Above, Union and EU flags dimidiated, dexter sinister.
……… What General Weygand has called The Battle of France is over. The battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire ……..
……… Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour”………
Sir Winston Churchill this one of the most famous and inspiring speeches every delivered in the House of Commons on 18 June, 1940.
Recent events and the difficulties that lie ahead pale by comparison to those dark days. However be in no doubt, the leaders of the European Union fear (correctly) that they are in a battle to preserve the European Union in anything like it’s present form. This battle is of course a political battle.
British Gazette readers may well consider that this organ has been over doing it somewhat in drawing attention to and suggesting that it is not impossible there will be an attempt to cancel the Brexit project either before or shortly after submission of Article 50.
Article 50 is rapidly acquiring the significance the Rubicon did to Caesar.
In considering matters of state, it is essential to consider the situation from the other side’s point of view. Loosing the UK has very serious consequences for the EU. For a long time the UK has served as a counterweight to the Franco-German axis. Smaller EU states will miss this. Then there is the question of Brexit increasing support in the remaining member states for their own exit or at least a loosening of Brussels grip on their national governance. The Eurozone needs to coalesce into a federal state in order to preserve the existence of the Euro. Then we have the requirement contained in the Lisbon Treaty that all member states other than those with opt outs – Denmark and the UK – join the Euro after 2020.
There are two states in the EU who are most significantly affected by Brexit. These are the Irish Republic and Spain. The Irish government is desperate for two outcomes:
1. Non submission of Article 50 and Brexit termination.
2. Adoption of EFTA+EEA (Flexcit or Norway) upon Brexit.
The Spanish government has desperate to avoid three outcomes (in order of importance):
1. Scottish independence and EU entry.
2. Loss of access to the UK’s fishing grounds after Brexit.
3. Special arrangements for Gibraltar.
As we stated in yesterday’s article, the desire to halt Brexit is the likely motivation behind the non Corbynite Labour MPs seeking to oust Comrade Corbyn.
However according to one of the Tory leadership candidate Theresa May there is to be no General Election until 2020. Below:If Labour is still in chaos in the autumn one of the other candidates if elected PM may be tempted to seek a new mandate – and an increased majority.
They know that the number one issue will be Brexit. There is a danger here for the Tories. The Liberal Democrats are already out of the staring blocks by declaring that their election manifesto will carry a commitment to halt Brexit by making a formal declaration to the EU that Article 50 will not be served. To ensure this it is likely, some of the more Blairite MPs might have had private discussions with certain Lib-Dems about an electoral pact to ensure decapitation. They know that the chances of the Tories making such a deal with UKIP are less because they know that dragooning all UKIP branches to match to a single policy is easier than herding cats! Such an electoral pact will be of utmost importance to provide the governing coalition – for that is what would emerge from such a victory – with the necessary democratic mandate to cancel the result of the recent referendum. This is because FPP cannot and does not deal with more than two candidates per constituency.
These MPs know that Comrade Corbyn will not countenance such a pact.
They are of course in a complete quandary as a re-election of Comrade Corbyn as leader by Labour’s grass-roots (entirely possible) will cause the temptation for the new Tory Prime Minster to seek a new mandate and a greater majority will be overwhelming.
Today, Comrade Corbyn has delivered a speech comparing the the government of Israel to the actions of IS. This throws into serious doubt his leadership.
As for the Tories: The Tories are likely to want to adopt Flexcit. Whilst Flexcit does offer the prospect of some degree of control over EU migration in the form of the so-called “emergency brake” but one that can be applied by a British government without need to seek permission from Brussels – it must be said that EFTA+EEA DOES not allow the famous “Australian style points based system” and requires continuance of many but not all EU regulations and directives.
The attraction of Flexcit to the Tories is obvious! It is a “half way house” between UKIP’s full sovereign autonomy desired by such as Mr Redwood and EU membership desired by Mr Osborne. Flexcit also has the great advantage that it confers the advantages the well to do Tory voters of Surrey who voted Remain of continued Single Market membership for their businesses and the plentiful supply of au-pairs, cleaners and gardeners – not to mention the essential Polish plumber!
Implementing Flexcit would still be complex – disentangling ourselves from the EU – but we could do it ourselves unlike WTO default which would require the EU’s help!
The problem of Flexcit is of course outlined in our earlier article (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2016/06/26/on-being-up-a-gum-tree-oh-what-a-tangled-web-we-weave-when-first-we-practice-to-deceive/) where we commented on the fact that the referendum was won with the votes of E, D, C2 and C1 Labour voters who are the people most adversely affected by the “free movement of people”.
This of course has been picked up by Nigel Farage (https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/interview/farage-on-ukips-future-after-brexit-who-cares/) who insists that Brexit must deliver an “Australian style points based system” for these good folk.
It must be said that UKIP was formed as a protest party in 1993 by Alan Sked and many would argue that it’s raison d’être will vanish upon Brexit. Having lost its most important (and lucrative) platform, UKIP will seek a role. The one Nigel Farage clearly has in mind is to present the party as the champion of those E, D, C2 and C1 voters who will have been betrayed by the UK’s continuation in the Single Market.