It's Time to Get Tough with Euro-Bullies
Cllr. Dr. Peter Hill argues that the European Union was never going to treat Britain fairly. They got all they wanted in the Withdrawal Agreement with the ease of taking candy from a baby. An organisation that would try to take advantage of our country like that must never be seen as friendly again.
“If they will play fair I will play fair, but if they won't then I reserve all my rights to do anything I find myself able to do.”
― President William Howard Taft
I love a good quote! Whilst I have an appalling memory for names, birthdays and anniversaries -thank goodness for my phone’s calendar – I can recite many of my favourite quotes off by heart. Whilst looking to increase my internal storage of these seemingly useless quotes I came across this wonderful quote from former US President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.
For me this quote highlights exactly where Theresa May has gone wrong in our Brexit negotiations with the EU. She made the mistake of thinking the EU were our friends and partners. David Cameron made this exact same mistake during his attempts to negotiate with the EU. He thought we were members of a club where all members are equal. All members are equal, but some members are more equal than others! Despite expansion into Eastern Europe the EU remains fundamentally a Franco-German project.
Ever since The Maastricht Treaty the goal has always been “ever closer Union”. Successive Treaties, and The Lisbon Treaty especially confirm that the EU is not a trade bloc anymore but a political, fiscal, monetary, military, intelligence and policing Union. The Lisbon Treaty centralised control of 45 policy areas with a move away from requiring unanimity to qualified majority voting. By voting to Leave in 2016 the UK sent shockwaves through those at the centre of this dangerous project.
Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commision), Donald Tusk (President of the European Council), Michel Barnier (the EU’s Brexit negotiator) and Guy Verhofstadt (Leader of one of the main groups within the EU’s Parliament) have therefore done everything within their power to make an example of the UK, to make Brexit as unnecessarily difficult as possible and to ensure no other nation dares to ask their people whether they would like to Leave.
While I write this article Theresa May is still grovelling to the EU begging for extra time to continue to negotiate her failed deal. My question is this: what’s the point? The EU have already shown repeatedly they aren’t willing to play fair. They will do everything in their power to make our exit and future trading relationship as difficult as possible. Now is the time to take William Taft’s advice, accept the EU isn’t on our side and playing fair and instead embrace the incredible possibilities that exist outside of the EU.
Cllr Dr Peter Hill is a Unitary Authority and Parish Councillor in Bracknell Forest, and a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham
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