UK Prime Minister Theresa May dug her heels in this afternoon in Florence when she confounded the commentators and laid it on the line to Brussels.
There were expectations of major concessions being aired in the bubble land our metropolitan media inhabits.
They’re so convinced of their worldview that their analysis is removed from the facts of what happens in the real world.
Paul Mason at the BBC was taken back. He was expecting “zingers” but got none.
The Prime Minister repeated her position: out of the Single Market; out of the Customs Union; out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice [total misnomer] – just like we voted for – in control of our laws and borders, holding our politicians directly to account.
We chose sovereignty and national democracy over pooling our sovereignty with other nations. We respect what the European countries want to do and wish them all the best – it’s in our mutual interests.
We note Mr Juncker’s recent speech – your vision, not ours [subtext: he proved we are right to leave this federalist, Big State project].
Our vision, however, is mutually beneficial: to build a partnership in all areas founded on our mutual historical ties, shared interests and common values.
The Prime Minister unilaterally declared British commitment to citizens rights, and to mutual security co-operation.
We are leaving the European Union, not Europe !
Britain will meet her commitments because that’s the way we are. Of course !
She suggested a transition period [possibly 2 years] to ensure a smooth exit, and to resolve all problems once, not having to go through upheavals because one agreement has to be replaced or amended by another. This is the one concession [subtext: we’ll bail out your budget for another 2 years max after we leave – after that you’re on your own; get real, and sort your own house out].
She talked of a completely new framework for trade, different from any existing such as the Norwegian arrangement. Bespoke. We know that the EU can do them, because they use other models for their relationships in other areas, as with African countries.
She specifically rejected ECJ arbitration for an independent sovereign Britain on trade matters, pointing out the UK’s status of equality as a future equal partner with , not subject member of, the EU.
She made clear that the ECJ wasn’t going to arbitrate on future questions over EU citizens rights in the UK, but said – absolutely correctly – that our Judiciary is world class and can be trusted.
A minor concession was to suggest that the legislation could require our courts to have a regard for ECJ decisions, but the decision must be ours.
And what she came to was this. After all the speculation about concession, she put the ball firmly in the EU court.
Imagination and realism are called for; we need to be creative and pragmatic to get beyond what is seen as a stand off between the two sides in negotiations.
She is of course right. That is what is needed.
She is of course being very British. As pointed out in the last blog post and other pages of this blog, the British approach is completely different – and that is at the heart of all our problems with the EU. Talk of pragmatism and creativity is alien to the mindset of the Brussels bureaucracy and to the continental insistence on broad authoritarian principle dictating practice.
She has dug her heels in.
She has basically said that the lady is not for turning !!!
She has made it clear that we are leaving, saying that we’d had problems throughout our membership because of the basic difference that the British could not accept the loss of sovereignty, and democratic accountability.
We are leaving. Period.
And what is she doing after all these months, repeating the Lancaster House speech at this critical juncture ?
She is saying,
We hold all the aces !
We can – and we will – walk away without an agreement [ we are a successful people and economy; we look to the world for our future; we don’t need your protectionism, regulation and condescension; we don’t need to be paying vast sums to Brussels; we don’t need the massive current account deficit we have because we buy so much of your exports..]
whereas you are in the proverbial [ serious budget issues because we are leaving, and because all those takers now have to become net payers; serious economic issues for your exporters, especially German and French; serious challenges to your political model from eastern European countries pissed off by immigration; serious threats from the electorates of members States as pissed off by Brussels nonsense as we Brits are; seriously in need of our military and our intelligence capabilities which are the best in Europe… and that is all before we mention the mega issues you still have not resolved or can – the massive unemployment in the EU, the waves of unwelcome immigration, the serious divergence between economies yet all required to be or to become members of one currency…]
Those are the underlying facts of the matter, and for all their posturing and holier-than-thou mentality, the EU knows it.
And that’s what counts – not the pining for Eutopia and its associated mindset in the metropolitan media elite, blinded to where it’s really at and to what the situation now actually demands.
So, it looks like Juncker et al are going to be singing along with Rod Stewart:
You made a first class fool out of me, and I’m as blind as a fool can be….
Maggie, I wish I’d never seen your face !
You can catch the PM’s 35 minute Florence speech of today, Friday September 22nd 2017 on YOU Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUFpahcEOX8
or read the text at http://brexitcentral.com/full-text-theresa-mays-florence-speech/
PS Some us will, all the same, be watching for the detail in the Security Treaty: the abhorrent European Arrest Warrant is yet to be axed and we could get bound in under EU control of a new EU army…
Watch this space…