MIDNIGHT 29 MARCH 2019

WE WILL STAND ON OUR OWN!

The 730 days to Brexit countdown begins today as Article 50 is triggered in Brussels. Its perhaps worth reminding ourselves that Britain’s exit from the EU need never have happened had the former PM Cameron come back from Brussels with just one or two concessions. Plainly, he thought his communication skills could win the referendum battle for his remain side without some meaningful movement on issues from other member states. Some maintain he didn’t try hard enough. Many in the UK were particularly unhappy over the free movement of peoples across our borders. The European Court of Justice’s supremacy in this country over certain matters also created much resentment.

Undoubtedly, the UK joining up to the original European free trade area was an excellent idea. However, over the past 40 years, this community of economic cooperation slowly morphed into a federalist structure reaching into many aspects of people’s lives in all member states. Not all interference was bad, but its overarching influence was seen to be increasingly dictatorial. People in the UK became ever more resentful of the not so faceless, non-elected bureaucrats in Brussels.

Despite the unending pessimistic drivel churned out by the BBC since the referendum result became known – not for nothing is it known to many as the British Bolshevik Corporation – there is a definite mood of optimism in the country that we have the right kind of leader in Mrs May who will deliver the best for Britain in the negotiations ahead. 

These should not be seen just as tough, as all these parrot-like commentators keep telling us, but also as sensible. The contents of the PM’s letter to Donald Tusk later today will be revealing on the likely tone of these negotiations, but in a gesture of goodwill and positivity, I hope Mrs May straight away will confirm her readiness to guarantee the future rights of the 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK.

The EU negotiators will also need to be sensible. It is surely impossible for them to go into the talks thinking they hold a stronger hand than we do. If so, there is little doubt that they will soon feel the heavy hand of German car and French wine exporters, to name but two.

Best of British, Mrs May!

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