Monday 21 October 2019

Daniel Hannan: 'This is it: victory. Like Cincinnatus returning to his plough, we can leave the field with honour'

Ignore the misleading headline. This article is Daniel Hannan giving Boris's withdrawal agreement his warm support. 

This is important because he was one of the two or three best known Brexiteers before the referendum campaign started (the late Christopher Booker was another). He argued for a Swiss or Norwegian deal, not  hard Brexit all all. 

Nevertheless, he said that even staying in was better than Theresa May's WA and he was probably right. Her deal meant staying in a customs union with the EU, Boris's should mean a free trade agreement but the ability to make FTAs with other countries. Let's see see what deal Mr Trump can offer.

I quote from Mr Hannan.

By any normal definition, Eurosceptics have won. Boris’s deal gives Britain all the things we had been demanding. Under its terms, we shall again become a self-governing country. UK law will have primacy over EU law. We shall recover control of our farming and fishing, our taxes and revenues, our industrial, social, and regional policy, our immigration rules and our justice system.

We shall have the power to sign trade deals with old allies like Australia and growing economies like India, and the benefits of these deals will flow to every part of our kingdom, including Northern Ireland. Boris’s success in getting us out of the customs union (or the “Irish backstop” as its supporters misleadingly called it) is a telling indictment of the hopeless and hapless negotiating approach of Theresa May’s team.

That we have secured our goals by agreement is a sign of strength, not weakness. Britain can leave in an orderly and amicable manner. The last thing either side needs, with the French, German and Italian economies wobbling, is a debilitating row. We can look forward to a close and cordial relationship with our neighbours. Instead of being the EU’s most awkward member, we can be its closest ally. We can belatedly realise Winston Churchill’s vision of a united Europe with Britain looking on as a “friend and sponsor”.

This is it: victory. Like Cincinnatus returning to his plough, those of us who have struggled for decades to reach this point can leave the field with honour. I intend, after 20 years of working away from home, finally to get the dog I have been longing for. Nigel is a handy golfer and, by all accounts, a skilled fisherman. It’s time for us all to move on.

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