Saturday, 3 August 2019

The EU must pay the price for punishing Britain



When Britain voted to leave the EU, we hoped that the split would be friendly and mutually beneficial, but the EU set out to punish Britain. All we ever really wanted was free trade. We have that at present. We already conform to all EU standards. It would be easy to simply say that this would continue. The EU would win because it sells more to us than we do to them. The UK would win because there would be a bare minimum of disruption. Trade would continue just as at present. No-one would even notice leaving.


A reciprocal trade agreement between the EU and the UK would solve the problem of the Irish border. Trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic would continue as before. There would be no need for a backstop, because nothing would be stopped or checked.

Unfortunately, the EU was never interested in arranging a simple, reciprocal trade deal, indeed the withdrawal agreement that the EU negotiated with Theresa May hasn’t even reached the stage of trade. All it does is provide the conditions for a transition period during which trade negotiations would begin.

The conditions notoriously involve the UK having to pay billions of pounds to the EU and sign up to the Irish backstop. This would mean that Northern Ireland would have to remain in the EU’s Custom’s Union until cross border arrangements could be settled. The UK could only leave the Custom’s Union if it were willing to put a regulatory border down the Irish Sea. In effect the EU would have trapped Britain.

Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement would mean that we would gain none of the advantages of leaving the EU, such as making free trade agreements with countries like the USA or Australia. We would continue to be governed by the European Court of Justice and the EU would have all of the advantages in any future trade negotiations. We would beg for free trade and they could ask for anything in return. Spain might want Gibraltar, France might want unrestricted access to the North Sea. Greece might want the Elgin Marbles and Germany might want compensation because we bombed its cities.

We would have already given them our billions and having signed the Withdrawal Agreement into international law we could not change it without the EU’s permission. It is the most one sided, biased and disadvantageous treaty Britain has ever been asked to sign.

The British people may not have understood all of the details of Theresa May’s deal, but we know when someone is trying to punish us, and we understand the concept of fair-play. It is for this reason that so many Brits support Boris Johnson’s willingness to walk away rather than submit to the EU. It would be an act of national pride, which would have an incalculable benefit for our sense of self-worth as a country. The long-term cost of national humiliation is something Remainers never take into account in their economic calculations.  

For decades Britain paid more into the EU than we took out. Why should we alone pay for a mutually beneficially trade deal? Doesn’t divorce usually mean dividing shared assets? Which EU country would accept a regulatory border between its various parts? Why should we still be subject to EU rules when the whole point of leaving was to get free from them.

It is very late in the day. The idea that the EU will suddenly change from trying to punish Britain to working with us for mutual benefit is hard to believe. If they really believed that we would walk away, then there is just a chance that they might offer something right at the last minute. But I rather doubt even that. They would prefer to damage their own trade with Britain if that meant making an example of us. The EU is a prison that depends on shooting escaping prisoners from the watchtowers. How else can you keep the inmates inside?

The EU has shown its true nature in the past three years. We have been told that the price for Brexit would be Northern Ireland. Can you imagine how France would react if a foreign power tried to take away Corsica? The EU would delight in breaking up the UK. It threatens to undermine our international credit rating, wants to take our jobs and would be pleased if Brexit led to recession, and poverty. It has become a hostile power. Friends do not behave in this way.

What do you do when someone wants to punish you? Do you just bend over like Theresa May and take it? No, you get away from the gang dishing out the punishment beatings as quickly as you can.  You also provide a downside for your opponent.

The greatest failure of Theresa May’s method of negotiating is that she did not make it absolutely clear that the EU’s punishment style of negotiating would have consequences. This is what the UK should do now. We should still offer the hand of friendship, but we should make clear that if the UK leaves the EU with no deal it will change everything about our future relationship.

