Friday 12 May 2017

“They need us more than we need them.”

Really? How arrogant.  

Yes, I also actually believe that the world is better off with the UK in Europe and that a UK – (i.e. United Kingodm – not one where two of the regions want to split off precisely because of Brexit and where a third wants to be independent as well anyway) in the EU has a lot to offer.  Ironically many of the big towns – Bristol, London, Liverpool and Manchester - might argue for independence precisely because of Brexit as well.  
The former British values of empathy and tolerance – where have they gone now? - and our proficiency in modern music, and theatre and literature, both modern and classical, add to an already delightful mix. We’re not superior, however, and in fact they’ll manage very well without us. It’s a lost opportunity. I think we lose more than “they” do.  That “they” is telling anyway. I continue to think more in terms of “we”. 

There you have it. The bottom line? I cannot be just British because France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands have rubbed off on me as I’ve lived or spent a lot of time there and importantly I speak their languages. In addition I’m married to a person who is culturally half German Jew and according to the Nuremberg race laws and Jewish matriarchal progression is actually Jewish. Where does that leave us?
I like the single market. It’s handy. We get our Camembert, green peppers and VW Beetles without paying import tax and we only pay for a few food miles. 

“Oh we’ll be able to trade with other countries,” say the Brexiteers. 

Sweethearts, we always could and do. There’s just a little import and export tax involved.  Even if we get into free trade deals with places further away there’ll still be the food miles. The US is putting the EU ahead of us for trade deals. If Northern Ireland and Scotland go, will Little England and Wales be attractive to anyone? If Scotland goes there goes our North Sea oil.   

I’ve spluttered in disbelief anyway since 24 June 2017 as there has been a debate about “soft” or “hard” Brexits and then indignation that the EU says we must leave first before we can negotiate any sort of deal. If you ran a club and someone wanted to leave and no longer paid their dues would you expect to allow them any privileges? Exceptionally, perhaps, if it were a very old and gracious person who could really no longer use the club fully. Is that what we are?