This is an addition to The Brexicon, first published in July 2018. (See the Summary and Parts 1 & 3, linked below.)
As in the other Parts, we list some of the deliberately misleading terms used in the Brexit debate. Our definitions may be satirical but the explanations justify our criticisms.
Brexit Means Brexit – a tautology (and therefore meaningless)
Competence – The power to declare competence and take control, regardless of skill or knowledge.
Not much ‘competence’ is left with the member states because the EU’s principle of ‘Subsidiarity’ is barely honoured by them. The Treaty on European Union (TEU) tells us what’s what:
“When the Treaties confer on the Union exclusive competence in a specific area, only the Union may legislate and adopt legally binding acts, the Member States being able to do so themselves only if so empowered by the Union or for the implementation of Union acts.”
In case anyone still believes that the EU leaves much to the competence of its member states, the following should disabuse them:
“The Member States shall coordinate their economic and employment policies within arrangements as determined by this Treaty, which the Union shall have competence to provide.”
Convergence – When groups of nations converge to different foci
There’s a nursery song to help children remember the compass points but it’s also very useful for remembering the EU’s situation: “Pointing East and West we’ll find, North in front, and South behind”. The Southern economies are so far behind the Northern ones that the gap cannot now be bridged within the current system; it is likely that they will eventually converge into new groups. Already there is discussion of a New Hanseatic League where the richer nations split from the poorer so that Scandinavia, the Baltics and the Netherlands combine with Germany while the Mediterranean countries – Italy, Spain, Greece, etc. – forge their own links. The position of France is a bit uncertain in this scenario but unless its political class is overthrown by the extreme malcontents (NF and yellow vests) it is likely to stick with the Northerners regardless of its economic circumstances.
Meanwhile the malcontents of the Eastern nations are already in government and pushing back against the centralising agenda of the Commission. The Visegrád group of ex-Soviet colonies didn’t join the Union to be bullied by Brussels rather than Moscow, they are proud of their national identities. They have known worse oppression and masters willing to use military force, which may have hardened their resistance to foreign rulers.
Divergence – When the economic centrifuge of EU policy alerts the Commission that it must spin faster to achieve uniformity
From the Five Presidents Report:
“Today’s divergence creates fragility for the whole Union … We must correct this divergence and embark on a new convergence process … [which] would be made more binding through a set of commonly agreed benchmarks for convergence that could be given a legal nature.”
The founders assumed that European countries could not be trusted to keep the peace without a supervisor. Now they cannot even be trusted to run their own economies. Member states are obliged to hand over ever more responsibilities in order to promote ever-closer union. The argument that this union promotes development is stated often but never substantiated. Why should we believe that merely creating a supra-national power can create conditions that would summon up the forces needed to produce growth and reduce unemployment? (see Through the Looking Glass)
The EU offers no convincing arguments to support their ‘spin’ (PR claims) that more central control will mitigate economic weakness, though divergence does give them the excuse to blame incompetent nations rather than themselves.
Ever Closer Union – the drive towards uniformity of legal and regulatory control across all member nations, regardless of their citizens’ choices
“Europe’s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.” (attributed to Jean Monnet)
Monnet and his followers seem to assume that peace, harmony and wealth will be natural outcomes from a unified state but this is not self-evident. Nor is there evidence from experience or theory to support the assumption.
Exit (noun), the entrance to a prison; Exit (verb) the process of withdrawing, as in Brexit (see Withdrawal – Part 3)
In standard English an exit is a way out of a place or situation and to exit is the process of leaving. but the EU is governed by the principle of ‘ever closer union‘ so its lexicon has no equivalent term. The portmanteau word Brexit (from Britain and exit) as defined by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is a process with a duration of two years at the end of which either the process is extended, or the exit is closed, or (most likely) it becomes a revolving door with no IN or OUT.
Good Friday Agreement – when Junker and his cohorts agree to start the weekend with a good dinner accompanied by some fine wine
This is often confused with an agreement reached during a 1998 meeting in Belfast between some other folk who found a way to stop a bit of fighting over something or other. This had nothing to do with the EU at the time but is now listed amongst its many achievements.
The 1998 GFA requires the consent of the people of Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom, which has not been given so far. The EU accuses the UK of undermining the GFA but by ‘weaponising’ the border issue the EU is undermining the peace that the UK secured, together with Ireland and the USA. The EU’s own studies have shown that adequate, if not perfect, control is possible without a hard border. (Report, Smart Border 2.0, commissioned by the European Parliament.) This is Verum inversio (truth inverted) – see also Newspeak (in Part 3)
The Brexit Lexicon (Summary)
The Brexit Lexicon (Part 1)
The Brexit Lexicon (Part 3)
Smart Border 2.0 is downloadable from here: