BRITAIN’S BREXIT BETRAYAL, PAIN AND PUNISHMENT
There is a deep and distinct disconnect between British politicians and EU politicians. The majority of British politicians appear to prioritise the economic interest of the nation above the political interest. For example the UK Government is content for naval support vessels and for other arms and defence vehicles to be built overseas as it is cheaper and therefore seen as better value for money. Many pro-Brexit politicians were not won over by arguments of national sovereignty but rather by economic free trade arguments and consequently they place a higher value on economic interests rather than political interests.
This is in direct contrast to most EU politicians who prioritise the political interest over the economic interest of the nation. For example, to continue the defence analogy, France mostly buys its military materiel from French companies even though this is a very expensive exercise. This is because their definition of value is not just economically defined but encompasses national security, social values and the public good ie political concerns. The prime example of this prioritisation of the political interest over the economic interest is, however, most clearly seen in the eurozone. In the many recent euro crises it would have been in the economic interest of most countries to come out of the eurozone and adjust their currencies and policies to best suit their economic conditions. However, unlike the British who withdrew from the ERM in 1992 after it became economically unviable, all the eurozone countries have put their political interest – that is the EU project – above their economic interest and remained a part of the eurozone.
Consequently there appears to be an inability among British politicians to understand that even if the EU will suffer economically – eg German car manufacturers – due to not having a trade deal with the UK, it will accept that as part of the political price to be paid to ensure both the survival and growth of the EU and as a visible punishment to the UK in order to frighten off other potential leavers. Essentially this analysis leads to the conclusion that the whole approach of the EU to the Brexit negotiations is to ensure that the UK does not end up with a trade deal and that it is essentially an exercise in punishment designed to be as long, protracted and costly for the UK as possible – with a secondary aim of lessening support for Brexit among the UK population and attempting to ensure that the UK either stays a part of the EU or as a significant contributor to EU funds – as they will sorely miss our billions in their budget.
This is why the EU is trying to get the UK to pay a bribe for a trade deal – what they euphemistically call a settlement of our obligations. What obligations are these I wonder? The UK has been a net contributor to the EU since it joined in 1973 – that is 45 years of more than paying our way. The EU’s own negotiation rules state that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed yet they now insist that we legally owe them tens of billions before they will agree to even discuss a future trade deal. Of course if any other country or company demanded a large payment before even discussing a trade deal it would correctly be called a bribe ie. corruption. We should not be surprised at corruption in the EU as its own audit watchdog has refused to sign off the EU’s own budget for many years due to endemic fraud and corruption. Should we – the UK – pay a bribe? No, of course not. The UK has long taken a stand against corruption and this should not change now. We should simply not pay the bribe the EU is demanding. We are not legally obliged to do so, according to the House of Lords Financial Affairs Sub-Committee. When we leave the EU our financial obligations to the EU end. Simple as that.
It is instructive in these negotiations that we have seen the UK time and again compromising when the EU has made no such compromise at all. Such a one sided negotiation process will inevitably end up with a one sided agreement – a one sided agreement that is not in the UK’s interest. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing every time and expecting a different result every time. Why are we continually wasting our time and taxpayer’s money? The problem is that British politicians think we will get a bespoke deal that will ensure access to the single market for the City – however, the EU has consistently stated that the single market and its four freedoms are inviolate. We need to realise this – the EU has stated that there will be no bespoke deal for the UK outside of the rules of the single market.
Realising this we should instead be promoting trade deals with other growing economies around the world – as the Financial Times recommends – rather than wasting our time on an EU that is deliberately being awkward and obstructive for a political purpose. A clear timescale of when we would leave would provide essential certainty and clarity to UK businesses and allow them to prepare for withdrawal. This is of course the Government’s fallback position in 2019 if no deal is reached – however all the time between now and then is just a waste of time, effort and taxpayers money and we should skip this unnecessary pain and punishment and just leave – as per the referendum result. Do we need an immediate trade deal with the EU? No, neither China nor the US has a trade deal with the EU but both rely on WTO rules, as we should, in the interim.