We will need to save money after Brexit, so we should inform the EU that we will not have enough to spend any of it on defending them. We fought two world wars, when we didn’t actually have to be involved at all and liberated most of the EU. Why do so again? Instead the UK should focus its diplomatic efforts on coming to a new security and economic arrangement with the English-speaking countries with whom we are closest. We should defend our island, share our intelligence only with friends and let the EU pay the defence costs that it has been shirking for years.

Having left the EU without a deal, the UK should seek to undercut the EU in every possible respect. We should create an economy that has lower corporation tax than any in the EU and we should get rid of all EU regulations that restrict business growth. Again, we will need to do all of these things because of the EU’s attempt to punish us, fortunately they will soon mean that whatever difficulties a “no deal” Brexit brings will be short lived.

We should make clear to the EU that we will have a completely independent foreign policy and will use our seat on the Security Council to thwart them if and when we see fit. We will set out to provide an example to the inmates trapped in the EU and will offer whatever help might be required to anyone who wants to escape. A free trade deal will be on offer immediately to any country that gets out of the EU. There will be no charge, because no one who truly believes in free trade charges for it. To charge for something that is supposed to be free is dishonest.

Brexiteers are not anti-Europe. There are fifty countries in Europe. Only a little more than half of these are in the EU. It is therefore both ignorant and offensive to conflate the EU with Europe. We have nothing at all against anyone in Europe. But we have seen the EU for what it is. It is anti-Britain and wishes us harm. It could still change its mind and we should offer it friendship right up until the point of leaving without a deal. After that however we should go our own way and follow our own path and make the EU realise that there is a cost for them too of losing Britain’s friendship.


45 comments:

  1. Effie certainly hasn't let us down! Various contributors have already dealt with most of the points reiterated in this blast of scattershot, but one or two may merit individual attention.

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    1. UK directly threatened worse to Scotland in 2014, yet here is Effie raging at what she once cheered on. It's no surprise to
      anyone that the EU would be the target of Brexiteers once the reality started to bite. The EU have at elast been consistant, you cannot have better or even the same trade conditions if you are not a member, yet the usual mad exceptionism continues unabated.

      I imagine todays Ashcroft poll will add more to 'Effie's' ire.

      Popcorn supplies are no doubt in danger as independence supporters sit back and watch the show.

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  2. Brilliantly stated. Every member of government should read this and understand that this is what we need and want

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  3. A couple of points whose relevance is not apparent:

    1. The refusal to return the Parthenon Frieze and related sculptures was, and is a thundering disgrace. None of the relevant issues arise, however from treaty relations between the United Kingdom and the Hellenic Republic;

    3. As is normal when one side in a war defeats the other completely, the victorious Allies from 1945 onwards exacted reparations from defeated Germany. There was *never* any provision in the Potsdam Agreement of 1945 for the Allies to compensate Germany. (The case of R v President of the Board of Trade ex parte Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover is sui generis.) The 1990 Treaty paving the way for German Reunification also contains no provision for victorious Powers to compensate a defeated one.

    The question then is, why Effie supposes either of these issues, one irrelevant and the other without foundation, have any bearing on the Uk's failure to form and implement a coherent policy for leaving the European Union.

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    1. Its because there is so little to justify the UK's position and demands in this debacle. The EU has, in all good faith, negotiated a position that allows the UK to leave the EU while fulfilling its obligations to projects already underway and the Good Friday Agreement. It may well be of greater advantage to the EU than the UK but that is because the UK Tory negotiators were ill prepared, naive and incompetent. Its not for the EU to voluntary disadvantage themselves out of pity.

      But the Brexiteers/Tories/UKIP cant bring themselves to accept that the situation good old Blighty finds itself in is of its own making. So they invent grievances, blame others and cry foul (so ironic when you consider that is how they dismiss arguments for Scottish independence). As you say, the Elgin Marbles have nothing to do with this and are purely a matter for the Hellenic and UK govts .... but hey, just throw it into the pot of grievance stew and let it bubble. As to Germany wanting reparations .... never going to happen (the Marshall Plan took care of that over 70 years ago anyway) but again .... just throw it in the pot. There is plenty more where that came from. Brexiteers think the EU should cave into the UK's every demand or be accused of "punishing" us. Its pathetic.


