Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Is a brilliant journalist, old school to the bone and marrow. He's The Telegraph's business editor, but was once the paper's Europe correspondent and spent years in Brussels. I've always liked him. He's been steadfastly opposed to austerity policies and has written extensively over the years about the devastation such policies cause to communities. He was always opposed to the EMU (Economic & Monetary Union of the EU) too. In fact he accurately predicted the crises we have seen in Southern Europe. You might not know this, but he once wrote a book about Bill Clinton in which he claimed that the Oklahoma bombing was the result of an FBI sting operation that went South. Whatever you might think of his opinions, they are his and his alone, a rare thing these days when it comes to journalists. I subscribe to The telegraph (and one or two other papers) mostly to read Evans-Pritchard. Today's column is explosive and devastating for those who are clinging to the notion that the result of the June 2016 EU referendum will be honoured. Evans-Pritchard writes:
Brexiteers, bring out your black suits of mourning. Grieve with private dignity. The quixotic bid for British independence has failed. There will be no return to full sovereign and democratic self-rule in March 2019, or after the transition or as far as the political eye can see. Britain will be bound and hemmed until the latent contradictions of such a colonial settlement cause a volcanic national uprising, as they surely must.
The Westminster class is edging crablike towards a double embrace of the EU single market and the customs union, the full EU package but without a veto in the European Council, or Euro-MPs with heft in the dominant blocs of Strasbourg, or judges on the European Court (ECJ) to lean against top-down "Napoleonic" jurisprudence. Both of our great parties are resiling from core manifesto pledges.
Labour has now lurched twice, first towards the customs union and this week calling "for full access to the EU's single market."This second step was inevitable once the party chose – for tactical advantage – to fan the flames over the Irish border. Most border checks are linked to the single market not the customs union. If you assert that the Good Friday Accord is in grave jeopardy, you have to accept both in the end and this entails the continued rule of Euro-judges.
I strongly suspect that the Tories will be compelled by political events and cut-throat pressure from Brussels to opt for much the same formula, whatever they propose next month in their 150-page White Paper. They will discover – as would Labour in power – that the Franco-German axis aims to use its control over cliff-edge nodal points to force near total acceptance of the EU’s legal and regulatory machinery. The EU can evoke the doomsday scenario of a trade crash. It can exploit Britain’s psychological vulnerability on Ireland.
Yes, it matters not that Labour party members in the North of the country voted overwhelmingly to leave, nor that Jeremy Flip-Flop Corbyn has been opposed to the EU over the course of his entire political life, Labour has gotten a whiff of power now, although it's more positive showing in last years general election had a lot to do with disgruntled pro-EU Tory supporters switching to Labour for the day. I declared the morning after the referendum (June 24th 2016) that we would never be allowed to leave. As an Irishman I remember all too well being sent back to the ballot box having rejected the Lisbon and Nice treaties. Why would the UK be any different? In summing up Evans-Pritchard writes today:
In the end we are likely to end up in the EEA anyway – or close enough – but on worse terms, for a different purpose, with the customs union bolted on, and after great political damage has already been done. She will probably have to swallow a high degree of free movement to get any deal at all. It is clear that Theresa May abandoned defiance and switched to a strategy of emollience at the Brussels summit in December. That is when she stopped repeating that "no deal is better than a bad deal" and quietly agreed to "full alignment" with EU rules if need be. She signed away a large sum of money to secure goodwill.
Depressing stuff but his analysis is flawless. I've been saying it for too long, though not nearly as eloquently. I feel for the residents of the UK's coasts, there will be no re-taking of our coastal waters, I feel for the steel workers, for the farmers too, for those working in minimum wage jobs or zero hours contracts. They'll relocate their hopes to Jittery Jezza Corbyn and hang their futures on his promises to re-nationalise the railways and water and all the rest of it, but he's a liar. Membership or associate membership of the fascist dictatorship that is the EU, means that he cannot legally fulfil any of those empty promises. For Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's full article follow the link below. (subscription required)