Wednesday, 3 May 2017
The EU's New Berlin Wall
And so the negotiations with the EU are turning nasty. In a clear attempt to influence our election, the Commission and the Germans are briefing all kinds of nonsense about Theresa May and David Davis. And mysteriously 'the bill' they are supposedly demanding has now more or less doubled to €100bn. And yet they are the ones accusing our Prime Minister of living in another galaxy. It is they who have entered a different dimension entirely.
But then this will probably have a different effect on our election than they imagine. Yesterday Diane Abbott demonstrated to the nation how unfit Labour are even to talk about governing let alone do the heavy lifting of government. Imagine her or Chauncey or John McDonnell acting for us negotiating with the cheating, lying, perfidious, oleaginous Jean-Claude Juncker.
If the EU think that their negotiating tactics of aggressive bullying and all standing behind Juncker presenting a supposed united front is going to work then they entirely misunderstand the British character. We are not Greece and cannot be bullied and indeed do not react well to attempts to bully us. You only have to have a passing familiarity with our history to see that.
We are not the supplicant in this relationship. There is no supplicant. The EU needs us. It is demonstrating that with its reaction to our decision to leave. How dare we do so? And what the hell are they going to do without our money?
There is no bill that they can present us with. If that remains their attitude in the coming weeks and months then there really is nothing to negotiate about. Britain will look to the rest of the world and leave behind the stultifying embrace of sclerotic and dysfunctional EU. We are prepared to be reasonable and have persistently tried to do an early deal on EU citizens living and working in the UK. There are 3 million of them. You would think the EU would wish to set their minds at ease. But the EU does not worry about people. It prefers to worry about its supposed principles and tried to make them inviolable to the detriment of the people it is supposed to serve.
And as to the remainers in this country they should be ashamed of themselves. They see the difficulties of this early stage of the negotiating process as vindication for their position. It is the opposite. It is vindication for those of us who wanted to leave. This is why we were so desperate to do so. The EU brooks no opposition. It reacts with petty anger and vindictiveness to those who defy it. It did so with Greece and Cyprus. Juncker gave the game away when he said that Brexit cannot be a success. Why? Because if it is we would demonstrate to the world and other reluctant EU members that is not the be-all-and-end-all. It is actually a brake on progress and economic growth. More importantly it is a brake on freedom and democracy.
Germany and the Commission are attempting to build a new Berlin style wall, but this one is at Calais and indeed on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. They are determined to punish us for our temerity. They are trying to intimidate us to try and get the British public to change its mind and stay in the EU. It is not going to happen. Theresa May, remember, was a retainer. Yet she is now starting the process of extracting us. She is doing so in a calm, polite but determined fashion and being entirely reasonable in her stance. It is the EU that is being rude, arrogant and once again undemocratic.