There are lots of people getting their knickers in a twist over the opening shots, in the negotiations for Brexit, with Brussels meddling in the UK General Election 2017 (GE17).
Theresa May is, quite rightly, being given a hard time, the problem is, most of the brickbats thrown at her, are over her telling Brussels to sod off. Now were this merely that she was making a hash of the handling of the Brexit negotiations, it would be fair comment. The trouble is, the negotiations proper haven’t started, and already Brussels is as leaky as a sieve. Making things worse for EU was the fact, the first leak was via Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (or FAZ) newspaper, which as the name suggests is a rag produced in Frankfurt am Main. The City that, via its bankers, controls the Euro.
The News story in FAZ was about a meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker EU President, and Theresa May UK Prime Minister held at 10 Downing Street.
Juncker climbed the EU greasy pole
Oddly neither of the two participants in this reported exchange, is directly elected to their respective posts. Juncker climbed the EU greasy pole and was voted through EU Parliament, so hadn’t been elected by any system that allowed the citizens of EU to have a say, making his position as President of European Commission, not very Democratic.
Theresa May became Prime Minister of UK, was elected into her position, by the Ruling Conservative party. This post became vacant, due to David Cameron standing down, because of the result of the Referendum last year. The position is not directly voted for by the Electorate, it is usually held by the person who can command the largest backing in Westminster, after a General Election has been called. In Theresa May’s case, there had been the Referendum deciding Britain should Exit from EU, Cameron was sure Britain would vote to stay in the Union, he made the wrong call, and Theresa May was then voted in by her fellow Conservative MPs.
There was no Constitutional reason
In my blogs back then I suggested she would go to the Country in October or November last year. My reasoning was simple, Theresa May MP really needed the backing of the Country, to help in her negotiations with Brussels. There was no Constitutional reason she needed an election. As it turned out, she chose not to bother, however in many ways her hand was eventually going to be forced. From a Political point of view it is better to call an election earlier, rather than when she was trapped by events.
This she has done, with the intention of winning the Election and so getting a clear Democratic mandate from the British people, over the Brexit negotiations.
Which brings us back to the Champagne swilling Jean-Claude Juncker, and the alleged fissure that opened up during meeting with Theresa May in Downing Street. Initially Jean-Claude Juncker had said the talks were friendly and constructive, the usual diplomatic speak, for uneventful but worth having, and none of his negotiating team present, made any suggestions that differed from this.
Then the bombshell from FAZ, that the talks were far from friendly. The meeting was initially seen by all, as part of the humdrum ongoing talks. So when FAZ prints a report that the chat in Downing street didn’t go well, it gets into all the world’s media. But here is a rather curious thing, FAZ didn’t publish the whole account online, only edited highlights of the worst bits, which were likely to negatively effect the £? That sounds a lot like Frankfurt bankers at work, perhaps I should have swapped a w for a b there, because Sterling going down, is good for British Trade, and helps strengthen the balance of payments, having the opposite effect of strengthening Britain’s trade, oops.
Byzantine way EU is set up
What becomes clear from the FAZ article is that Brussels Eurocrats are determined to have reams of detailed rules concerning the UK break with EU,. However UK doesn’t need them, Brussels needs lots of rules laid out in detail, because of the Byzantine way EU is set up.
One of the so called stumbling blocks in these negotiations is about EU Citizens living in Britain, and ensuring their rights are protected, and here is highlighted the gaping chasm between EU Law and English Law. Let’s just pretend it is the day after UK officially splits from EU, there are a few millions Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Baltic States etc living in UK, what is their legal position. Well here is what few on either side of the argument seem to have got their heads around, the legal position of all these foreign nationals hasn’t changed, they have the same status before the break as after the break, their health care cover is the same, they are entitled to the same welfare, they pay the same taxes.
The problems start to kick in, only when or if, these Foreign nationals choose to travel abroad and return to UK. Even here it is unclear that they would ~not~ have a right to return to a job. Certainly the Courts would defend any EU National who had gained a job legally, return to that job. It is how English Law works, once it enters the Law Courts, if there is no Law banning something, then it is allowed. Try telling that to Brussels Eurocrats, but hey they are so used to inferior European Laws it would possibly short circuit their brains?
the Labour party can be ignored
Jeremy Corbyn is being less than useless, and the Labour party can be ignored, even though under the UK voting system, they will return as Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.
Tim Farron the Liberal Democrat leader is shooting himself in the foot. His stance has been fairly clear, Lib Dems wanted to #Remain in European Union. That’s fair enough, however, once the people have spoken, trying to get the genie back in the bottle ain’t going to be possible. So Farron should be concentrating on trying to stay friends with Brussels, so that UK gets the best deal in the talks.
Farron is throwing his chances away
Tim Farron isn’t doing this, he is continually siding with Brussels, and then saying we shouldn’t be leaving. Political suicide, especially as Lib Dems have the best chance of regaining lost seats, Farron is throwing his chances away. He needs to change his strategy to one of, let’s get the best deal for UK, by staying friends with Brussels. Friends have a quiet word in someone’s ear, when they cock up, and attempt to pour oil on troubled waters. Often this will mean keeping dialogue with both sides. In Farron’s case, he should be saying that Brussels is being less than satisfactory in its leaking stories to the press. And Theresa May should be attempting to keep the dialogue as open as is possible without disclosing all the cards in their hand. May’s megaphone diplomacy is only palying to the #Brexit camp, not to both sides. Farron probably isn’t up to it, but he should try.
The talks will be complex. This is the continuous cry from Brussels, why? Yes there will be complexities, especially with regards to trade, but they don’t need to be needlessly complex, the devil is in the detail, only where people decide there needs to be exact detail, again look at how English Law works. Parliament sets out a Law, but then the Courts decide much of the detail, and if the Law doesn’t work, it is changed, at a later date, but most Laws are basic outlines, it is then for the Judiciary to battle over the detail. In Europe, the un-elected Eurocrats attempt to work out the detail in advance.
It isn’t how Democracies work, it is a prime reason UK voted Brexit.