Monday, November 19, 2018

Brexit

The  Brexit deal is almost done so we were led to believe by Mrs May only a few days ago. 

Some of the media in the UK has been making considerable criticisms of the terms of the deal. However given that barely 52% of those inclined to vote on the  referendum on the subject, voted for Brexit, it is unsurprising that the 48% who voted to remain within the EU are adding their complaints to those in the press and on TV. 

Short of complete Brexit without a deal or remaining entirely within the EU, there were bound to be moans from numerous factions within the UK on all sides of the argument. 

More surprising however are the cracks in the unity of the 27 nations remaining in the EU. 

Gibraltar  the Spanish are now  raising as an issue late in the day, with other countries raising the issue of  fishing rights and some in France even signifying that the draft deal may be too generous to the UK.

My own view is that full membership of the EU  in C21 implies working together towards a United States of Europe so that the issues raised go far beyond trade. 

Last time the UK had a referendum on membership  of the then EEC was in the 1970s.  The  European nations  were still largely grouping around a common market or EEC. The outcome then was for the UK to remain, with the votes being split approximately 65% to remain and 35% to leave.

Given that the basis for the EU  now envisages closer and closer integration with a United States of Europe being the ultimate aim, a referendum outcome for this country essentially to work towards ceding sovereignty to an international grouping, in my view warrants far more than a bare majority in a referendum. The 65%+ to 35%- achieved in the EEC referendum in 1975 provides a reasonable basis for a country to cede sovereignty.  

The history of the UK companies and government seeking to join the Euro and the current relief felt by most that we were fortunate not to join that currency illustrates how wrong the British  great and the good not to mention businesses, can be.

I doubt that another  UK referendum about EU membership or not, will be worthwhile as the people have already voted. If another referendum is held however, the fundamental issues going as they do far beyond trade and commerce, the outcome to remain should be at least 65% to 35% to remain ie two thirds of those voting, should vote in favour. 

My own view is that despite grudging respect for Mrs May which is well deserved for her working on that which her predecessor ran away from, she is far too civil service like in her approach as well as being a remain voter to be the right person for the current task. 

A  leader who backed Brexit from  the outset would have been better though it is probably too late in the day now for that to make much difference. Instead given the government's slender parliamentary majority which relies on the  Northern Irish DUP and given the DUP's lack of support to a Brexit providing different terms for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Brexit without a deal seems more and more likely.

Personally I believe that an exit without a deal at all would take about 6 months to settle down after which Singapore style arrangements for trade  would begin to apply. Meanwhile  and subsequently, national sovereignty would preserved 

Interesting times.

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Nicola York

Nicola was the older  of two daughters of close friends of ours. She was a journalist who tragically died  quite recently, when only in her ...