Monday, 6 February 2017


After all the grandstanding huff and puff by recalcitrant remoaners the bill to give notice to leave the EU under Article 50 will pass because none of its critics wants an election. That brings us to the end of the phoney war and begins the real battle of Brexit; a fight which is no longer between homegrown Brexiters and Remainers, but a serious grapple between Britain and the EU, with major consequences for both sides.

This is a whole new war game.It requires a domestic armistice in order to fight a bitter battle with  a European Union which is going to use every trick in the book to stop Britain's departure. Article 50 is designed to make leaving as difficult and unattractive as possible and the processes as obscure as Euro-enthusiasts prefer. The Brussels bureaucrats know that if Britain leaves others will want to change the terms of membership to make the EU looser and weaker. They also know that it will cost them by ending the eleven billion pound contribution Britain makes to boost Brussels. 

We're going to have to fight and fight hard to escape from the EU on acceptable terms which will benefit both sides, rather than terms designed to damage Britain and teach us not to be naughty. While British factions argue about what form of departure they'd like, soft, hard or hardly any Brexit at all, the EU ,the Commission, France and Germany and even the smaller nations have announced in a synchronised chorus that we can't have any deal which approaches fairness. We'll will have to suffer on the naughty step to encourage everyone else not to stray.

Negotitions are a game of bluff and bluster in which both sides start out by maximising demands. Better therefore to intimidate an opponent right at the start by making their task look impossible, severe damage look inevitable and the outcome painful. They'll face no internal opposition in doing this. No one is going to break ranks to demand a better deal for Britain, all fear that our departure will require the others to pay more, German manufacturers want to keep a market which gives them such a handsome surplus and French farmers want to keep us buying their dear food. So they all want to put us off and bring us back, submissive and chastened into the boot camp.

Britain has no such advantages, We enter the fight on a battleground  heavily slanted against us. We're less sure what we want. Remainers want to make our demands minimal others to make none at all. The media are divided but bound, by their love of conflict and argument to amplify every problem, heighten every difficulty, and exaggerate every complaint. For the two years of negotiation government's intentions and the electorates' hopes will be undermined and  questioned, every fear exacerbated.

The other side faces none this. If we were at war it would be rated as treason and those who did it labelled fifth columnists. But we are in a fight for the future, which is why Remainers must now  recognise that we're in a different game, fighting not the British government, but an undemocratic entity which doesn't have Britain's interests at heart. We're fighting for our future in much the same way as we fought for democracy in real wars.

In that conflict those who undermine Britain's case for a good and honourable deal which keeps the British economy strong are really working to ensure that we come out of the two year negotiations damaged and weaker with an economy which isn't able to bear the burdens or provide the benefits the nation needs. No use saying they want a Parliamentary say on the final deal. We should have that of course, but it requires  Remainers   to fight for the best possible terms rather than trying to stop Britain fighting at all and constantly criticising government for doing so.

 The electorate voted for coming out They couldn't have voted on the terms on which we did that.Those depend on the EU not us. But they'll be angry if we get a bum deal and have to slink back with our tail, and all the subsidies we pay, between our legs. They'll be even angrier about any one who contributed to such a humiliation by undermining Britain's case. Subverting  the people's will  by doing that damages not only a government doing its democratic duty to fulfill the intention of the people, but the economy and  the country. Do the rampant Remainers seriously want that?

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