In yesterday’s suitably titled article (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2017/03/25/oh-what-a-tangled-web-we-weave-when-first-we-practice-to-deceive/), described the problems Madam May has found herself with following her appointment as Prime Minister charged with achieving Brexit.
Madam May must realise that she faces a daunting task. She will also be aware of a great irony; that she campaigned (half heartedly) on the remain side.
Many British Gazette readers will remember the notorious headline that appeared on the front-page of United Kingdom newspaper The Sun on Saturday, 11 April 1992: “It’s The Sun Wot Won It”. It referred to The Sun’s contribution to the unexpected Conservative victory in the 1992 general election.
Had on Friday 24th June 2016, the Sun newspaper had chosen to lead with the headline, “It’s UKIP Wot Won It” it would have been an accurate statement. This is because notwithstanding the contributions of Mr Johnson and other prominent “Leavers”, the boots on the ground were provided by UKIP’s activists and crucially, the campaign strategy that was followed was authored by Nigel Farage and his colleagues in UKIP.
This is a FACT that will increasingly be emphasised by history as time passes. What will also become apparent is that Nigel Farage will share a place with such luminaries as Air Chief Marshal Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding, GCB, GCVO, CMG and Sir Arthur “Bomber” Travers Harris, 1st Baronet (of Harris, of Chipping Wycombe), GCB, OBE, AFC. Both these men were honoured for their services but in degrees far lower than what their actions deserved. This was because both men seriously put the noses of officialdom seriously out of joint!
In 1940, Dowding refused to follow the dictates of the government when HMG, responding to a French request, ordered him to put all available RAF fighters into the Battle of France. He refused stating that it was vital to hold some resources back to face the oncoming Nazi onslaught over Britain.
History proved Dowding’s decision was the right one and it was this decision that enabled the RAF to win the Battle of Britain.
Sir Arthur Harris was the commander of Bomber Command. By 1945 the politicians were embarrassed by the devastation wrought by Bomber Command on German cities, particularly Dresden. As a result, Sir Arthur did nor receive the recognition due to him.
Now, Nigel Farage will be first in the queue to say that his contribution pales into insignificance when compared to the contributions of these two war heroes. In terms of personal courage and leadership he is of course right. However, in terms of the history of these islands, Nigel Farage’s contribution has been immense.
Yet, like the actions of Sir Arthur Harris, the achievement has been brought about with a very heavy price and (not applicable to Sir Arthur and Bomber Command) great and continuing danger.
This is because UKIP’s campaign whilst successful in encouraging, motivating and persuading voters to vote Leave, put forward a vision that in the short term is not achievable. As the British Gazette has pointed out in many previous articles, moving from EU membership to where UKIP wants the UK to be in one go is impossible.
During the campaign, the British Gazette argued that the campaign strategy that was being pursued by Christopher Booker and Doctor Richard North was the one to follow. This of course is Flexcit, aka the Norway Option, aka EFTA+EEA.
However, the FACT is – and this is of course with the benefit of hindsight – that had the advice of the British Gazette and Christopher Booker and Doctor Richard North had been followed, the referendum would have been LOST!
Now there will be Remoaners and Remainiacs who will accuse UKIP of lying. This charge the British Gazette believes is completely unjustified. This is because those in UKIP from the MEPs down to the activists pushing leaflets through letterboxes honestly and sincerely believed in the statements that were printed on those leaflets. That makes them mistaken. Not dishonest.
Furthermore, most if not all – with the obvious exception of your Editor – in UKIP believe honsestly and sincerely that “Hard Brexit” holds few fears. That claims of chaos and economic slump are wildly exaggerated.
Hopefully, however “Hard Brexit” will not come about. This is because Madam May will realise that were it to come about her chances of winning the 2020 General Election are somewhat less than Bashar al-Assad’s (the President of Syria) chances of wining the Nobel Peace Prize!
As for the possibility of the EU forcing the UK into a “Hard Brexit” in order to “teach the UK a lesson and to demonstrate to other members what happens if you decide to leave” is doubtful – but not impossible. This is because “Hard Brexit” would be deeply damaging to the UK, it would also be deeply damaging to many large German and other companies with investments in the UK.
Thus Madam May is finding herself being constrained by the previous actions of other parties.
Thus she will pursue a “Free Trade Agreement” that will take years to negotiate – due in very large part to the fact that the EU is constantly evolving it’s regulatory structures. Thus she will be forced to place the UK into an invidious transitional state of being legally outside the EU but still governed by (and therefore a beneficiary of) the treaties of the EU which will maintain the UK’s EEA membership pro tem.
Because the UK will have left the EU, it will have no part in the decision making process that will still affect it whilst it is in the transitional state. Furthermore – and this is very important to take note of – because the UK will have left the EU – any decision by such as the Liberal Democrats to abandon Brexit and rejoin the EU will mean that the UK would have to reapply under the provisions of Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty from within it’s status as EU non member but with the transitional state. This will mean that rejoining the EU will mean joining the Eurozone.
That Madam May is aware of this has to be assumed. Presmably she is of the opinion that this will present an obstacle to the wishes of the Remoaners and Remainiacs to rejoin the EU.
The problem, not only for Madam May but all those Leave Tories and Ukippers is this:
IF the UK is still in the transitional state by the time of the 2025 General Election, the attraction of actually having some say in what laws govern the country will become very attractive to many voters!
Furthermore, once in the transitional state, the EU has remarkably little motivation to have the UK leave. Of course, a UK government could leave the transitional state at any time. There would be no requirement to seek permission from the EU. It could be done by a Secretary of State laying a statutory instrument to that effect before Parliament. The result: “Hard Brexit”.
This is of course EXACTLY what UKIP will be demanding!