And how many of even the most besotted Tory Europhiles would risk bringing down the Government, when the alternative is national ruin under Marxism? On the long march to Brexit, this was a critical moment. She and her war cabinet should take pride in a decision that puts Britain’s interests first. – Daily Mail
And there I was, thinking that war was a thing of the past, at least in Europe. According to the UK press, the battlefields are situated in our very own back-garden. After the white cliffs of Dover (the last bastion of a civilised world, depicted by the Sun) and the enemies of the people (three judges lynched by the Daily Mail) we now have a fully fledged war cabinet. It is fighting, single-handed, against foreign dictators and home-grown Marxist fifth-columnists. Never, in the history of the United Kingdom, has so much rested on the shoulders of so few.
Allowing the EU to dictate our trade policy while giving up any say over it would make us worse off than now. It would render Brexit not just pointless, but harmful. – Daniel Hannan
These are indeed somber times. The everlasting thunderous march of European technocrats, destroying all that lies in their way, poses an imminent threat to the very nature of the UK’s green and pleasant pastures. The quest for true freedom remains entrenched in the veins of every UK citizen, and has nothing to do with the freedom of movement, so dear to their foes. If the freedom of movement that the UK defends is good enough for a land considered to be the cradle of democracy, it should also be good enough for the EU. It seems that in the same way that some countries are more equal than others, some freedoms are more important than others. Why should the UK downgrade its notion of freedom of movement in order to access the single market?
I’m all for compromises that reflect the narrowness of the vote in the referendum: staying in some EU programmes, replicating chunks of the Single Market through domestic legislation, perhaps rejoining the European Free Trade Association alongside old allies Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. – Daniel Hannan
If I am not mistaken, all the above mentioned countries are forced to accept complete freedom of movement to and from the EU, something that the UK is not prepared to do. But who cares about the frailties of freedom, when the prospect of engaging in world-wide deals is at stake, even if that means lowering standards in order to outsmart the adversary. The UK has never been short of ideas when it comes to keeping low standards.
We’d be unable to outperform or undercut our neighbours, unable to strike the trade deals that suited our services- based economy. – Daniel Hannan
It should be noted that to enjoy the benefits of low or zero tariffs when companies trade, Norway has committed to harmonise its commercial rules with those of the EU. Even outside the customs union, regulations from Brussels cannot be ignored. An example of this, is the “rule of origin”, where the EU checks that goods from India are not entering the EU by the back-door, opened in Uxbridge.
But does all this really matter, I ask myself? Will the “average man in the street” (if there is such a thing) in Sunderland, really be better off ten years after Brexit, than he is now? I somehow doubt it, especially in the light of the present negotiations which bear no resemblances to what negotiations should be like. If you are not at the table, prepared to offer compromises and empathy, you must not be surprised if you end up on the menu.
The EU is searching for its soul, its inner values. It faces so many challenges, whether it be the environment, its borders and security, and the growing disparities within its peoples. It is also in the process of losing one of its more than gifted members, but one who has equally lost its way in today’s world that is centered on the material values instead of spiritual ones.
The answer given by both the UK and the EU are more than unsatisfactory. The UK is acting like a spoiled child in quest of sweets from his mother, whilst insulting her at the same time. The EU, like a reckless father, not realising that if he is earning less, he will have to spend less on beer. The latest EU budget underscores the sad fact that the EU has learned nothing from Brexit.
The UK does not want to be in the single market or the customs union, but has not – up to now – come up with a better solution, apart from declaring a state of war with the EU-27. In response to the challenge posed by Brexit, Brussels could come up with nothing better than an over-inflated budget that Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime-minister, has described as “not acceptable”.
A thought emanating from The Dalai Lama springs to mind. I am not a religious person, but if there is one religious leader whom I can easily identify with, it is the Buddhist leader. As a child, I would have loved to have him as an uncle, sit on his knee, and listen to his wonderful vision of how I could become a better person. He would be quite suitable to replace the hapless and hopeless, David Davis.
It is clear that something is seriously lacking in the way we humans are going about things. But what is it that we lack? The fundamental problem, I believe, is that at every level we are giving too much attention to the external, material aspects of life while neglecting moral ethics and inner rules. – The Dalai Lama, in Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World (2012)
Moral ethics and inner rules can apply to nations as much as to individuals. Since the UK and EU are incessantly squabbling over who is cherry-picking and wanting to have the cake and eat it, it is high time that The Dalai Lama’s words be food for thought, for both sides – provided they sit at the table.