Thursday 10 December 2020

De Gaulle was right: Britain joining the EEC has been a calamity for everyone


Reluctantly, after the emotional roller-coaster of 2016 -20, I have to think again about Brexit, which now reaches its long delayed dénouement.

The Times today said Boris and Ursula had 'three hours of “frank” discussion' last night. 

"Free and frank" in the language of diplomacy is the ne plus ultra. It suggests the participants came close to blows. 

"Frank" might mean as unpleasant as possible, bearing in mind she is a lady of high birth married to a von.

A pity he didn't have dinner with Frau Merkel and M Macron who call the shots in Europe. Ursula can't depart from positions member states tell her to take.

An interesting article by Allister Heath today is headlined

Our time in the EU was a calamity for Britain and a disaster for Euro

makes the obvious point that De Gaulle was very right to oppose Great Britain joining what was then called misleadingly the Common Market and says:
"We will never fully recover from our long, debilitating membership of the EU...The past matters and changes us irrevocably."
Yes. De Gaulle was very right to oppose British membership. So were Enoch Powell, Hugh Gaitskell, Michael Foot, the younger Neil Kinnock before he changed his mind and Margaret Thatcher after she changed hers in retirement.
..every important period of history has only ever ended at great cost. Did Eurosceptics fully grasp the costs of disengagement from the EU? No. Do we still believe that Brexit is the way forward regardless? Absolutely.

On economics, Neil Kinnock had the last laugh. We have absorbed swathes of the European social-democratic model, not least high minimum wages:
The work of Margaret Thatcher in abolishing regulations has been more than undone by the EU and its Social Chapter. As Mr Heath says,

the Vote Leave agenda was very different to the Bruges one outlined by Margaret Thatcher in 1988.

He thinks the vast number of European immigrants are a good thing. Of course most of them individually are a good thing and have contributed much, but the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

If millions more immigrants settled in the UK they would contribute much too, providing we chose them with care. But would Britain still be Britain after several more million foreigners settle there?

It would become another and very different kind of country, at any rate, an immigrant nation like the Democrats think the USA is.

This is not what the British or the people of any ancient country want.

I was talking to an hereditary peer a couple of days ago who confirmed my hunch that most of them favour Brexit, 'except when their financial interest dictates otherwise.' (He is the only Englishman I know who is undecided on Brexit, by the way, so he was being objective.) Another reason for thinking the hereditary peers understand the mood of the people much better than the politicians and mourning their replacement in Parliament by assorted retired placemen, harridans, trade unionists and dodgy businessmen.

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