Having survived the GO2/ISIS assassination attempt of her on March 22nd Theresa May was able to denounce the Treaty on European Union on Wednesday. Unless the UK and the EU 27 agree to a further, transitional period of membership, the UK will be leaving the EU on March 29th 2019. The government has already dragged its heels for far too long, and any further period of EU or single market membership beyond March 2019 would be political suicide.
As I predicted at the time, it was a huge mistake for the Tory Party to elect a Remainer as leader. The intellectual debate over the EU membership in the Tory Party since the German-backed internal party coup which overthrew my late friend Margaret Thatcher largely passed Theresa May by.
I never saw her at a meeting of the Bruges Group, e.g., the result is that the Prime Minister is having to do her thinking at the same time as trying to govern the country. It’s showing, with respect.
Like the Trump Administration in Washington, Downing St has a siege mentality and is reluctant to go to outsiders for help. Since there is no one of high intelligence in the House of Commons, let alone the government, this means that they are having to grapple with concepts beyond their understanding, like terrorism and the EU.
Most ministers are house-trained idiots, no offense intended, none more so than the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, whose principal concern after the outrageous London Terrorist Attack seemed to be heading off revenge attacks against Muslims. (In fact hardly any Moslems have been murdered or even assaulted since March 22nd, unsurprisingly, since we tend not to go in for vigilantism in this country and rightly so.)
The government is making every mistake over Brexit it is possible to make. Having chosen to drag denunciation of the TEU out over nine months, at an overall cost to the economy of around $250 billion, massively forcing up the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement in the process, they then used the wrong treaty.
Indeed, since the government lacks access to serious legal advice, with respect to the Attorney-General and the desperately inadequate Foreign Office legal department, which has made blunder after blunder in the Global War on Terror, it is not even clear if the government knew that it enjoyed other options.
A multilateral treaty can be denounced under various provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969. Vienna applies to the Treaty on European Union. We could have gotten away with three months’ notice, never mind 12! The costs of this blunder are about $300 billion, making it one of the most expensive legal mistakes in history.
Membership of the EU is hugely expensive for Britain. Although I am working on an annual figure of about £100 billion for the additional regulatory burden due to EU membership, I have seen figures prepared by a reputable economist putting the cost as high as £190 billion – that’s about $240 billion a year, folks.
Value Added Tax
VAT is a very silly tax on goods and services imposed upon the UK by the EU. Strangely the government are making no plans for its abolition, which would ease the burdens on business, especially small retailers, reduce inflation and boost GDP. We should be making plans to restore Purchase Tax, at say 17.5% of the wholesale value, on wholesalers and importers of goods only.
Hotels and theaters, etc. could be covered by Entertainments Tax. Why is the government being so slow on this?
If you drive on a British freeway (motorway), you need to take care to dodge burst tire carcasses. It’s rare to complete a British freeway journey without seeing the remains of at least one burst tire on the road surface. The reason is simple – the EU mandates an absurdly high maximum limit, for Britain, of 96,800 lbs, for truck weights. It might work in Sweden or Manitoba, but it doesn’t work on Britain’s tiny, twisty roads.
The problem is compounded by the lack of checks on trucks. There are few weighbridges anymore. Only 10% of the trucks coming in from Europe are checked, never mind weighed. Many are no doubt loaded to well over 100,000 lbs, explaining the high accident and burst tire rate.
Why aren’t we building new weighbridges? Because the Department of Transport isn’t planning to break away from EU regulations, that’s why.
It’s similar story on the railroads. Rail fares in Britain have skyrocketed due to the track access charges train companies have to pay thanks to the EU Rail Directive. The EU mandates split ownership of trains and tracks, which may work well in Luxembourg, but doesn’t work in Britain.
The Europeans tend not to suffer, as their rail systems are mostly state-owned anyway, and they don’t pay much attention to EU regulations. EU regulations are aimed at target countries, like Britain and Denmark. You try getting an EU regulation enforced in Italy! An idiot group of academics, if that’s not a tautology, once tried. They wasted years of their lives in pointless litigation.
The house-trained Secretary of State for Transport, a nice chap, but a bit dim, called Chris Grayling, is carrying on as though Britain were staying in the EU. In fact, there are no signs at all on the ground of EU withdrawal. Metric weights and measures are still being rammed down people’s throats. No new trade deals are being negotiated. No EU flags are being hauled down. The government are still giving out fraudulent figures on exports to the EU in an effort to build support for membership. It’s pathetic.
What Are The Bad Guys Up To?
It looks like the Bad Guys are hoping to use Article 50 to trap the UK into transition arrangements in which EU regulations apply in full force and EU labor dumping on the UK continues. The Foreign Office, which despises Britain as much as the State Department despises America, would undoubtedly cave in to such demands, if they could. The insanely anti-British, pro-EU Cabinet Office would support them.
If the evil bastards, no offense intended, can string these arrangements out till 2020 and replace Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party with a Hun-loving appeaser, no offense intended, like Owen Smith, then they could try and form a pro-EU Lab/LibDem/SNP coalition after 2020. Regardless of how they campaigned, such a coalition government, backed by the Cabinet Office, would try to take us back into the EU without a referendum.