      An isolated UK outside of the EU desperate for any trade agreement that anybody will foist on them is not going to be a cake-walk for the ordinary citizen. Falling wages, workplace conditions and standards of living will be the order of the day. Especially if we follow Effie's advice. That will be the reality of Brexit

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    2. Spoken like a true Remoaner.

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    3. Well, Unknown has destroyed all my points with one laser-like dissection of the issues involved. I'll have to think hard on my views now and no mistake. On the other hand ....

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  4. Thanks, Effie. I actually feel positive about the future now.

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  5. Well said, and for those picking apart the points on what EU countries "might" do. I would like to remind them of what the word "might" actually means. It simply means it's a possibility. Nothing more.
    I do wish people who wish to debate articles like this would actually read it rather than picking up one point and running with it. Also, just because no current treaty currently exists doesnt mean it wont be written. There is, as far as I'm aware no treaty mentioning spain reclaiming gibralter but that didnt stop them demanding it. Treaties clearly dont mean much to the EU. They can overrule their own rules when THEY decide to. I refer to the new appointment of kristalina georgieva, no majority, so the eu just APPOINTED her.

    Suppose theirs no majority for compulsory conscription into EU defence force? No majority demanding national governments to dismantle their own defence and hand over nuclear deterrent to eu control? This rule bypassing could have serious consequences. If they do it once, they can and will do it again. This is how dictatorships begin. Slowly, until they have the money and power to enforce it. The EU has the money, soon they will have the power. These two ingredients are all that is required to suppress democracy.
    This isnt about economics. For most leavers it never was. It's about OUR right to SELF DETERMINATION.

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    1. Everything about this article is redolent of all that is wrong and, frankly, disturbing with the whole Brexit experiment. Even your own post describes issues which do not, and never will, exist.

      This article and the supportive responses to it simply illustrate the fantasy that fuels Brexit. The denial of the reality of the economic disaster that looms for the UK accompanied by the fantasy the EU will be just as badly effected. The disturbing undertones of racism illustrated by a desire for a closer relationship with "English speaking" countries and the apparent claim that Britain didn't have to honour treaties that involved us in the World Wars (presumably because they were with countries that didn't speak English). The air of British exceptionalism that it exudes. The hubris of claiming an isolated UK could act as an example to others we have to assume are being held against their will .... which they are not. Etc, etc.

      Roll on Scottish independence so we can escape this madness.

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    2. Roll on a referendum on Scottish independence so we can escape your madness. Oh, Hang on!..........

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    3. At least we agree on one thing ;)

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    4. Methinks Mr Pony misses the point of sarcasm!

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    5. No Unknown, I simply accepted it and replied with a little of my own :)

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    6. Unknown is misinformed, on several counts, about Kristilina Georgieva. To begin with, she has not been appointed to anything. The post in question is that of head of the International Monetary Fund. By convention - but by now written rule, this will be held by a European, while the head of the World Bank is customarily a citizen of the USA. Kristilina Georgieva was selected as European candidate for this post, by a majority of Member States representing a majority of the population.

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  6. On the matter of Gibraltar, its cession to Her Brittanic Majesty, and the circumstances in which it may revert to His Catholic Majesty, are governed by the Peace of Utrecht 1713, several important provisions of which HM Government have from time to time breached.

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    1. Before I sign off, I should draw attention to the heavy majority of Gibraltarians who voted to remain in the European Union.

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    2. You mean that we let the Jews in ?

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    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Gibraltar

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    4. Using your link;

      "The admission of Jews was ONE of the infractions against the Treaty of Utrecht that the Spanish used (OTHERS were the admission of Moors, the extension of fortifications and the alleged smuggling from Gibraltar) to consider that the British had abrogated the Treaty" [my emphasis].

