THE government’s catastrophic handling of Brexit, which has sought to camouflage the palest of Brinos and hoodwink the public into remaining in the EU structures, has not worked. At least not in the sense that we have all been deceived. In contrast to the days of Edward Heath and Geoffrey Rippon and their secret plan to move sovereignty away from Parliament to the EU, now we do have some first-rate and discerning economic and political commentators who have missed little in recent months.
Foremost amongst them, helping us, the betrayed and perplexed voters, by casting a sharp and critical light on the government’s EU appeasement strategy, is the Telegraph’s International Business Editor Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.
Reading his articles on Brexit since the referendum victory for leaving the EU has been an education, whether in terms of international economics and structures, or of the very latest happenings in international business and finance. Prior to Brexit he had predicted the tragic fate of Greece at the hands of German bankers. He’d also alerted us a few years back to the fact that Italy was likely to be traumatised by the euro (German-favouring) currency. Sure enough, since then Italy has staged a rebellion against what it calls the German cage. As a regular reader, I find that Evans-Pritchard is simply seeking to pursue and tell the truth.
His article on December 6, 2017, a week before Theresa May was humiliated once again by EU leaders when her attempts to improve her Brexit deal were thrown back in her face, declared ‘Britain should not kowtow to an imperial EU for a worthless trade deal’, using the history of colonies gaining their independence as cases in which freedom of a people far outweighs economics in importance, citing Indonesia’s experience.
It was a remarkable and prophetic article, given the chaotic clash now between those demanding a return to democratic sovereignty and those scared of cutting the apron strings of the EU. In a later article he said the EU’s deeply cynical weaponising of the Irish border was playing with fire given the sensitivities of this long antagonism, and raised the question of their good faith in the treatment of the UK after the WA is agreed.
Over recent weeks Evans-Pritchard has forensically laid bare the WA and the political declaration text attached to it. He has shown it not to be a deal at all, but a trap of delay which will weaken the UK future negotiations by its surrender of control of the process to EU officials who will set the conditions for the next ‘cliff edge’, and the terms of a very bad deal indeed.
Last month he was a lone voice pointing out that a No Deal Brexit was losing its terror as the EU was drawing up its own survival plans.
He’s also brought to light plans to impose VAT on the City in ways deeply damaging to it, and asks whether much worse is to come if the WA is voted through. He’s revealed the trouble that Germany, the EU economic powerhouse, is in. With the eurozone sliding into recession, he’s set out with great clarity how favourable the UK’s position to exercise its muscles against the EU has been – and is – and so get a quick good deal. He’s demonstrated that the self-flagellating appeasement of Mrs May is entirely unnecessary.
Two days ago, Evans-Pritchard unmasked more government chicanery, responding immediately to ‘the disgraceful behaviour of the Cabinet Office’ in releasing tariff plans that are designed to alienate business and agriculture. Once again he was in the forefront in calling out an abuse of power by government for political reasons: ‘One suspects that the real purpose of the Cabinet Office in offering – or threatening – such a dog’s dinner at this particular moment is to elicit an outcry from business and further deter MPs from flirting with a no-deal Brexit. It succeeded.’
Evans-Pritchard is required reading to demystify the shock horror headlines of Project Fear. He finds no terrors in a No Deal exit by the UK, and thinks that Sir Oliver Letwin’s terror at the prospect is hot air. He has offered readers light and clarity in this period of deliberate obfuscation and duplicity, always in tightly argued, rational and evidenced fashion. We owe him a debt of thanks.