Saturday, October 31, 2020
Home Brexit Watch Brexit Watch 1: Mousie Johnson v the Brussels Gruffalo

Brexit Watch 1: Mousie Johnson v the Brussels Gruffalo

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WE hear that the Brexit negotiations are to enter the final ‘tunnel phase’, which we can take to mean the final, final agreement, concessions and threats. We read the fateful words ‘the sound of silence will signal a breakthrough’ from Peter Foster writing for the Remainer Financial Times

‘ . . .we will find out whether both sides have agreed enough to warrant descending into the “tunnel” (or the “submarine” as someone in Brussels is calling it) – that dark, enclosed space where both sides stop leaking and posturing and get down to business. 

‘In Brexit negotiations these past four years, the sound of silence has always been the sound of deals being done. EU and UK officials close to the process who are happy to guide and explain their side of the argument all suddenly clam up. That’s when you know we’re close.’

So it’s predicted that the UK will enter ‘a tunnel’. That, we know, is where Johnson gets completely spooked, notably by his Whitehall Remainers, panics, loses his nerve and caves in completely, all with a loud window-dressing of victory. This is where all probably will be lost. With Pelosi and Biden attacking UK independence – as if it were not the refusal of the EU to broker a digital customs border that has weaponised the issue – giving further strength to the elbow of Brexit’s saboteurs.

Yet the Daily Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has been proved right time and again: the EU wants to harm the UK and real negotiations cannot happen with an aggressor who is still waging war, albeit without overt violence.

Mr Johnson caved in before – a year ago – proclaiming as a victory what he had long rejected as vassalage. He has proved himself to be putty in the hands of Whitehall and lacking in moral courage under pressure. From barnstorming liberator he is now a ‘timorous mousie’, to quote Burns. Barnier knows this. Psychologically PM Johnson likes to be liked, he is the very reverse of grittily determined Churchill fighting for right against huge odds. He panics at being presented with ‘statistics’ predicting catastrophe, as his capricious and quixotic Covid ‘strategy’ has shown time and again. He buckles when Ferguson, Whitty and Vallance produce menacing graphs and shuts down English towns at the drop of a hat – avoiding the proper tough decision to reject the scary figures pushed at him.

My fear is that he will sacrifice the British people, unless he scraps the WA Versailles-type surrender treaty of a year ago – if he keeps his head in the sand despite the toxic implications of that astonishingly unlevel playing field treaty being exposed in ever more detail. 

I am not alone in my fears. David Collins writes in CapX: ‘Time is running out to reach such an agreement and, contrary to what many think, if negotiations do fail, the default is not “no deal” and the liberation many Brexit supporters believe will ensue. Unless it is dropped, no deal means that the Withdrawal Agreement will take effect on terms that are not favourable to the UK. We can still hope for an FTA but until we get one, the one-sided Withdrawal Agreement must go. Otherwise, this year’s Brexit party will be an even sadder occasion than last year’s, never mind the social distancing.’

This chimes with Gove’s remark in the press some months ago that ‘we can always fall back on the WA if we don’t reach agreement’ indicating that he was aware of this all along, and is not unhappy with it. Indeed he was its chief apologist under Theresa May.

Until now we, the public, were unaware that a no deal entails the WA with all its damage to UK prospects, freedom, losing the ECJ and so on as I detailed in my last post. If this is what Johnson meant by his oven-ready deal, then we have been well and truly conned and the rage will be volcanic. Heath redivivus.

This time round we the people know that Whitehall is third-rate and Remainer still. We’ve had expert opinion from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard with his magisterial analyses of the EU’s mendacious political demands; we’ve had Roger Bootle’s explanation of the need to avoid as much connectivity with the EU as possible post-Brexit, as well as Martin Howe’s legal analysis – all top-class justifications for ripping up the WA. This is against the running background of fears about the handover of our defence capacity to the EU at the very time the EU de facto wages war without fighting against the UK – refusing co-operation over terror suspects and the Galileo system built by the UK – and American farming is being attacked in order to stop a trade deal with the USA, on ludicrous dishonest grounds, as I detailed last week. 

So our timorous mousie Boris scuttles fearfully, surrounded by Whitehall anti-democratic technocrats, into the dark tunnel to be scared to death by big bad Gruffalo Barnier and his super-clever experts in that mafia compact based in Brussels.

Given the very half-hearted ‘preparations’ for a vital no-deal exit together and ripping up of the WA, it is hard to see our mousie doing other than diving down his hole, and letting the Gruffalo have his way with us.

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Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw is a Theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman

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