Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Which daft treaty should we scrap first?


LET’S start with Article Sixteen of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The first aspect to understand is that the protocol is not needed and the easiest way to explain is through a link to an article I wrote with much help from our next-door neighbour, over three years ago. 

Our neighbour was deputy chief of the international department at the Swiss Customs and spent most of his days either in China or in a plane going there or coming back, negotiating a trade agreement. 

Every day the three largest EU members use Switzerland as a short cut for trucks and above all, rail freight. The volumes are enormous. The Swiss had to build a spectacular transport system to keep it all moving without clogging up their mountain valleys.  

The Swiss are not EU members; the volume during a single hour makes the EU fuss about Northern Ireland and the dangers to the single market look exactly what they are – ridiculous, fabricated and often downright lies. There never was any evidence of a danger to the single market. 

So why the fuss? 

The EU, with perhaps a fifth column from Theresa May’s government, has every reason to sabotage or hobble once-more independent Britain.  

The wealthy bloc has pocketed half a trillion pounds of our tax money since the 1970s and enjoyed a trade surplus of similar proportions every decade.  

Imagine had we spent that money on our cities and towns, on research, our railways, 5G broadband, education, defence and aid to the poorer countries of the Commonwealth.  

Instead, it was gobbled by places that live very comfortably yet believe their God-given right is to live off British taxpayers. Let’s level up these islands instead of pouring our money into a bottomless pit across the Channel.  

Swiss taxpayers get just as angry as we do. I pay full taxes in both countries and see billions demanded by the EU from both London and Berne, the same deliberate complications thrown at local businesses, the same threats if we don’t pay up. 

A customs border running down the Irish Sea, placing a part of the UK under the European Court of Justice, is a ploy which leaves the EU able to interfere with British domestic markets and thus British domestic politics. There is no other reason.  

No doubt someone has tried to explain this to Joe Biden – the reality is that the EU doesn’t think a minor technicality called the Belfast Agreement should hold up its annexation of Northern Ireland. Consent? Democracy? Don’t be ridiculous. 

I would add another rather obvious plan, that the three million EU residents of the UK – who turned out to be six million – will be instructed to demand another vote until they can outvote the native population.  

Could that happen? Yes, if we don’t stay alert. Remember that in Scotland more people voted for Brexit than voted for the SNP and Sturgeon. 

If you haven’t already, do read the latest article on Briefings for Britain and may I add that the article by Tony Connelly of RTE (link provided in the article) is well worth reading as well. I don’t know who are his Ulster business people, but picking Newry for their meeting with the EU says a lot.  

Here is a link to the article I wrote three years ago about the plan – Vorausshau 2040 – drawn up during Ursula von der Leyen’s spell as Germany’s defence minister before Mutti Merkel moved her to the EU, where I think she has started putting the plan into action. 

I believe that Dave Frost is doing a good job and deserves a show of mass support from the British public. 

And here is an article in the Daily Express which puts across one of my hobby horses – namely, that we the people are the ones who can rip up all three treaties with the EU – by no longer buying anything from the EU.  

The mess over Northern Ireland should have been easily avoided, and if I were an MP on the Select Committee that deals with the Foreign Office, I would like to see the paperwork from the Foreign Office legal advisers.  

Only a very rash or thick diplomat would ignore the legal advisers. I can’t believe they didn’t see the ploy – described at the first link – coming a mile off, particularly as the overall plan was leaked to Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine three years ago. 

If all submissions are made electronically these days, what’s in those red boxes that ministers cart around Whitehall? Sandwiches? Or papers with minutes jotted on them that tell the history of a Foreign Office debate? 

Where does this mess leave our nation’s ambitions? Is there a plan? Let’s suggest the obvious. We know that the Pacific has become the locomotive of global trade. Another group of temperate islands is our identical twin – to quote Robert Tombs’s splendid book The English and their History. Let’s overtake Germany and catch up with Japan. Two island kingdoms as the third largest economies on the planet. 

What only the Government can do is to question another treaty. Should we and the Five Eyes security network partners start looking for a new pattern of alliances?  

Does NATO make sense any longer when the EU wants to set itself up as a military power to counter the influence of the United States?   

Germany has a gas pipeline from Russia and wants closer links with China. France and Germany invest so much each year in Russia that they prop up Putin’s government. Are they NATO allies or neutrals in disguise? 

Should we respect Article Five of the NATO treaty when our allies are trying to annex part of our country as a present for another neutral neighbour, moreover effectively disarmed themselves? 

Surely, isn’t it time we changed the rules? Frankly, it’s long past time to change some of the diplomats. 

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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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