The fact that they might not have a mandate wouldn’t stop them. Ted Heath lied to the country in 1970 and didn’t have anything like a mandate to take us in to the EEC, let alone on German-imposed terms, in 1972. There was no referendum before we went in, of course.
The Cabinet Office, which backed the aborted 1968 Mountbatten coup, was willing to install a military dictatorship in order to get us into the EEC. In 1975 it rigged the count in the referendum on EEC membership. It is no more sympathetic to democracy now than it was then, indeed the Cabinet Office is wholly opposed to responsible government and treats elected ministers with contempt.
Pro-EU politicians lied their way into the EEC and tried to lie their way to victory in last year’s referendum. They are perfectly capable of ruling out EU membership in their manifestos then claiming that coalition agreements over-ride them. That was the way Cameron would have wriggled out of his referendum commitment had the Tories been forced to govern in coalition with the LibDems after 2015.
The job is not done. There is no room for complacency. We are still in the EU and the forces arrayed against us are ruthless, bloodthirsty and practised, fluent liars. The Civil Service and the senior judiciary are still under effective German control, thanks to the blackmail files held by GO2 and the efficient German telephone-tapping operation in London.
The good news is that the Spanish are trying to torpedo the Brexit negotiations over Gibraltar. Since the last thing we want is a deal with the EU, this is most encouraging. The Spaniard is obviously hoping for a take-over, or some sort of joint sovereignty arrangement, which would amount to the same thing.
Can you imagine the sort of rubbish who would be appointed as Governor if we had to agree the appointment with Madrid? Sir Nigel Sheinwald, no offense intended?
Spain is a narco-state. Corrupt politicians and officials there stand to lose a great deal of money once the flow of Colombian and Venezuelan cocaine to the UK through Spain is cut-off. They need to keep those European trucks being waved through our ports, laden with coke, guns and asylum-seekers. The rain in Spain falls mainly in Madrid, not on the plain.
The EU, impertinently, has claimed this week that Gibraltar is a “disputed territory”. Rubbish. The status of Gibraltar was settled in 1713 at the Treaty of Utrecht, by which the Spaniard remains bound. The Dons can take a hike.
Current government policy is to encourage an armed Spanish invasion of Gibraltar, by showing military weakness and not reinforcing the Rock. If the Anglo-European dispute escalates into all-out war it will probably be over Gibraltar. If I were an investor I wouldn’t build a new factory in Spain. We are still committed to strategic bombing.
The EU have finally cottoned on to the fact that, if the Republic of Ireland elects to stay in the EU, the Northern Ireland Peace Process is dead; and there will be passport and customs controls at the Anglo-Irish frontier. They are being a bit slow in Dublin, with respect.
They’ve had nine months in which to make up their minds whether they are coming out with us or not. If they go down the Article 50 route, which they will need to if they want an ongoing relationship with the EU, they are already out of sync.
Since an Anglo-European deal, thankfully, is unlikely, indeed the negotiations collapsed almost as soon as they started, passport controls will be reintroduced between Britain and Ireland with effect from midnight on 29th March 2019. The idea of keeping Ireland in the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) won’t work, because of the problem of Third Country nationals, including those entering into marriages of convenience with Irish citizens.
Irish exports will also face tariffs going into Britain, which will hit the Irish economy hard. The implications for Scotland, which ‘exports’ four times as much to the rest of the UK as it does to the EU, are clear. Tariffs will be at the EU’s Common External rates, which hammer agricultural imports in order to protect inefficient French farmers.
The negotiations with the EU will be a pointless waste of time, which is why I favor going for a clean break under Vienna. Manifestly, the notice period should be treated as a transition period, indeed the government’s plan to do nothing in the transition period except transpose burdensome EU regulations into British law, is bonkers. It’s the silliest government plan since ground nuts.
This Week’s TV Review: Homeland (Fox 21), Series 6
We’re a bit behind you guys with Homeland. The series continues to provide compelling viewing, albeit with a liberal bias. Series 6 was made before the November election and depicts a female, Democratic president. Although not modeled on Hillary Clinton, (the fictional president-elect is quite nice, rational and doesn’t throw things at TVs), it is clear that the producers weren’t banking on a Trump win.
The fictional machinations within the CIA will be familiar to anyone who has ever dealt with the agency. The program however gets the Iran deal all wrong. They have the Iranians honoring the deal, (since when has the Islamic Republic of Iran ever honored an international agreement?), and the CIA misreporting alleged violations to the incoming president for political reasons.
The truth is the other way round. Iran was already in possession of plutonium-cored warheads when she signed the deal, which of course she did in bad faith. The uranium enrichment program was a classic intelligence blind. The hot plute came from the black French stockpile in 2003-4, which is why British intelligence officer David Kelly CMG, who became aware of it, was murdered.
The CIA are well aware that David was murdered and know why. They are keeping the intel back from Mike Pompeo, for fear that the President might find out the truth. Classic CIA! In the meantime, the State Department is busy undermining the Administration’s policy on Iran. The Secretary of State has quickly become house-trained, with respect. His department are in control of him, not the other way round.
Homeland is still worth watching, despite the liberal idiocies. Mandy Patinkin continues to perform superbly, as does Claire Danes as unstable CIA officer Carrie Mathison. You never know what she’s going to do next, a bit like the real CIA in fact!
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.