘backstop’ issue is tantamount to being handcuffed, where someone else holds the key. It has to be said though, that the alternative quasi-norway and canada versions, also come with a host of disadvantages.
The question arises as to whether Maybot’s team were forthright enough in promoting the ‘no Brexit deal’ when negotiating with the EU hardnuts. I’d like to think so, but my fear is that her manner is rather detached and perhaps too polite. In the hands of a more skilled poker player, perhaps we could have extracted something more favourable, but that ship has now sailed.
I sense that we are witnessing another overture of her ‘unique house-style’ whereby her Svengali courtiers (Nick Timothy, Fiona Hill and now Olly Robbins) and herself, have a penchant to foist a prepared document onto her Cabinet and now the Commons, which seems to be a reoccurring theme. We witnessed this with the ‘suicide manifesto’ before the Election in 2017, again with the Chequers Plan and now with this version. It didn’t seem to do the trick for the past two episodes and if we are to believe current rhetoric, it may not again, after the vote in the Commons, on 11th December.
It seems likely that if the vote is lost, any amendment would not be easily won from Europe. For instance, if we agreed to be a permanent part of the Customs union, some faction or another would be offended, even more so than at present. And although a number of dissenting Labour MPs may come on board, what would be the price for this treasonous inducement? Imagine having to willingly put on the Belgian handcuffs and grovel for permission to do independent trade deals, with the rest of the world.
With a 43-year record of playing 12-dimensional chess constructing some of the most audacious deals in my own industry, I’m well aware of how difficult it is to steer this ‘bugger’s muddle’ through the obstacle course towards an agreement. It has also become obvious that it’s hard to reach an acceptable compromise in the face of bellicose haranguing from the parliamentary ‘back seat drivers’.
Bless him, ‘Spreadsheet Phil’, the Chancellor, in the media, just couldn’t resist giving us a sneaky peek at his remorseless tendencies, when he deliberately referred to the remain position as being the most beneficial to the UK, in the recent Treasury forecasts.
As if this were not enough, Mark ‘Carnage’, the Governor of the Bank of England (BOE), was dusted-off and wheeled into centre-stage, in order to regurgitate the same empty and baseless ‘project fear’ rhetoric, which he has irritatingly done before. He is now the perpetrator of at least seven scandalously unreliable predictions and has learned nothing from the howls of derision at his comedic impartiality. Rather than give this man an extra year in office, he should be handed his P45 instead.
He has politicised and weaponised the boe, which hitherto was a very respectable, apolitical, independent and august insitution.
Even though it is only the first part of the negotiating process, with the most important trade deals yet to be agreed, I have to confess that we should now support Maybot’s deal. This is mainly because the fatuous propositions of a ‘no deal Brexit’ (which would never be accepted by the Commons) and a second referendum, would be an enormous folie de grandeur.
Not only would a re-run need European co-operation, but it would be the most humongous insult to 52% of the electorate, who have already cast their ballot in the ‘people’s vote’ of 2016 as part of the largest, post-war, democratic process. For instance, the Europe that we want to escape could reach for the whip and spank us for having the temerity to leave. It’s an opening for them to ask Britain to join the Euro, the Schengen Group and commit to permanent membership of the Single Market, Customs Union and be under the long arm of the ECJ.
So, take it from a committed and unabashed Brexiteer – if utopia is 70% of what we theoretically desire, then this compromised and imperfect deal, should be supported.
“We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not combined. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.” Sir Winston Churchill