Brexit Britain won't be "punished"

The EU is in no position to issue a "punishment beating" to Britain for having had the temerity to vote Brexit. Poor, deluded Eurocrats don't realise that it is they who are in last chance saloon as Britain forges a new and successful post-EU future

Schulz and Verhofstadt in punishment mode
Matthew Ellery
On 2 February 2017 12:26

As we all know, the UK voted ‘Leave’ on June 23rd last year, but 7 months on, some Remainers still refuse to embrace the opportunities available to the UK. Instead, they engage in an endless stream of pessimism.

They continue to insist the EU will try to ‘punish’ the UK in any negotiations to keep the remaining 27 Member States in line. There is no need for this pessimism, and slowly but surely Remainers will understand and accept this.

A Brexit punishment by the EU would be an extraordinary act of self-harm. In common parlance, it’s known as ‘cutting off the nose to spite the face’.

Even the pro-EU Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney has admitted recently  the UK is not only growing faster than he anticipated, but Brexit is actually a greater economic risk to the EU’s economy than it is to ours. Why? Because the UK is the EU’s investment banker, and any interference with liquidity and capacity support could totally destabilise the EU’s own finances. Therefore, it is correct to say punishment is a zero-sum game.

It is a zero-sum game neither the Government nor the EU want to play. Theresa May has now made it clear she doesn’t want to see the breakup of the EU, rather, she would like a strong EU which is able to facilitate a mutually beneficial free-trade deal in order to achieve a ‘Global Britain’.

This message has been delivered to the EU loud and clear, with Jean-Claude Juncker responding to May’s speech by saying: “I will seek a balanced deal for Britain”.

These aren’t the only Remainers to understand the EU is playing with fire. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has started to make things clear with the EU too. Since Get Britain Out recently launched a letter-writing campaign to remind the Chancellor of the public’s desire to see the end of ‘Project Fear’, we welcome the Chancellor’s change of heart.

Hammond went to Germany recently, and made it clear any attempt to isolate Britain to solidify the EU would unquestionably have a damaging impact on the rest of Europe too. Furthermore, we have heard the Chancellor suggest a tax and trade war with the EU if it intends to inflict economic damage on the UK – a position which has been backed by Theresa May. This could revolve around slashing corporation tax to incentivise businesses to move to the UK.

The stark warning from the Chancellor should remind the EU two can play hardball, and the best way to ensure economic prosperity is a fair trading relationship.

A punishing trade deal with the UK would damage the EU’s own financial stability, and would make EU breakaways more, not less likely. The Euro currency has become increasingly unpopular over the past five years, and increased instability will fuel the fire of Eurosceptic movements throughout Europe.

Trying to keep the EU together by punishing the UK in these negotiations would fail to achieve the desired outcome. It would achieve the very opposite. Not only would this attitude fail to achieve the desired outcome, but it would run contrary to the EU’s entire world outlook. Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union is unequivocal.

The Treaty states: ‘In its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to…free and fair trade’. Punishing the UK out of pure vindictiveness, would clearly run counter to this treaty provision.

Does the EU want to ride roughshod over its treaties, damage its own economy and risk losing further Member States to prove a point?

We at Get Britain Out are optimistic about Britain’s future and want to see a Brexit which works for all as soon as possible.

Matthew Ellery is a Research Executive at Get Britain Out

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