Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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TCW’s Brexit Watch: You can’t negotiate with EU hypocrites


LET’S take Monsieur Barnier at his word and get back to the level playing field he demands, set out on his terms by the Institute for Government here, and his reiterated insistence that the UK must sign up to ongoing regulation of its industrial practice by the EU to ensure that it is fair.

His assumption is of course that the EU is, like God, uniquely qualified to issue fairness. Not once, since the timorous Mrs May complied gratefully with each and every outrageous demand made by the EU’s hatchet-man, has the UK ever turned the tables or asked why the EU should not guarantee that it is complying with the UK’s higher standards. Cast your mind back to the occasions when they have failed to do so – think VW dieselgate fraud, think Wirecard, think Danish pork production, among many other examples. In fact let’s get down and dirty, and even trendy, and think energy production, that of Germany and regulated by the EU high priesthood.

I learned only in February, when the Daily Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard alerted us, that Germany is in the process of building massive coal-fired power stations, reported here, although German activists hope to block them.

To British ears this is almost heresy. We have been abolishing coal fired power with a religious zeal; any carbon-burning generation is to be banned, irrationally, since we have an annual shortfall need of some 7 million tons of coal, as we reported here. 

The fact is that UK standards are significantly higher in terms of ecological soundness, and the EU is slack in comparison. So we are being lectured by the priesthood to fall into line when the UK is already more draconian in its regulation than the EU. It is somewhat ironic to be told by Monsieur Barnier that we need to be in ‘dynamic alignment’ with it.

As to ‘level playing fields’, the ironic laughter at such gross dishonesty and hypocrisy is audible worldwide. German industry can power ahead on cheap coal energy when some of our last remaining sites are having their licences cut short at a loss of British jobs and when coal is still needed here for steel and cement production and various industrial and chemical uses.

The EU’s stance of being the model for everything has been trashed. That was Ambrose Evans-Pritchard hopeful assumption in February when he wrote that ‘it’s time for UK to rejoin world trade’. 

Unfortunately his revelations and the detailing of the EU’s total hypocrisy did not have the desired effect. No one took any notice. The level and extent of the corruption and crime to which the EU turns a blind eye need reiterating.

Yet Michel Barnier tells the UK that only by staying in dynamic alignment with the EU regulators can it be assured high standards are observed! Laugh a minute, Michel, you are a wag!

In February the Prime Minister did point out in a deliciously defiant and uplifting Greenwich speech: ‘The EU has enforced state aid rules against the UK only four times in the last 21 years, compared with 29 actions against France, 45 against Italy – and 67 against Germany.’

He needs reminding of it. The mendacity of EU claims to occupy any high ground on eco-regulation needs exposing again. As Evans-Pritchard pointed out, ‘the EU’s strategic aim is to compel Britain to swallow the Acquis even though much of this legislation is either dysfunctional or incompatible with 21st century science and technology. It aims to pin down this country as a legal colony with no way out later other than the pariah step of treaty abrogation.’ 

It is undeniably true, which raises the question of how our Barnier-supporting MPs and peers can possibly continue their globalist, anti-democratic campaign?

There is also the matter of the Russo German gas pipeline as Nord Stream 2’s onshore Germany extension prepares for full capacity operation. 

It is nearly ready to pump gas to German industry, burning carbon, but within the flexible regulation of the EU to its paymaster. In May , EU climate chief Frans Timmermans admitted: ‘While fossil fuel projects are in theory excluded from EU funding, natural gas will continue to play a key role in replacing coal while helping to build a hydrogen infrastructure at least cost.’ 

How very convenient for Frau Merkel and her new Russian ally, however tainted. A special EU loophole has been arranged for her on this ‘level playing field’ to allow gas burning power for German industry, which is nothing to do with state aid at all, oh no. This is the  ‘Just Transition Fund’ which was created in 2020 to boost investments in low-carbon energy; a fund which was criticised for its blanket ban on low-carbon nuclear power but also for the introduction of a loophole for fossil gas.

The pipeline is too precious to sanction, says Germany.

So there we have it. A tissue of lies, fear and favour towards Germany and enormous advantage to its industry. And all this pales into insignificance after the vast Covid ECB bailout running into trillions, with Germany itself pumping billions into industrial support.

The UK is seeking to escape from only the Northern Irish incursion into its lawmaking and regulation, and is making none of the above demands.

‘My personal reaction to the Barnier demarche – and to predictable news that Brussels is adding unrelated political grievances to the terms of any trade accord, starting with the Elgin Marbles – is that you cannot negotiate with these people. Britain should forget about a trade deal with Europe and look to the world.’ These were Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s final words on the matter.  No sane patriotic democrat could disagree.

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

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