Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Johnson’s panic surrender

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PUTTY is the only word for much of the Parliamentary Tory Party this morning. Above all the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. That the EU states have signed up so fast says it all. Bottling Boris shoved aside Dogged Dave and threw away a real Brexit.

The EU will try to pull a fiddle right up to the moment of signing, so texts may be different.

No amount of bluster on TV can change the facts.

Twice the Tories have cheated the voters and sold their fellow countrymen’s livelihoods and futures without a thought and for peanuts in return. Twice they have thrown away our huge and rich coastal waters and EEZ.

Add all trawlers and boats from all the countries and the values of their catches including ours. Take away 20 per cent and you have the real value of our waters, the size that our fleet ought to be, then add all the supporting industries. When I sailed as a trainee from Grimsby in 1957 there were 700 trawlers with the town’s name on their sterns. Trawlermen were known as one week millionaires.

Boris has killed the Tory party. Or should I say Lord North and the new Whigs. The failure is about the same but at least people only lost their livings and not their lives. He’s certainly living proof that they were elected under false pretences, have repeatedly lied to the people, proved themselves more idle, cowardly and incompetent that even I thought.

The reason for this panic surrender is obvious. Just as no one had prepared for a pandemic despite a warning that one must soon come, my suspicion is that almost nothing is ready for trading on WTO terms and very little is ready to patrol our coastal waters and EEZ. Why do they think people like me say the Royal Navy should three times larger?

Millions of our fellow countrymen want revenge – take it from me, it’s much sweeter when tasted cold. Let’s work out how to clean up Boris’s biggest blunder.

Most of his MPs are products of a political Vatican that rejected anyone who wasn’t a faithful believer in the great God Europa. In 1973 I was interviewed by half a dozen senior backbenchers who welcomed me aboard. The man from Ted Heath’s central office slithered alongside and hissed, ‘Rest assured, we’ll never let you stand anywhere there’s a remote chance of you winning.’

How do we fix this problem and what’s the best way of doing the repair job? What’s the most painful form of revenge for Boris in particular and the Tory MPs?

Let’s take the second one first.

Parliament – and that means the ERG, DUP and the whole Labour Party – must demand as much time as they need to go through this pact with the Mighty Mutti cartel with a fine-tooth comb even if that goes well into January. We’ll also find out how much Gove has done about the ports and customs.

A Star Chamber of lawyers is a wise idea. The French texts may be different from the English ones in crafty ways and in this case all the EU languages need be proof-read as well. You are dealing with a combination of the Mafia and the Stasi running the planet’s second largest cartel. You want every text copper-bottomed.  

During the five years as a colony have we the right to issue licences, ban Dutch trawlers the size of car ferries electrocuting every living creature, ban over-fishing and anything we don’t like? What are the ‘catches’ when we reduce their access at the end of the five years and so on?

Does the level playing field allow the Germans in particular to block new technology that’s more advanced than theirs? We are on the cusp of another industrial revolution, we are developing a rival fighter programme – two with the F35. Do we want the EU shipbuilders in Germany and France to have the leverage to stop a merchant navy revival? No. What’s in those texts?

I could go on but for the moment what can the voters do?

The EU are convinced they’ve won a great victory. They haven’t. Ursula and Mutti have been taking sweets from a baby over recent days. Show them that we’re not stupid. And the easiest and most effective place to do that is when you go shopping. Don’t buy German cars – Mercedes are trucks anyway – and try a bottle of Down Under wine. Force our greedy supermarkets to switch to suppliers from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America which haven’t been allowed to trade with us on fair terms for half a century. Show the EU that they have won a Pyrrhic victory.

The rest can wait.

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

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