Wednesday, 29 March 2017
The End of the Beginning
So today the day has finally come. The waiting is over. Today Britain takes the historic and unprecedented step of leaving the EU.
There are many still in denial about it of course, not least in the gilded (with our money) corridors and offices of Brussels, but it is happening and now the real game begins. Europe is talking a tough game of course. But it simply does not have as good a hand to play as they would have us believe. The EU has any number of problems going forward as we start the process of leaving, not least that we are leaving with our money. This is why they are angrily demanding that we carry on paying for the foreseeable future so as to not inconvenience them.
But we will come to all of the horse trading in the coming months. Suffice to say that we are leaving and that those of us who argued for it and have been arguing it for years, without once flirting with Ukip or playing the nationalist card, are thrilled and excited by this day.
So take a look at the video I made last June in the week before the big vote. All of the arguments are there. It's why Britain voted to leave last June and shows no sign of regrets. It is Europe that has the problems, problems of a lack of legitimacy and democratic authority. It has problems with growing anger and dissent. It has problems with elections that may well cause chickens to come home to roost in at least one of the core European countries not to mention the very good chance of further existential problems for the euro. All in all Brexit may turn out to be the very least of their problems.
Britain has a great hand to play. We have a large and growing economy and an openness to world trade. We are not cutting ourselves off from the world, but embracing free trade. Neither are we cutting ourselves off from Europe, just from the EU and its byzantine regulations and sub-democratic arrogance. We will cooperate with Europe but we no longer wish to be ruled by Europe and this bizarre and unrealisable dream of ever closer union. We will share security and intelligence. We will be good and friendly neighbours. We will trade with them, buy their goods and sell them ours. We will probably do a deal about the millions of Europeans living here in the UK and the less than a million Brits living across the continent. A deal really shouldn't be too hard to do if everyone shows willing and approaches this in a spirit of concord. Or should that be concorde?