Options for the Defeat of Brexit: The Stab in the Back pt 1
A50 Negotiation will leave us in the EU in very many respects because May will trade defence for fisheries.
It is an odd thing that we are negotiating a Brexit at all. It might be considered irregular that British sovereignty will not be asserted by entirely British law but negotiated under the terms of the former imperial power. It may seem equally odd to use that word, "imperial" but when we search for historical comparison, it is in the break up of empires where we look. Maybe it was just considered polite to exit what was, strictly speaking, a treaty system according the the terms of that treaty.
But it leaves us in the situation of today where we are negotiating according to rules laid down by the EU. These seen to be made up as they go along but here we are.
Mrs May has assured us that Brexit will mean Brexit. But since we do not know what relationship she will allow to be negotiated and since she has skillfully avoided any real scrutiny over the final result of what Brexit means to her, we should start to worry and to act.
We have allowed the ideas of second (re-play) referendum to be confused with a final scrutiny referendum. This means that if the final result of all this horse trading in Brussels is not good enough, we will have no mechanism to reject it. We may be left in the situation where we are only half out and we have to campaign for another quarter of a century to get fully out.
How will this happen?
To keep things simple, let us imagine that there are three main areas of negotiation: Defence /Foreign policy; Fisheries and European Arrest Warrant.
By "Fisheries" I mean all specific industiral or business interests, such as, even, passporting and ability of The City to sell financial services in the EU's Single Market.
The basic negotiating scenario is one of hostility. British observers back at home will be surprised by this because, for years, their leadership has been bad, we have been promised "an amicable divorce" and other such nonsense, we have been made to believe it would be easy. It will not. There is nothing more demoralising than finding teh enemy tougher than your officers said. For the EU political elite, this is a life or death struggle: if Brexit Britain succeeds, others will follow us out whereas UK will always be under threat as long as the EU has power to try to take us back in. The likes of the EU's answer to Comical Ali, Guy Verhofstadt, will never shut up with their calls for hostility.
Having said that, the pragmatists in Europe, the big manufacturers and trade unions who will suffer badly in a Napoleonic continental system will have an incentive to rein in the euro-loonies. After all, the same people will have the real power if UK is in the EU or not. Still, they understand the nature of the EU regime, its power structures, favour them and this will weigh more heavily with them than what the British imagine to be good business sense. They will adopt a "guns before butter" mentality.
Mrs May would still win on fisheries.
She will win because, so long as she comes home with lots of the kind of stuff that the people who repost Daily Express articles will like, she can give away the stuff that is more complicated. The EU will give her all the fisheries she likes because the EU wants us to stay in the Foreign Policy and Defence aspects of the Union. "We are leaving the EU," she will say, "we are not turning our backs on Europe". And we will be stupid enough to be fooled.
On each negotiating day, Mrs May can just play the defence card and win. If. We need to be very frightened indeed because there have been indications, even from our glorious Foreign Minister, that defence will not be used as a bargaining lever. It is our main lever.
But we do not win.
We do not win because we are not a properly independent country if we can write our own cucumber laws but follow the EU Foreign Policy and send soldiers for its army.
We cannot be part of a defence union that is a threat to the UK's independence but also follows policies that are not in Britain's national interest. The EU is enthralled to a "drang nach osten" policy that antagonises Russia, arrests both Russia's and Europe's progress to settled modernity and costs money and other opportunities. OK, even if you think war with Russia is a jolly good idea, you cannot be a proper Brexiteer if you do not think we should declare our own war.
The EU military and Naval union does not counter invasion of Europe. People have noticed this. People live in fear of a great threat and that violence is not inflicted by Russia.
It would be better if we farmed out the cucumber regulation writing thing and kept an independent foreign and defence policy.
I am not sure why I even mention the European Arrest Warrant because Mrs May does not even want to keep sovereignty over Justice and Home Affairs. She wants us to be subjected to the European Arrest Warrant. It was her who, as Home Secretary, signed away our opt-out on JHA without so much as a debate in the Commons. Denmark saved their sovereignty by referendum on the same opt-out.
In a video on Bruges Group website Jacob Rees-Mogg MP said, during the referendum campaign, that the European Arrest Warrant alone was reason enough to leave the EU. Then surely, any A50 deal that includes EAW is equally unacceptable. But in the interests of party unity, even our heroes might melt away.
We might well accept being part of the European speeding fine union (so long as Latvia is excluded) but not EAW.
So there is my prediction, we will keep lots of, but not all fisheries, give away sovereignty in Justice and Home Affairs and negotiate away sovereignty in Foreign and Defense policy - we will continue to help fund the EU proxy war in Ukraine for example.
When they say Brexit means Brexit, you know the last thing it means is Brexit.