The New Appeasers?

Nasty EUTheresa May warned the Conservative Party Conference in 2002 that some voters saw them as the Nasty Party. Now she is bending over backwards to be nice, to everyone – Remainers, Leavers, In-Betweenies and the EU – but it’s clear that the accolade, or rather ‘nom de guerre’, can be deservingly awarded to the EU and its negotiators. They have gone out of their way to frustrate and belittle every effort her government has made.

AppeaserIt might be considered over the top to refer to the Brexit negotiations as war and to the EU as the enemy but they have proved to be aggressive adversaries determined to do us harm. They are aided by appeasers and a fifth column in both Parliaments, content for Britain to be subject to the laws, rules and whims of a foreign power and to “taxation without representation”. Normally we eschew arguments that compare opponents to Second World War traitors and enemies but the parallels are too striking to be ignored as others have noticed too. Mrs May has created a subset of her Cabinet to manage the Brexit process, known informally as the Brexit War Cabinet. It’s a good idea, except that war cabinet ministers are meant to focus on how to win a war whereas as half of this lot are considering how to surrender.

DisenchantedThe EU is frightened that a successful UK would be an example worth following by other disenchanted, member-nation governments or their eurosceptic voters. It wants to ensure we are not a competitive threat. Constant references to ‘a level playing field’ [1] show the spirit of protectionism is inherent, whereas if Britain performed well as an independent country it would provide examples of innovative strategies that the EU itself could follow to improve the lives of its peoples. Despite their bravado the EU’s chiefs don’t have confidence in the project, except that in the (very?) long term their theories will triumph over the evidence of its unimpressive performance for at least the last four decades, since the post-war bounce-back. Of course if we fail on our lonely path that could send the opposite message to other malcontents – that leaving is too dangerous – but if they see this as the result of their overlords’ bullying it won’t make them content. And they have more to fear.

UK growth rate

EU growth rate

The UK’s growth is slow right now but the EU’s is unimpressive too, despite continuing to create euros out of nothing whereas the UK stopped its own QE program months ago. Also the Bank of England has increased interest rates while the ECB kept them at zero and has no room for manoeuvre as the next global growth cycle turns down. Italy and its banks cannot continue selling worthless bonds in the face of this [2] and a catastrophe ten times bigger than Greece’s will likely shake the fragile Eurozone to its roots. The EU is not a safe port to see out the coming storm.

Port in storm

 

[1] Transition Guidelines

[2] Italian Election

 

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