      So why would you settle on that particular issue alone? Especially as, according to your link, they had been there for centuries prior?

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    5. A particular cause of indignation to my history teacher, a High Tory of the old school, was the cheerful indifference of the British authorities at Gibraltar to the large-scale smuggling that was damaging the vulnerable Spanish economy.

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    6. Interesting link about the Jews in Gibraltar. What a poor basis for the Spanish claim.

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    7. "they had been there for centuries prior".
      If there were any there when we took over , they had been living in hiding for centuries .

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    8. Again, using your link;

      "The first record of Jews in Gibraltar comes from the year 1356"

      And you still have not explained your bizarre statement in relation to Gibralter. It apears to be a tenuous, tortuous and grubby attempt to link people with anti-semitism.

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    9. Are you accusing Oligarch of trashing the good name of The Spanish Inquisition?

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  7. What an excellent summary & I believe very accurate too . Its a pity more of our people don't understand just how dangerous staying with the EU conspirators & their dangerous ,selfish machinations for self inflated power grabbing , pompous nasty lives can harm the rest of not only our days but all of our offspring for ever more !

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  8. The three purposes of Brexit are said to be, to regain 'control of our laws, borders, and money'. Does Effie Deans say that she now does not want to control the border in Ireland? So that anyone who can travel freely in the EU can fly to Dublin, borrow someone's bike, and pedal their way unchecked into the UK?

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    1. Another repetition of this nonsense? Why would anyone do that, when all they have to do is enter the UK directly and fig to an immigration officer about their plans to return?

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    2. Perhaps the cryptic cyclist could be checked at some location away from the Border? Or the borrowed velocipede deemed to be a trusted trader? Orthe entire transport monitored by some strange device that Mr. Jacob Rees-Mogg is going to invent?

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    3. "Unknown", the person who lied to the immigration officer would still have a record of their entry to the UK. The cyclist would be completely unknown to UK authorities.

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  9. "All we ever really wanted was free trade. We have that at present."

    You seem to have written that without the slightest hint of irony, nor any self-awareness whatsoever. Your entire garbled nonsensical rant completely undone by your own introductory paragraph. That's quite remarkable, setting new boundaries in the constantly evolving field of Brexit idiocy. Well done.

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  10. Effie refers to forming an agreement with the closest English-speaking countries. The only anglophone country [up to a point, Lord Copper] plausibly describable as close is the Republic of Ireland. The other realms of Anglophonia are thousands of miles away, some on the other side of the world. Each one has its own geopolitical context, its own needs, and its own diplomatic priorities. None of them will prioritize the uncertain ventures of the current UK Government above any of these.

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  11. Effie tells us that 'we liberated most of the EU'. By 'the EU' she clearly means 'the countries that would subsequently join the European Union'. By'we'she means 'the Aliied forces'. The overwhelming majority of the troops in these forces were from the USSR and the USA.

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  12. The UK is no longer a major power. Beyond the Channel, the North Sea, and the Atlantic, it is a medium-sized power which needs to keep its wits about it. It has done very well within the European Union, getting its way more often than not and able to draw other Member States to align themselves with it. It is now renouncing its position of influence with the Union. Beyond those above-mentioned seas, it is not in a position to make anybody pay the price of anything.

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  13. Many partisans of Brexit (including Effie) advocate policies that will make the UK dependent on the USA. They also wish to pursue a course of conduct that will cause problems to the Republic of Ireland.

    They might like to bear in mind that some 10% of the population of the USA claims Irish ancestry.

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    1. Moreover, many of them live in key States. Persons seeking high office in the USA need to consider carefully the views of Irish-American voters.

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  14. Effie tells us that the deleterious effects of leaving the Union without an agreement will be 'short-lived'. What exactly does this mean? One week? One month? One year? One decade? If she hopes to persuade us to accept her viewpoint, she will need to specify the period during which we shall suffer. If she refrains from such specification, she will fail to persuade us.

