• Les cent jours de Brexit: Might history be repeating itself?

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    Above, Europe after the Congress of Vienna. One hundred and three years ago today, the British Empire declared war on the German Empire. The German Empire ostensibly was acting in support of it’s ally the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the successor to the Holy Roman Empire. Or as Kaiser Wilhelm II preferred to put it, “Like a knight in shinning armour on a white horse…” – note to those not within the equine cognoscenti: “white” horses are called “greys” – “white horses” are those white crests one seas on seas when the wind is up!

    The disaster that was August 1914 concluded a period of nigh on a century of relative peace in Europe from the conclusion of the Congress of Vienna in 1815. It can be truly said that in this near 100 years the foundations of the present industrialised European pre-eminence were built. During this time the UK rose to be the world’s #1 Great Power.

    Today, the phrase 100 days is routinely applied by the US political establishment at the beginning of a US President’s term.

    Of course, the first, “Hundred Days” was applied to the first term of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency.

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt planned to end the Great Depression. When Roosevelt took office on 4th March, 1933, he immediately addressed the effects of the depression. His main four priorities were to get Americans back to work, protect their savings and create prosperity, provide relief for the sick and elderly, and get industry and agriculture back on their feet. Fifteen major laws were enacted in Roosevelt’s first 100 days.

    Lately, the phrase has been applied by the British media to British governments as well. Of course the first Hundred Days was in fact 111 days and marked the period between Napoleon’s return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20th March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8th July 1815.

    les Cent-Jours saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, which famously concluded with the allied victory at the Battle of Waterloo on Sunday, 18th June 1815. The phrase, “les Cent Jours” was first used by the prefect of Paris, Gaspard, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8th July.

    Napoleon returned whilst the Congress of Vienna was in session. On 13th March, seven days before Napoleon reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw, and on 25th March, Austria, Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule. This set the stage for the last conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, the restoration of the French monarchy for the second time and the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of Saint Helena, where he died on 5th May 1821.

    To recap, one hundred and three years ago today, the British Empire declared war on the German Empire. His Majesty’s Government at the time was a minority government. The Liberal Party was maintained in office by the Irish Parliamentary Party of John Redmond. The price of the Irish party’s support was Home Rule.

    The Home Rule Act did end up on the statute book. It was however never implemented. Here is a FACT: Any historical examination about the events leading up to 4th August 1914 MUST take fully into account the Irish dimension.
    The Asquith government faced a perilous position in 1914. Implementing Home Rule (an all-Ireland Dublin based devolved assembly with powers akin to the present Welsh Assembly) threatened open armed rebellion by the Ulster Unionists. There were serious doubts in the War Office about the loyalty of the British Army’s officer corps insofar as facing down the Ulster Volunteers was concerned. Implementing the Home Rule Act was going to tear the UK apart. Asquith felt [probably correctly – though we can never know] that the Liberal government was doomed.

    And then, if by a miracle, the Great War started. Suddenly the Irish crisis went away. The Liberal government appeared to be “off the hook”! The Imperial General Staff [Yes, Dear Reader – the British Empire was the world's #1] were confident that the British Army’s Expeditionary Force in support of the huge French Army would halt the German advance through Belgium before Belgium’s border with France and that the Germans would be forced back across their frontier by Christmas 2014!

    Their confidence was based on a military term: “M 15”. “M 15” stood for Mobilisation, Day 15.

    One of the things Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of the German General Staff had thrown out of the window by his adoption of the Schlieffen Plan was the element of surprise. This as nearly every military officer throughout the world would advise you is a mistake! If your enemy knows your plans he can counter plan accordingly!

    It was a well known fact that Russia needed a full sixty days to fully mobilise her vast army. Although relatively under equipped, the Imperial Russian army was a very severe threat to Germany. Not for nothing was it referred to as the Russian steamroller! The French and Russian general staffs had worked on a joint plan. They knew that the Schlieffen Plan a swift German advance through Belgium to knock out the French army BEFORE Russia could fully mobilise. Von Moltke and his staff believed they could force an armistice on France before or around the time that Russia had achieved full mobilisation. Germany would then be able to attack Russia with it’s ally Austria Hungary. German war aims in 1914 were chiefly to wrest Russia’s European possessions of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Congress Poland and to set them up as client states with a German Prince upon the throne of each.

    The Asquith government was not eager for war. It was divided between hawks and doves. Winston Churchill was one of the hawks. The Liberal doves went along with the hawks because the Tories were all hawks to a man and they felt that a quick, victorious war would boost the government’s fortunes and make things easier in Ireland. They could not have been more wrong!

    The disaster of August 1914 was due to the British military and political establishment failing to see the realities of what a general European War would mean.

    Today, as the Brexit process is under-way we must ask ourselves this: Is the present British political establishment aware of the consequences of their apparent course of inaction and the consequences of a train crash Brexit?

    In previous articles the British Gazette has opined that the government is engaged upon a huge deception. We earnestly hope that this is so! Doctor Richard North (http://eureferendum.com/) is not of the same opinion. He believes that British political establishment are dangerously misguided and incompetent.

    IF Dr. North is correct, then we may see in the course of 2019 another One Hundred Days.

    The 100 days will of course start on Friday 29th March 2019 and end on Sunday, 7th July 2019. If we take le comte de Chabrol’s approximation of 111 days we get Thursday, 18th July 2019.
    The later date is of course far more propitious as all the British Gazette UK resident readers know what takes place from time to time on a Thursday!

    IF Dr. North is correct and the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal, the consequences will be severe! To adapt a term from 1914, “B 15” – “Brexit, Day 15” – Saturday, 13 April 2019, may well see the Tory government collapse. A General Election would ensue on Thursday 6th June (associated with “D Day” and the Normandy landings). We would likely see a near complete wipe out of Tory seats across the “English heartlands and shires”. We would see a resurrection of the Liberal Democrats as a major parliamentary force. The most likely scenario is a Liberal/Labour coalition – another “Lib-Lab Pact”!

    The new Remaniac government would inherit a chaotic state of affairs. The stock market would have slumped. Sterling would have tanked and would be well below the Euro in value. Factories would be on short time. There would be shortages in the shops. People would be queuing in supermarkets.

    Any person who does not think the European Union will seek to take advantage of this dire situation is either living on another planet or has less than two functioning brain cells.

    The new Remaniac government will of course receive an offer from the EU – which would be put to the British People in the form of a second referendum.

    The EU would be prepared to offer immediate re-entry into the EU! But on SPECIAL TERMS! This would involve the UK joining as a new member which would mean joining the Eurozone. Since Sterling may be trading at around 70 pence to the Euro, this would mean an immediate boost in the hard pressed public’s living standards. This is because Sterling would be revalued at 1 Euro.

    Thus it might be the case that on Thursday, 18th July 2019 a referendum will take place in which the British electorate (which will include many angry and upset teenage snowflakes) decide to have the UK rejoin the EU and join the Eurozone!

    Thus, “les Cent jours de Brexit” will be added to the annals of history!

    To those Readers who think the British Gazette is being unnecessarily alarmist, please note that should the train crash Brexit occur and the FTSE falls off a cliff followed be Sterling then one consequence will be the international credit agencies de-rating the UK’s credit rating by several points. This will force a dramatic increase in interest rates and hit mortgage payers hard. Many mortgage payers will find themselves on short time so will face a “double wham-my” of a hike in mortgage payments and a reduction in wages! Joing the Euro could result in a reduction of rates and a corresponding cut in mortgage payments – as well as a return to full time work!

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