March 29th, a Heavenly Date with Destiny
‘The self styled Satan, the EU’s very own diablo, Donald Tusk wishes a special place in hell for Brexiteers and the punishment beating that the EU seems determined to meet out has reached a new apogee of hyperbole.
‘The fact that a supposed serious politician at the centre of the engine room, dare I say furnace, of the EU matrix has stooped so low must indicate that the unholy Brussels Trinity of Tusk, Selmayr and Junker are feeling the heat.
‘Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement they were fully expecting to be poking us with a three pronged stick for eternity. After all the deal that our PM and the likes of her chief negotiator, Ollie Robbins, concocted in collusion with the EU would have had the UK trapped forever in the dungeon of the Customs Union. Unable to adjust tariffs, unable to make meaningful trade deals around the world, unable to escape. We would have been doubly damned with continued jurisdiction of the European Court, triply damned with no say in the rules that the EU would want to torture us with and selling our souls for a ransom of at least £39 billion. A perfect devils brew, but if our establishment sup with the devil, what else must we expect.
‘In one respect Tusk struck a chord. He took a swipe at Brexiteers who had no plan. But I know well that Brexiteers had a plan which, if implemented, would have brought us to a much better place. The problem has been that it was not Brexiteers who were in charge of the negotiations, but devious Remainers in government and Whitehall, working in an unholy alliance with the EU and our own establishment, underworld in order to frustrate Brexit.
‘The EU did not pull the wool over the eyes of our PM and her team, we ended up exactly where they intended, with a backstop, with the fig leaf of the Northern Ireland border “problem”, a carefully placed piece of poison in the process, intended to achieve in the words of the PM a “close and special relationship” – supping with the devil. All this was designed to keep us in the EU in all but name and sufficiently miserable and shackled, as to make us want to return to the EU fold. If not hell then I would certainly describe this as perpetual purgatory.
‘The difficulty is that the clock has ticked and those planning our descent have been caught by the tail at the last minute. Our descent has been halted, at least temporarily and the opportunity for our tormentors to torture us is slipping away, much to their chagrin. Almost too late to find an accord, we now face a choice between “the devil and the deep blue sea”. Fortunately, we are a maritime nation of adventurers and merchants, and the deep blue sea has always been attractive to us.
‘It need not be so, the UK and the EU could even now agree under Article 24 of WTO/GATT to continue our current arrangements for trade while we negotiate a free trade arrangement, to the benefit of both parties. This would free the UK in a single bound- no transition period, no Customs Union, no ECJ. But Remainers have no appetite for nirvana, rather they prefer the wages of sin, or at least vested interests designed for the few not the many.
‘So, as we leave in March for a new world of freedom and trade based on WTO (the normal form of trade in the world) we will look forward to our own version of heaven, of low taxes, low tariffs, global trade and look over our shoulder upon the old world.
‘For while we build Jerusalem in our green and pleasant land, it is those poor, innocent souls trapped and tangled in debt ridden Italy, mired amongst the unemployed of Greece and Spain, overwhelmed by surging humanity in Poland and Hungary, that make the EU look like a painting of which Breugel would have been proud.
‘John Longworth is an entrepreneur, Chairman of Leave means Leave and is on the Advisory Board of a Economists for Free Trade and the IEA. He was formerly Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce.
February 6th, 2019: Telegraph