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  15. Remember when Europe was a rich and diverse tapestry of cultures and societies? You could fall out with Greece but stay friends with France. You could have one type of alliance with Germany and a different one with Italy. It was a dynamic and flexible place. Of course, this Europe has probably not existed within my lifetime, but I am aware that it did at one time in the not too distant past.

    How tragic then that this formerly diverse and beautiful place is now effectively a collective / prison camp. When I look at a map of the European continent from now on I wont think of France, Spain, Holland etc. I will just see five letters stamped across the continent:

    C.U.N.T.S.

    And I will think of them all as being my enemy. Well, until they are liberated, at least.

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    1. Is this a spoof post from Aldo? It surely can't be serious. Is it meant to be satire? Is it ridiculing Brexiteers as delusional? It is an astonishing post whatever the case.

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    2. No, it's serious. They are our enemy, make no mistake. And it's very very sad because most of them used to be our friends and allies back when they actually retained some measure of sovereignty and individuality.

      EU = Borg collective. Maybe I should've used that instead of the expletive.

      Nah, I'm happy with the expletive. It conveys more honestly my raw emotions - and that's cathartic.

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    3. Furthermore, I think expulsion of EU citizens needs to be back on the table. We can't welcome people in this country if their governments back home are conspiring against this country. Upon a hard Brexit, if it happens, we should begin deportations immediately. We should also get whatever forces we have out of Eastern Europe and withdraw intelligence cooperation.

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    4. Well, assuming you are serious in your statements and proposals, your contributions on this thread are amongst the most uneducated, abhorrent and frightening I've yet seen from a Brexiteer.

      Uneducated in that the "rich and diverse tapestry of cultures and societies" you describe were, in reality, overwhelmingly a small collection of large, oppressive empires that subjugated the "cultures and societies" of Europe, were forever at war with each other and subsequently led to the deaths of millions for narrow dynastic reasons. You do realise that prior to the gradual formation of the EU the European continent had endured two massively destructive wars that saw tens of millions die in the most horrific of circumstances don't you? A scenario that the voluntary decision of sovereign, independent countries to work together for the common good rendered unthinkable going forward.

      Abhorrent in that you countenance the labelling of EU citizens as enemy aliens who need to be rounded up, put in concentration camps and expelled. In that you would label ALL countries in the EU as "enemies" for no other reason than they won't roll over and give the incompetent UK negotiators access to all the advantages of EU membership with none of the obligations for absolutely nothing.

      Frightening in that this naked expression of right wing British exceptionalism and intolerance would see the UK reduced to a pariah state, with all the negative economic consequences of that, which, if replicated elsewhere in the EU, would see a return to those dark days of the early 20th century when millions died. A time before co-operation between European nations replaced competition and naked aggression.

      I only wish your views and those of the author of this piece were more widely circulated prior to the referendum in 2016. We might not have found ourselves in this regrettable, destructive Brexit situation.

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    5. You're right, Me Bungo. Aldo's exuberant ignorance is a sad reflection on our education system, and his uninhibited hatred, together with yet another foul expletive (that surely, this time, will merit deletion) speak badly for his upbringing. He is advocating the second of the two stages towards destruction delineated by M. Jean-Paul Sartre in 'Réflections sur la question juive'. All decent people will condemn this sulphurous hatred, and take every lawful and honourable step to oppose it.

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    6. Two wars is all well and good but we need to retain the right to pump shit onto our beaches and make people work 60 hours a week.

      As soneone who has lived and worked across Europe for the last 20 years, the idea that its a single block socially is utterly nonsense.

      The idea that its a prison camp is even funnier as the people themselves can move freely, something the UK is not stripping their citizens of. Germany last week told UK citizens living and registered in Germany they will be free to remain as long as they like, meanwhile Aldo's Borg army wants to throw out all EU citizens in the UK. Just wait till Spain throws back your racist old pensioners.

      These people want a war and won't be happy till they get one, a hot one or trade one is the question now.

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