By the time you read this, events will have kind of overtaken it but please do read on.
Today, Tuesday 17 January, 2017, UK Prime Minister, Theresa May will lay out the framework for Britain’s exit from the European Union – Brexit.
It’s entirely possible that her speech will have had a bit of a re-write in the last couple of days, to take account of comments by soon to be US President Trump and by the lead EU negotiator, Michel Barnier.
President Trump has indicated a desire for the USA to conclude a free trade treaty with the UK, as soon as possible. So no more ‘back of the queue’ from the Britain-hating Obama
M. Barnier has apparently recognised the importance of the City of London to the European Union’s financial system. ‘Apparently’ because having said this in an interview with the ‘remain’ leaning Guardian newspaper, he then sought to backtrack. Whatever! Barnier’s position will become clearer over time though I suspect the recent comments are closer to reality than his politically inspired backtracking.
Both though show that Brexit doesn’t presage the doom-laden future that the ‘remainers’ and global ‘experts’ predicted. Indeed, even the Bank of England Governor now seems to recognise that the immediately greater risk from Brexit is to the EU rather than Britain. On the same track, the IMF, headed by convicted criminal, Christine Lagarde, have rowed back on their gloomy predictions for the UK economy and are now upgrading their growth predictions for the UK economy. Also they and other so called experts have come to recognise that the UK was the strongest economy in the world, during 2016. And yes, Remainers, that includes 6 months of the ‘dark Brexit winter’ that started on June 23rd, 2016!
Anyway, to Theresa May’s speech and my hopes for it.
Ted Yarborough, writing for the Daily Globe, has succinctly outlined the five key points that Theresa May needs to ensure are met. These are:
1. UK having complete sovereignty over its borders and free movement of people to end.
2. UK to have free trade with the EU outside of the Single Market and Customs Union
3. European courts and European Law to have no jurisdiction in the UK
4. Future contributions to the UK are up for negotiation
5. Open borders, with the Republic of Ireland to remain.
Ted covers these issues very well and so I won’t repeat his arguments. I would add the following though.
On the day that the UK invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, signalling its intent to leave the European Union, the UK should actually leave the EU, that very day.
Okay, I know that that will freak out some people and the ‘Remainers’ will have all sorts of ‘conniption fits’ but stay with me a moment.
Such a move will require emergency UK legislation – I am thinking of a simple one paragraph law that states that as of this date, existing EU law that is on the UK Statute book will remain in effect, even though Britain is no longer a member of the European Union until such time as it is repealed.
That gets us over the immediate legal ‘hump’.
Why leave the same day?
Well, firstly, bureaucrats have an awful habit of dragging things out. The recently-resigned UK ambassador to the European Union, Sir Ivan Rogers, had indicated he thought it would take 10 years to conclude a treaty. That would be a nice ‘little earner’ for Eurocrats and lawyers and a great chance to pad-out the pension pot. Incidentally, why does any country have an ambassador to the European Union? It isn’t as if it is a country!
Secondly, nothing concentrates the mind of those conducting the negotiations more, than having a deadline. On the converse, an open-ended timeline – say ten years – means that talks will drag on and on and progress is bound to be glacial. Indeed, one would suspect that this is a ploy of the ‘Remainers’ - drag it out so that the British people lose interest and then quietly drop the whole exercise. And, in the interim, the EU’s freedom of movement policy continues to swamp the UK with migrants for which the UK does not have the resources. There is currently much talk in the UK media, of a crisis in the NHS. Apart from those people called ‘health tourists’ who travel to the UK, take advantage of free at point of delivery healthcare and then head home to their own country, without paying for the service they received, the UK NHS simply wasn’t designed for such numbers as it is now being called upon to serve. UK’s immigrant population jumped from 3.8 million to 8.4 million, in the last 10 years or so. Such growth is unsustainable. Just think about that increase.
Thirdly, a repeat of the second – nothing concentrates the mind more than the cash tap being turned off. Yes, on the day we invoke Article 50, we cease contributions to the EU. Why on earth would we pay a membership fee for a club for which we have ended membership? Both ‘Leavers’ and ‘Remainers’ seem to agree that the net contribution is £8.5 billion a year. Other than providing a welcome reduction in government spending, this will focus the Eurocrats in speeding towards a treaty. The UK is the third largest contributor to the EU budget. We account for more than 12% of the total. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, this would suggest that the much needed cuts to the bloated EU spending will have to be made. Better late than never, I suppose.
Another reason is that leaving immediately will ‘lance the boil’ in the UK. This will provide a ‘crossing the Rubicon’ moment and will allow Britain’s politicians to move on from the result and to focus on the way forward. To focus on how Britain can benefit from the opportunities presented by Brexit. How Britain can roll back the role of the State in the life of Britons by repealing the more petty and intrusive EU inspired legislation. (If I were in charge, my mantra would be repeal unless you can show how a law or regulation benefits the UK people and show the cost-benefit case for your assertion. And this would apply to all such legislation!)
Finally, leaving immediately allows the UK to press on and conclude free trade treaties with other countries. In the interim, WTO rules would apply but we can take advantage of the apparent desire of trading partners to conclude agreements.
So, hopefully, Theresa May has already thought of this or reads the above and tells the EU that we will leave the organisation by the self-imposed March 31, 2017 deadline.
Leave now – why wait?
Leave the Single Market
Leave the Customs Union
Leave the corrupt and undemocratic European Union.