Monday, 7 November 2016

That Brexit Court Judgement Is All Just Part of The Plan

Are Teresa May and I the only people who understand what’s going on with the British political system and Article 50? Everyone is banging on about what a disaster it is that three judges have ruled that Parliament must vote, whereas that’s all part of the plan.

Of course the eurocrats wanted to rush the Conservatives into invoking A50 by royal prerogative. Then they could refuse to accept it at any point in the negotiations because their tame Euro Court had ruled on request that because the referendum was non-binding, the British Parliament had to vote on it. On the other hand, politics being what they are, May could not say that she wasn’t starting until Parliament had voted for it, because the arguments and posturing would have gone on for months, to be decided by a General Election. So by the same mechanism that gets some Private Members Bills through while others vanish, a legal action brought by a hairdresser and a banker gets fast-tracked and accepted. Because your barber knows who to call to start an action like this. Right? So now Parliament will have to vote, not because the Prime Minister has asked nicely but because the Law has told them to. How the MPs will vote is entirely up to their consciences and what the Whip’s Office decides.

The British negotiators will go into the room with a constitutionally solid backing and a remit to report everything to Parliament, who will then discuss it in public. This is the best thing that could happen to them. On the other side of the table is a Belgian lawyer who is used to having his negotiations covered by confidentiality clauses and has never had the press go after him. Any time he tries anything remotely dodgy, the British team can say that while they, no they can’t have secret talks, because they have to report the day’s proceedings to Parliament, and no they can’t do sell open borders for lower trade tariffs because the British people were quite clear they wanted border controls. The EU negotiators will have no such political support. They will have twenty-seven countries which have conflicting goals and will be unable to promise or deliver anything. The British negotiators will look like masters of decisiveness by comparison.

If anyone thinks that Britain is going to stop plundering the world of cheap labour and smart, socialised young people, they have to be crazy. Of course tourists, students and businessmen will be free to come to the UK. Of course builders and economics graduates who have job offers will be free to come to the UK. And more controversially for the workers who voted Leave, of course seasonal unskilled labourers will be let in. There’s no alternative in the short term. Who can’t come in for more than a holiday or a business trip? Anyone who doesn’t have a job.

It’s then up to the British government and British employers if they want to stop dumping large numbers of British-born people on the scrap-heap because it’s too much trouble to socialise them as children in schools and at work. The competitive advantage of Spain, Poland and a bunch of other countries is that they have better parents and better schools which raise better-socialised and more work-ready young people. That, bluntly, is not going to change in a generation.

Here’s what’s going to change: first, the UK will become legally sovereign again, EU laws won’t automatically apply and their courts won’t have jurisdiction; second, the UK will be legally able to secure its borders against un-wanted economic migrants and whomsoever else it deems undesirable; third, the UK will be be legally able to remove people it doesn’t want. Of course, none of the organisations responsible for any of this will have the practical capability to enforce it, so that Brick Lane will still be full of illegal Pakistani cooks and waiters, Midlands factories will still be staffed by under-paid temporary workers from Szeged and Cluj-Napoca, and gangmasters will continue to supply Norfolk farmers with cheap labour from farms around Starachowice. (If you care about bankers, sure, about fifty-seventy thousand jobs will leave the financial services sector in London, but almost none of those will be presently done by British people. All those Japanese and Indian banks will transfer their offices and staff to Frankfurt or Amsterdam.)

What no-one will tell you until they come to write their memoirs is that “everyone” in British politics and banking knew that the UK had to get out of the EU before the Euro destroyed it. There was no way of doing so without actually saying as much, which doesn’t bode well for any negotiations. So a reason had to be manufactured. The British political establishment had to stumble clumsily into Brexit. Which is way Nigel Farage and UKIP were treated as if they mattered. UKIP did get almost 13% of the votes in the 2015 election, even if that translated into only one MP. There was no reason to hold that referendum, but they did. And Remainers conducted a campaign of spectacular stupidity, doing the one thing guaranteed to turn the ornery British voter against them: they talked down to Leavers, and pulled Project Fear. Really? They couldn’t do better than that? Because I could. So could you. Saatchi’s certainly could have.

The catch is that “everyone” isn’t actually everyone. So a lot of people have to be brought onside. I’m surprised by how much allegedly smart people are still on the wrong side of history on this. I voted Remain, and I’m not ashamed to say it, and it took me less than an hour to understand what had happened. I’m with the Brexit because it’s going to happen and we had better get the best deal we can. Teresa May is with the Brexit because she’s a professional politician and negotiating a good deal is her job. If she does it well, she goes in the history books along with Margaret Thatcher. She’s been at the Home Office for several years and knows what the issues are. Oddly, the journalists and other Good People who are still deploring the Leave vote, and show it by their spin on the news, have not worked at the Home Office.

I’m writing this three days before the Trump-Clinton election. I think I know what’s going to happen, but I don’t want to bring down the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent analysis, very much along my own lines of thinking, especially the bit about having to get out of the EU to avoid being destroyed by the Euro, the disaster of which curiously almost every serious economist agrees upon, regardless of which side of the debate they are on.