If you agree with this analysis then the only logical approach is for the UK not to play the EU’s dangerous game – where they make up and amend the rules to suit them – but rather to pull the rug out from under them and just ignore the Article 50 process – which is so obviously designed to run to the EU’s advantage, as its drafter has acknowledged – and just repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and revert to WTO rules. A trade deal could then be hammered out with the EU in our own time, rather than forced around an arbitrary timeline designed to put pressure on UK negotiators and force UK compromises.
BRITISH VALUES AND VISION
We are told that the Government is promoting British values in our schools, domestic policies and around the world. We are told that these values are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance. What we are not told is where these values come from. What is their cultural connection?
Their cultural connection is Christianity. Our values come from our common law, which is itself based on our Judeo-Christian values. As Francis Bacon said “There never was found, in any age of the world, either religion or law that did so highly exalt the public good as the Bible.” It is from the Bible that we have learnt our laws. It is why Queen Victoria, when asked what was the secret of England’s greatness, correctly replied “The open Bible.” It is to the Bible that we owe our traditions of respect for others and the right to free speech which underpins our love of liberty – for the Bible says to love your neighbour as yourself and gives us the parable of the Good Samaritan to emphasise the point in practical action. As Ulysses S Grant said, “Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilisation, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”
Our Anglosphere civilisation, based on our common law, which is backed by our Judeo-Christian culture, has to be both protected and promoted. As democracy faces direct challenges around the world it is essential that we ensure closer co-operation with our democratic Anglosphere cousins because, as Abraham Lincoln said, “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” A lesson both fascism and communism learnt in the last century, and the Islamists will learn this century. The Anglosphere democracies essentially recognise the state is an agent of the people rather than their master, democracy in action. Socialists preach this doctrine yet never practice it, always descending into dictatorship rather than democracy.
The civil tradition in our country is strong, creating a high trust society under the rule of law. This ensures everyone is under the law equally and the law is equally enforced according to our common law, going back to Magna Carta. The rule of law is vital in a world where fascism is making a comeback, with China transitioning from a Communist to a Fascist state and authoritarianism increasing in countries such as Russia and Turkey. We see the danger of lawless states where rulers are above the law and the state works for its rulers against its people. As William Pitt said, “Where law ends, there tyranny begins.”
Individual liberty has been a cornerstone of British society for centuries, it was to London that many, ironically including Marx, fled from Continental tyranny to a land of free speech and habeas corpus. Socialism tries to force equality of outcomes on our society but we agree with Aristotle when he says, “The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” With individual liberty comes free enterprise and equality of opportunity to better yourself and, as wealth trickles down, our society as a whole. As Winston Churchill said, “Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.” It is our duty to teach our society the value of free enterprise and point out how history teaches the failure of all other economic systems. To do this we require freedom of speech. As our free speech comes ever more under attack, and to even display a Biblical passage in public becomes a breach of the peace, it is essential that we ensure the survival of individual liberty of thought and speech. As George Bernard Shaw said, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
The responsibility of liberty is to respect each other’s beliefs. As a wise man once said, in matters of religion one must always distinguish between a system and its adherents. While we might disagree with certain religions and their outcomes we must respect people and their right to express their beliefs peacefully within the rule of our common law. We are to preach our principles to others, but only in a peaceful way. Persuading people peacefully is the British way, violating other’s rights via violence is for foreigners.
Tolerance has always been a central theme of the Bible, which tells us, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven.” British society has always had a soft spot for the eccentric and this is a result of the tolerance inherent in our society. As Winston Churchill said, “Some people’s idea of [free speech] is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.” We must ensure that tolerance continues and that the modern intolerance of so-called progressive liberals does not erode the ancient freedoms which our ancestors fought so hard to achieve.
Without a vision the people perish – Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.
