Above, a video compilation of Derek “Del Boy” Trotter demonstrating his French speaking abilities!
I am beginning to think that I must have died on Good Wednesday, 27th March 2013 and, not being found eligible to enter Heaven, was sent instead to a weird parallel universe back on Planet Earth! I reckon that this was a special dispensation that was given to me not by any worthiness on my part but due to the fact that both my late parents were good Christian folk and in particular, my mother who was a Methodist Lay preacher with more than 50 years proclaiming the Good News. It could be that the Almighty decided to see to it I was given a second chance – out of consideration for them – BUT there would be certain alterations made to the Planet Earth I was sent back to!
British Gazette readers will of course be aware of the proverb, “Be careful what you wish for. You might get it!” Well, I think that I am the recipient of this and in very full measure. But in the tradition of Classical Greece, it seems the Almighty has decided to put a sting in the tail! Clearly because I am indeed a sinner!
Unfortunately, everybody else in the UK is going to have to put up with the same consequences! This is of course based on the assumption that the above is in fact the case!
Why would I think such strange thoughts? The reason is of course the consequences of the Brexit vote, the results of which were made known on Midsummer’s Day 2016.
After she had walked through the looking glass, Alice said of the weird wonderland she found herself in the now famous words, “curiouser and curiouser”.
I think I know how she felt!
There is a complete sense of unreality about this world in which we live.
In yesterday’s article (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2017/03/11/the-show-isnt-over-until-the-body-mass-index-challenged-person-sings/) and also Thursday’s (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2017/03/09/brexit-caught-in-a-trap/) article, we referred to the provisions of Article 50 that was co-authored by a certain Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, below.In these articles we commented upon the lack of a revocation text. However it seems that Lord Kerr is of the opinion that Article 50 is not irrevocable!
Presumably Lord Kerr would state that Article 50 is NOT irrevocable because the word irrevocable is NOT used! Therefore, being a sovereign entity, the UK can halt the process!
IF this is the understanding in Whitehall AND ALSO in Brussels, then this introduces a completely different dimension into the proceedings!
What IS clear beyond peradventure is that the British People are being told very little about what is actually going on!
IF this is the case, then it would explain a great deal about what is currently going on and also what is NOT going on.
You see, as we have already referred to in yesterday’s article, whilst the Unfortunate Nuttall may be wandering under a delusion, the world’s credit reference agencies are unlikely to be so!
It therefore could reasonably be postulated that IF the UK was really in serious risk of catastrophic economic collapse due to a real and present danger of a Hard Brexit, then they would already have marked the UK down as a consequence. As of now, they have not.
Of course, one island of sanity in this otherwise, mad, mad world is Doctor Richard North’s blog! Today, Doctor North continues to eloquently and learnedly despair of the present situation. In particular, Dr. North points out that were it is the intention of Madam May to seek EFTA+EEA status post Brexit for the UK – which Dr. North declares that from her statements she is not – then work should have already started on a specific customs code for the UK!
We quote: “….Within the EEA but outside the EU, the UK would still need its own specific customs code. But, with the decision settled early, that would give more time for development and writing. The predictable outcome would also allow parallel development of the necessary computer systems.
Without that, the disruption to our trade would not just be a car crash or a train wreck, it would be a whole fleet of jumbo jets crashing down on our entire economy.
When the Prime Minister shortly confronts her 27 EU colleagues to trigger Article 50, they will be gazing at her in disbelief that she could be asking for anything so silly: that would be a catastrophe not just for Britain but for the rest of the EU as well….”
It MIGHT be the case however that Dr. North’s fears (and those of the British Gazette) are overstated. NOT because of any failure of logic on his part but due to the intention of the UK government and also of the EU Commission that a “Hard Brexit” will NOT come about.
A clue to why a Hard Brexit may not come about was given in Mr Hammond’s recent budget speech when he made reference to the UK’s total debt and not just the debt of HMG. It is a frightening amount. GOTO: http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/ Warning: Readers suffering from high blood pressure or cardiac conditions are advised not to follow this link!
