Saturday, January 19, 2019

German Spirit and Friendship

The letter to the Times yesterday from many leading German politicians and I believe,  a well known and great German football player,  recalling the acts of bravery by the UK alone in Europe for a while in WWII, and asking the UK to remain in the EU was kind and thought provoking.

Today's Times has  number of letters in response the most amusing of which reads:

"One of the letter's signatories is the great goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. The British nation, to a man would overturn Brexit and remain in the EU if Germany would promise to stop winning all the penalty shoot-outs." (Edgar Moore).

Another correspondent (Professor Shaun Gregory of Durham University)  more seriously though writes applauding the Germans' letter but goes on to say:

"...but the horse has bolted. Had Germany not unilaterally junked the Dublin III Regulation in 2015 in the Syrian refugee crisis, had it offered David Cameron more in 2016 before the June referendum, and had it slowed the pace of the EU project to respond to rising national populism, we would probably not be in this mess."

Also in the Times is a leader in which the paper reminds readers of how popular Tony Blair was  shown for example  by his winning three general elections. The Times does accept that he was wrong about the weapons of mass destruction issue in Iraq though believes that to have been an honest mistake. 

Possibly though, The Times leader is intended to ease the reader into reading more favourably, their subsequent two page article by Tony Blair,  in which he calls for a second referendum on the Brexit issue. 

That in my view would be a serious error, unless perhaps, the two choices this time, are to accept the withdrawal proposals negotiated with the EU or to leave with no agreement, given that the decision about whether to Remain in the EU or leave, has already been decided in a referendum, with the  one of the largest turnouts if not the largest turnout, in British history, in favour of the latter.

The spirit of the Germans' letter to The Times yesterday, of warmth and friendship with their British neighbours is of course reciprocated and will be what ever Brexit or even heaven forbid Remain, bring.

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