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Saturday 1 October 2016

The IDS Brexit Delusion

This weekend it is the turn of the Tory Party to gather for its annual conference, with the event this year being held in Birmingham. Among the subject areas where new Prime Minister Theresa May will need to keep a firm hand on the tiller while treading carefully will be that of the EU: the referendum has passed, and the people have spoken, but one thing remains eternal - the Tories are badly split on Europe.
So while those who rooted for Remain, like Ken Clarke, Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry - “Super Soubs” is so much less popular with many on the right when she passes her honest opinion on the EU - suggest the vote may have been a terrible mistake, there are some at the other end of the blue spectrum who are demanding that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered immediately, if not sooner.

And to no surprise at all, those clamouring for “Instant Brexitinclude former minister Iain Duncan Smith, who was such a useless party leader he was not permitted to stick around and contest a General Election. Duncan Cough and his like-minded pals have produced an “Action Plan For Brexit”, which is marvellous in its simplicity - and the apparent simplicity of the clowns who devised it.
There are four initial points to the plan; all demonstrate equal cluelessness.

1 Offer talks on trade and tariffs if they wish to change anything, saying we are happy to offer them no change to current arrangements

2 In other words, we stay in the Single Market as now, without freedom of movement or the contributions

3 The advantage we have on trading is that we are happy with the status quo, so they are the ones with the problem if they wish to change it

4 This reverses the presumption of many commentators that the UK needs to negotiate with the rest of the EU and is the supplicant.

Very good. But I have a few reservations. Like, oh I dunno, we just voted to leave the EU, which means the Status Quo is not an option. Also, as we are leaving, we are the ones wanting to change things, not the EU. And membership of the Single Market means accepting freedom of movement - the one cannot be had without the other.

Moreover, that Single Market membership means contributions. Once again, the one cannot be had without the other. If Britain decides to remain a member of the Single Market, the best that can be hoped for is that we do not have to contribute even more than we do at present - remember, there is unlikely to be a rebate in future - and we may get an “emergency brake” on EU migration. Otherwise we won’t get the same level of access.

We cannot just stick around and pretend nothing has happened.

To most people this should be obvious. Not to Duncan Cough. Anyone could form the opinion that this bloke was not just wilful, but congenitally stupid. No change there, then.


Anonymous said...

Credit where it's due the four points Holehouse tweets are from the genius that is John Redwood rather than Duncan Cough.

I did enjoy the Cough on immigration where he outlines his work permit system to reduce immigration and by way of validation he quotes that noted unbiased research institute, migrationwatchuk.org

If it wasn't so serious it would be hilarious.

Ed said...

So far I haven't forced myself to read the whole thing...


...but it looks as if they might be persisting with the idea that repealing the European Communities Act will somehow enable us to ignore the fact that treaties on European Union (to coin a phrase) still exist, with our signatures on them.

Excellent for enforcing control of "our" fishing grounds or beginning talks with another country to sign binding agreements.

Anonymous said...

So no change to current arrangements? Stopping free movement and contributions which are both requirements for free trade look like big effin changes to me.

Imagine going into a supermarket to negotiate on this basis. You fill your trolley then try and argue the manager is being unreasonable when he expects you to pay for the goods! The EU are in line to lose billions a year, walking in and helping yourself to the goods without paying is a none starter.

Old campaigner Peter Lilley is also trying to provide similar silver bullet solutions and failing spectacularly.

The Tories have always had a major issue with Europe. The vote will merely allow these factions to have yet more fall outs and the sides are now being chosen 'Hard Brexit' v 'Soft Brexit'. What a mess this will end up being.

? Time = Kyle Show with added vocabulary said...

Bear in mind that it's not either/or Hard Berxit vs Soft Berxit. Both sides will support the Soft options. The Tories are a pack of Con Artists and Dysfunctionals but they are unlikely to destroy themselves.

anubeon said...

I would hazaard a guess that our tiny and under-resourced coast guard and navy, coupled with the nasty tendency of 'our fish' towards 'free movement' and our own fishing fleets reliants on 'foreign' waters may put a dampner on things too. Also, the fact that we're a tiny nation with a hollowed out industrial base, pressently piloted by an amateur enthroned by the 'blackadder' method (i.e. cower under the trone whilst you competitors eviscerate each other) and flanked by her courterie of clowns might have even greater implications. Some (fools) in this country might find him entertaining, but I suspect few foreign leaders are impressed when we send a demended blond tribble with some pork loins stappled to its rump to represent us.

anubeon said...

Assuming they can pull it together in time. It's the 'hard Brexit' camp who hold all of the key reigns for now, and once Article 50 is triggered they'll have exactly 24 months to negotiate an orderly, soft Brexit. Thereafter, continued negotiations and by definition delays will rely on the good will of both parties. As far as I know, after that 24 month deadline, the EU can kick us to the curb with or without an agreement. Which, given our relative sizes and the likelihood that London's financial services will have by then seen the writing on the wall (and thus made suitable arrangements, routing around the UK), would be far worse for us than them. We've two pair (2xJoker + 2xInfo Card) to their full house (3xA + 2xK). I don't really trust the nit wits at the head table to cotton onto that in time. They're all about brinkmanship, not statesmanship.