Saturday, April 13, 2024
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If you want our votes, Boris, change the faces


AS Kathy Gyngell wrote in The Conservative Woman yesterday, Nigel Farage should not let himself be trapped in the politics of defeatism. From the newspapers and radio it looks as though the Brexit Party will focus on winning seats in places that voted Leave even if they decide to run candidates in most seats. That gives Boris a break but I would suggest that the Brexit Party should run against all his Remainer retreads.

If Boris wants our votes for real change, then he must prove it by changing the faces. The last thing he needs (or we need) after winning a General Election is to have the same Remain saboteurs sitting in rows behind him, once more blocking Brexit.

Let’s say he wins and there are some Brexit Party MPs sitting on his side of the Commons.

What should they do with the Withdrawal Agreement before or during its third reading? Amend it, take out all the parts which place our law under the European Court of Justice. Take out the £500billion liability if the Euro implodes. Take out all those parts that involve us with EU foreign policy and ambitions to become a military superpower. They will have to rely on France for their defence. According to Der Spiegel, after Mrs von der Leyen was defence minister, Germany has about twenty-five tanks that work but not a single U-boat.

Without Britain the EU is years from real military power. Without military power their only lever against another country is trade war or hostile diplomacy. Our diplomats should be ready for a German grab at our seat on the UN Security Council – no doubt they’ll claim it’s for the glory of the imperial EU.

Merkel may be retiring from politics but she has her new team in place. They are running the party and the EU Commission. Is she keeping herself available to be President of Europe? Has the real contest been between her and Tony Blair for the top slot in the European Empire so beloved of that Belgian whose name defies spelling? Who knows, but the pursuit of imperial power through politics and economic means is not going to slow down. As the young lady here in Switzerland who drives our meals on wheels van so aptly puts it: ‘The Germans don’t invade you with panzers any longer, nowadays they just buy you.’

The strategic implications for British trade and defence are game-changing.

No wonder the Poles want the Americans to build an airhead base for bringing help to their country. They even offered to call it Fort Trump – that’s how desperate they are next door to Putin.

As a group of islands off Europe, we were peaceful and prosperous a thousand years ago but never became a great power until mankind realised that the Earth was round and you would not fall over the edge if you went too far out to sea. Our isolated position off the mainland became our gateway on to the Atlantic and the globe. Our isolated position gave us control over the mainland’s access to the open sea.

These are all simple ideas but so few teach them any longer.

For the German economy to flourish they have to export to their neighbours but thanks to the EU today’s German industry supplies the whole continent on its own terms. All other markets are the cream. Europe is the milk.To pull that off requires raw political power.

By joining the Common Market nearly half a century ago, we turned our backs on our destiny, indeed on an incredibly successful strategy, and plugged ourselves into the German dominated Continental market and politics. Yet we had to reach the looting stage where German industry calls us Schatzinsel – Treasure Island – before British voters realised they had been taken for a ride and were being ripped off, more and more, day after day, until soon their country would no longer exist.

Boris’s revised version of Mrs May’s surrender leaves the EU with far too much power over these islands. It is dangerous. I would even say that it risks a trade war. We will suffer the same fate as the Swiss and end up wasting energy on never-ending trade talks. We have wasted hundreds of man years since 1973.

Far better to admit its flaws and start again in the new Parliament with a clean break. Of course, all the usual doomwatchers will be out in force for the next weeks. Ignore them. Rip it up and start again.

Boris should ignore people who tell him not to make a deal with Nigel Farage – who has every reason to squeeze the Tories. Boris’s stock will fall as voters wise up to the depth of his surrender to the vassalage he so attacked. He is not dead in a ditch, as he insisted he would be if his October 31 end date did not work. Boris cannot afford to think he’s in the clear just on the back of his spending offers bribery.

Go for a clean break Brexit, Boris, and you will immediately have every member of the WTO as a potential ally. Become a champion of free trade because the planet is split. On one side are the high priests of protection – the EU, China, Russia. On the other side are the free-traders and we should be one of their global leaders.

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Adrian Hill
Adrian Hill
Adrian Hill. Former soldier and diplomat, afterwards member of CBI Council and author.

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