Thursday, July 18, 2024
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TCW’s Brexit Watch: Keep the EU’s slippery shysters at arm’s length


BREXIT Watch continues to be a painful business for the democratic majority Leave voters as they witness endless difficulties and traps set by the surprisingly powerful Remain establishment and their brazen insistence that a Brexit in Name Only (Brino) is all that can be allowed.

Express reporter Charlie Bradley cries this week that although UK fishermen are determined to secure more sovereignty, they may not get the independence they crave immediately. In fact, he warns that the EU could control UK waters until 2040. 

He refers to the view of a Common Fisheries Policy expert, Andrew Oliver, a specialist in the field of marine law and commercial fisheries, that the UK lacks the administrative and legal expertise to cope with the radical change of a no-deal Brexit.  

Nothing would surprise us about the passive aggressive inertia of the Whitehall governmental machine when it comes to the detailed legal work required in taking back control of our waters. After all, its original plan for a Brino involved the UK remain in the CFP, shadowing EU regulation and control.

In the hall of smoke and mirrors of the British / EU negotiations, why, if this expert analysis is the case, does  EU negotiator Michel Barnier need to keep repeating his demand that the current situation remains in place? Why would he repeat this as crucial if Andrew Oliver’s analysis is true and the UK cannot extricate itself?  

The French fishermen are issuing again, in true Gallic style, their own warning that they will send an armada of 300 boats to blockade UK fishermen should we have the effrontery to take back control of our own waters. 

While one sympathises with the French over the damage to their fishing communities, why did they have no conscience about the destruction of fellow British fishermen, their communities and boats by the brutal controllers of the CFP? If a no-deal Brexit does succeed in regaining control and quota allocation, the French, Dutch and others really have no grounds to complain.

In a magisterial Briefing for Brexit, Harry Western sets out how the UK can organise the fishing industry after Brexit, assuming we are able to.

The utter incompetence of the Ministry of Defence continues to astonish, worryingly so when it comes to naval planning. Our new aircraft carriers do not have a supply ship to enable them to function beyond ‘display purposes only’, we are told.

If ever a ministry needed serious scrutiny and radical reform, the MoD is it. It’s covertly signed up to every conceivable agreement with the EU’s security and defence strategy, the PESCO  –  Permanent Structured Co-operation – force. Yet no MP seems to have stood up lately in the Commons to demand what is happening to the command and control of our armed forces, the costs involved to the EU, and the procurement obligations attached to German manufacturers with the advantage of an undervalued euro currency.

The last written question in the Commons appears to be from Labour MP Alex Sobel in 2017. In September 2019,  Tory peer Lord James of Blackheath raised the issue during a debate in the House of Lords on the EU Withdrawal Bill, but appears not to have received any real response to his concerns. 

If the military is further integrated into the EU, then the question arises as to whether our Royal Navy would be free to fend off French boats invading UK waters, or tied in to EU policy objectives? 

Good news, on the other hand, is that Britain has taken a major stake in the OneWeb satellite company, which will offset the EU’s outrageous banning of the UK from the Galileo system, which the UK built. However, there is speculation that Donald Trump may block the OneWeb move amid worries over US national security.

Finally, a word about the EU claim to maintain the highest conceivable regulatory standards, and the demand that the UK continues to observe these (of course, it’s never vice-versa if ours are better and higher … that would be an absurd notion for Barnier).

The collapse of the German finance company Wirecard, which has been running on a fraudulent basis, is an embarrassment to Germany, Austria, and the EU regulatory system. Dominic Lawson, writing in the Sunday Times about this story of catastrophic failure and fraud in the EU, points out that:

‘This was the firm which supposedly demonstrated that Germany could produce its own tech giant (a field dominated by the Americans) – and in the financial sphere hitherto led by London.’

Wirecard, an electronic payments processor, began its meteoric ascent acting for pornography and online gambling sites shunned by more established companies, and by 2018 had reached a market worth of 24billion euros. This was even more than Deutsche Bank, and it replaced the venerable Commerzbank on the benchmark German stock index (DAX). 

But Wirecard has now collapsed into insolvency, after it emerged that about half the payments it claimed to have profitably processed never happened. 

Its auditor, EY, declared thatthe company had carried out ‘an elaborate and sophisticated fraud’. It had certainly fooled the firm previously known as Ernst and Young. But for years the Financial Times had run in-depth stories questioning the company’s accounting and profits. The German financial regulator, BaFin, responded by backing criminal complaints – against the British journalists. 

Despite this, Michel Barnier has the gall to keep up his rhetoric against the UK financial services industry – as needing to be kept under EU regulation. And he still repeats the claim that ‘state aid’ in the UK needs regulating by Brussels, a notion which, after that massive bailout for Lufthansa, is beyond satire. Neither should anyone forget Volkswagen’s potentially death-dealing ‘dieselgate’ exhaust emissions fraud. 

Enough, in short, of EU hypocrisy and deception.  We need to quit the EU with as little connectivity as possible, and – I make no apology for repeating this – the Government must be made to realise that the EU only wants to impose on us a damaging ‘deal’, contrary to Article  50 and even the Withdrawal Agreement / Political Declaration.

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Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw is a Theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman

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