Our nation needs a vision. Many of our people are poor and perishing and patriotism is a principle of the past. We need to remind our people what it means to be British. What it means to live in the cradle of modern democracy. What it means to benefit from the Mother of all Parliaments. What it means to be a bastion of free speech, free enterprise and individual freedom. All these achievements we take for granted. We need to recognise and celebrate our British birthright. In today’s globalised world we must be proud of our principles. The principles that have brought us peace, order and prosperity. The principles that ensure we are part of a global Anglosphere of nations that together are the most consistently politically peaceful, socially stable and economically prosperous nations in the world. As the world experiences more Islamic terrorism, increasingly aggressive nationalism and hence, more authoritarian states, we need to pull together with our partners around the world to ensure the safety and survival of our state and it’s values. This begins with Brexit.
Brexit is our opportunity to deliver the new vision that our nation requires in this century of uncertainty. A vision built on democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance. Brexit is first and foremost a matter of securing our sovereignty and ensuring political control of our country. Economics is very important but comes a distinct second to the overarching and all important political aim of securing our independence from EU domination and rule from Berlin/Brussels, because only with political freedom can we set our economy free.
The EU is the very antithesis of our values. Individual EU countries may themselves currently be democracies but the EU itself has nothing but a democratic façade – an EU Parliament that is nothing but a talking shop that cannot initiate nor stop legislation being passed by the all powerful EU Commission, which itself is composed of unelected bureaucrats. The rule of law turned on its head by the Napoleonic Code, where you can be arrested and held in prison while the state tries to find the evidence to convict you and you are presumed guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent. An EU Gendarmerie Force that has diplomatic immunity, allowing it to work in each EU country yet be immune to the law, effectively creating a force that is above the law and accountable only to the unelected bureaucrats of the European Commission. Does this sound like a state where individual liberty will flourish? No, in fact the EU is strangling individual liberty with regulations and directives covering every aspect of life. As Winston Churchill said, “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.” Rather than the traditional minimalist governments of the Anglosphere the EU prefers socialist systems and this is just as true in the economic sphere where the EU prefers protectionism to the free trade which created the greatest Empire the world has ever seen. Mutual respect and tolerance are nowhere to be seen as the EU tramples over sovereign national governments and promotes regional devolution, languages and cultures only to leave them hanging when they seek independence – Catalonia. What mutual respect and tolerance does the EU show when it disrespects our common law and demands that the jurisdiction of the ECJ follows EU citizens within the UK after Brexit? None, despite the fact that the EU citizens in the UK voted with their feet to leave their own countries to come to the land of opportunity that is the UK. A house divided against itself will fall, we agree on the value of the rule of law, one law, the common law – not ECJ law or Sharia law.
Brexit allows us to rejuvenate and rejoin the network of nations that is the Anglosphere. These are the nations that naturally agree with our values and share a common law, common language, common culture and common outlook with each other. It is not just the US Constitution that claims “One nation under God.” The UK’s Coronation Oath and practice also shows that the UK explicitly acknowledges that not only is the Monarch subject to the same laws as their subjects but that we are all also subject to a higher authority which is where we obtain the basis for our common law. Does this mean then that this is a vision that only Christians can adhere to? Not at all, these are values that people from any religion can and do support. They are indeed based on and derive their inspiration from Christianity, but as the values themselves demonstrate, through mutual respect and tolerance, they can be supported by, and bought into by, people from all religions. This should come as no surprise to us as the Empire was based on these values and it was supported by people of all religions with no attempt made to forcibly convert people to Christianity, but rather relying on a process of peaceful persuasion and practice to generate support for the Imperial power and its values. There was no conscription across the Empire, outside of the Anglosphere countries, yet many millions, over two million in India in WW2 alone, volunteered to fight and die for the Empire. Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Christians and others fought for our values. These are values that can unite a nation, indeed a network of nations. A network of nations that can be joined by others who demonstrate adherence to these values. We need to join together to ensure the survival of our states and our values against those who would rather destroy us and our values.