There we have it. After many months of bluster, a letter about an advisory non-legally binding vote, which was subsequently ratified by a parliament (we Scots may hear of a similar process soon) to ‘restore national self-determination’ is signed and sealed by an unelected Prime Minister, and delivered by an obviously uncomfortable UK EU Ambassador, Sir Tim Barrow, a man who looked like he either wanted to fart or self-implode.
A pretty important fundamental right is self-determination, but clearly, when it comes to the British State, a right only considered vital on a selective basis.
As usual, when it comes to any sort of situation where they feel they are under threat, or they have to impose themselves on a negotiation, they’ve started their exit approach to EU negotiations with their standard go-to strategy, making a threat.
The people of Scotland, and the peoples of many nations around the world, those now independent from the former imperial power, are familiar with this negotiating technique.
This time it’s about crime and terrorism. The opening salvo of the Brexiteer Guide to Winning Friends and Influencing People involves veiled threats to the European Community that if they don’t play ball and agree to Britain’s demands the UK won’t share any intelligence information they come across with Europol, information which may avert acts of terrorism and the deaths and maiming of European citizens.
How noble they are, the UK public school Cosa Nostra. It’s no wonder the Europeans feel they are well rid of such a state.
I note Theresa May’s words with interest. “The country can look forward with optimism and hope and to believe in the enduring power of the British spirit” says she.
What does that actually mean? What is the British spirit? Can anyone define it, other than currently as a dogmatic Greater English nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism,and imperial nostalgia. What is it?
Is it supposed to be about democracy perhaps, and the will of the people to decide their destiny? Is it about the strength of the unity of the component nations of Britain, respecting them all as equals?
Is it about being proud to stand up for those in the world who need us, protecting the vulnerable and welcoming fellow human beings suffering as a result of war, famine and disaster to a safe haven?
If what Theresa May describes as the ‘British spirit’ relates to any of the admirable aspirations of the last two paragraphs I suspect she’s deluding herself, as well as the people of England. She is clearly engaged in political doublespeak, where words expressed contrast with actions of a completely opposite nature.
Future historians will postulate that the decisions and actions of the UK government in 2017 brought about the end of the UK as an entity, the restoration of Scotland as a sovereign nation, and perhaps,and very possibly,the reunification of the island of Ireland.
Heaven help the ordinary citizens of what is going to be left of the UK once the Tories of perpetual government convert EU legislation on workers rights, human rights, health and safety, fair trading and a compendium of others, via their Great ‘Regret’ Act, into UK statute, ready to be repealed and replaced with whatever their corporate big business bedfellows want them to be.
A forward progressive step? No chance. Someone will have to dig Charles Dickens up to start writing novels again.
On a lighter note the early initial responses from EU stakeholders have started coming in to Theresa May’s letter triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was quoted as saying, following a meeting of his cabinet “Does this mean we can stop serving full English breakfasts?”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel chipped in with. ” Fair enough, we’d rather keep them a week as a fortnight anyway.”
Guy Verhofstadt, Chief EU Brexit negotiator said ” Are they the ones with the oil & gas and whisky? No? That’s ok then.”
Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, was slightly more to the point when he said ” That’ll be £50 billion please. How would you like to pay?”
Lastly EU Council President Donald Tusk put his immediate response to receiving May’s letter on record succinctly, articulating clearly his views to the waiting media press pack. He said simply this “Yer Maw.”