It must be understood that when one owns this amount of money, the lenders are to an extent at the debtor’s mercy! These financial institutions will want to avoid a Hard Brexit at all costs!
They will insist that Article 50 is not irrevocable! It therefore will not be!
To gain an understanding of how this might be the case it is necessary to understand what the European Court of Justice is and what it is not. As stated in previous articles, the only accurate word in it’s title is “European”. This is because it is not a court in the sense that we in England or Scotland understand it and “Justice” is not what is dispensed! What is dispensed are political decisions by appointees who are not judges in the sense that we in England or Scotland accept but members of a committee. It should be of course be titled the European Central Committee (ECC).
It is highly likely, in fact almost certain, that the ECC – sorry ECJ – will concur with Lord Kerr of Kinlochard about Article 50.
Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! Once Article 50 is invoked and negotiations continue in the public arena, then we shall see if Madam May is serious or not about Brexit.
After the vote, Madam May was keen to state that: “Brexit means Brexit!”
Well we will soon be in a position to see if she means that.
The ACID TEST or the “Proof of the Pudding” will be whether or not Madam May pursues EFTA+EEA, that is the Flexcit strategy of Dr. North and others. Of course for UK political reasons she would more than likely describe this as as “a transitional arrangement” and will state that other arrangements could be considered in the future post Brexit.
If however she does not pursue this, then the British People will be witnessing a charade.
IF Madam May does not pursue the ONLY practical Brexit strategy then she will be pursuing what might result in what could be described as a “Fail-safe unhardened Brexit”.
“Fail-safe unhardened Brexit” could satirically be described as “Hard Brexit with crash protection!” The “crash protection” will be “special transitional measures” she might of course use the aforementioned phrase, “transitional arrangement” to describe it!
What the XXXX is “Fail-safe unhardened Brexit”? We hear you ask.
It could be an agreement that gives the UK more in the way of border and immigration controls. It could even allow a UK government to enact a “points based system”. It will appear to give some of what the Unfortunate Nuttall would want. But there would have to be a heavy price to pay. This is because the UK cannot practically transition from EU member to non EU and non single market member overnight.
It would have to be a form of temporary or continuing membership of the Single Market until such a time when the UK has negotiated and made another arrangement with the EU and have put it fully in place. During this time the UK would be allowed to negotiate other “trade deals” with other countries. Practically however, the UK’s resources would be so stretched that this freedom would not be able to be exploited.
All of this of course would more than likely take a decade or more! During that time, the UK would have to pay what may be called “transitional fees” and will no longer receive any money back from the EU for investment in the joint funded projects with which readers are familiar. In other words, we would be paying in to the EU large amounts of money and receiving nothing back! The one thing that the UK might have managed to negotiate is the suspension of the principal of free movement of people. That this will be a transitional, temporary arrangement might possibly be demonstrated by an escalating set of fees for each successive year – to encourage a UK government to leave and not treat the transitional arrangement as permanent. The UK could end up paying sums equal to or greater than what we pay to the EU at the moment whilst receiving nothing back!
Where does fishing come in? Some of you will be asking.
Fishing will probably be excluded for as long as the UK has temporary or continuing membership of the Single Market. Fishing will be one of those areas that the UK will continue to negotiate.
It is likely that this hotchpotch of a Brexit deal will be put to the British People in the form of a second referendum. It is also likely that Madam May and the government will adopt a neutral stance on the issue and will insist that no member of the government take part in the campaign on either side.
Expect the referendum to reverse the Brexit decision of June 2016. The Leave campaign will likely be dominated by UKIP who will adopt the line; “We would have negotiated better. “Vote Brexit and then vote UKIP at the earliest opportunity afterwards and we [UKIP] will negotiate a fantastic deal in double quick time!”
The Remain side will campaign for continuing EU membership. They will rightly paint the deal as a second class temporary membership of the EU. If Madam May manages to get the EU to revive the “Cameron fig leaf” this should ensure the defeat of the patriots.
By sitting on the fence, Madam May may think that she is protecting her chances of defeat at the 2020 General Election. If the Labour Party were anything other than a train crash, her chances would be slim to non existent.