this is France calling, we need a chat.
Bonjour. You voted to become Independent UK. Fine. You took ages to tell us what you wanted and when you finally did, you changed your mind in Parliament on the Customs Union, again, even before we’d had time to read your whole White Paper. In, out, in, out, in, out out out but a little bit in where it suits.
Are you joking ?
Or are you being bullied by Independent UK extremists intent on asking for the impossible ? Do they realise most countries are in a trade bloc ? That there are rules at WTO too ? A WTO International Court that is not British ? We guess they do realise, as most people do, so in which case, what do they want from us, these men in English suits and ties ?
What is it with your men in charge at the moment ? They act like lions, roaring around like they own the place, and when the cubs need feeding with the details of how to work together to get the prey, the women do the work, then get blamed for not having the exact prey the men wanted (but never pointed to), we still don’t know if they are after the European gazelle or the global unicorn. And that’s before they resign when it becomes clear they’re not actually up to the job (but they still blame the woman in charge in a British between the lines kind of way).
Talking of pride, it seems from where we are standing, that if you do not swallow yours, and admit a bunch of two faced EuroAssassins utopians drove you to believe in a better world that does not exist, you will create the biggest chaos Europe has known for most of us alive today. Stop blaming us, we did not ask you to sail away. You created the mess, you sort it, we are trying to put ideas forward, you don’t like them. Fine, give us pragmatic ideas that will not damage either Unions, you are supposed to be the pragmatic one, aren’t you ?
You do understand that we cannot let our Union get weaker so that you can try and get stronger all by yourself and to our detriment, right ? We know the Irish and the Scots are not happy, and the Welsh, well they’ve remembered the EU was pretty helpful so it seems they’ve changed their mind; so your Union is taking a bashing. But yes, that Union is up to you. As for us, well, you are costing us time, money and stress sorting out in ministries and companies all over Europe how we are going to deal with the UK on everything we’ve been doing for decades with common rules, only we don’t quite know how to plan because you keep changing your mind and asking for cake. Cake has been out since Marie Antoinette, and that was chaos enough.
Do you think we want yet more chaos with all the problems we already have ?
You see, we understand you are stuck between a European rock and an Independent hard place, we really do, we realise events overtook you, over confident men in charge made a pig’s ear of getting an even better deal out of the EU despite the EU agreeing you would not have to be part of the Federation, should we become a Federation; on top of your numerous opt-outs.
Never mind immigration, most of your men in suits are finally admitting that you need the numbers for the economy so it will be a case of getting the immigrants you want; and need (preferably the cheaper ones from out of EU with less rights and less expectations). Fine, if that’s what you want, though we do not recall this being spelt out in 2016. So be it.
Your prerogative, you are sovereign.
So it all comes down to European laws then, that you despise because they are not British enough for you, too Napoleonic, or Roman, not Common enough, not nimble enough. Well, it’s a shame you voted so many EuroAssassins MEP’s to sit in the EU Parliament on your behalf then isn’t ? You know, those who don’t turn up at meetings, who get paid better than most with our EU money to travel around the world to give speeches to slander the EU in meeting halls about Free Trade and get interviewed on radio stations from the US to Singapore because they would rather your country became more like these Free Trade heavens. And these same men have the gall to call others traitors ?
Man alive, what is going on ?
Is this what your people voted for ? An American UK ? A Singapore island off mainland Europe ? Less taxes, regulations slashed, easier takeovers, no gender quotas for women (typical from lions who think the system works just fine) and no workers on boards (yet we are all jealous of Germany’s productivity). Oh I’m not making this up, these are the words from your very own MEP numéro Un on Independent UK: Monsieur Hannan who convinced many a proper Anglais that we could get the cake, and eat it. Then deleted the tweets where he promised things you could not get. Or where he spells out his vision to see how people react, and then retracts it, like this one:
Oh well, if this is what you voted for, go ahead.
Go and get cheaper food and clothes from all over the world. Let your financial services do what they like, without the big bad EU breathing down your neck. You see, we can see what you are doing because this is what you did from within the EU. It is all about the financial services for you, really; well for many of you at the top of the tree because it’s the UK’s big fat earner. You managed to get the passporting to deal in euros without being a euro country but that was not good enough. Now you want to expand your financial services world-wide without any say whatsoever from the EU (especially on the Commonwealth off shore tax heavens) whilst continuing to enjoy the benefits of the Common Market and Customs Union for your cars’ manufacturers who have kicked up a fuss.
You think that’s fair ? We think that’s cake.
You have now (just about) put a deal on the table that we know most of your citizens are unhappy about and you are blaming us for being difficult, condescending and arrogant when you are the one to issue threats about security (when you started the ‘negotiations’) and payment (twice, even only last week) and you have a Parliament that keeps changing its mind giving us no reassurance that you will do what you say you will do. So yes we will need a signature, trust is a two way thing where both parties stick to what they said they would do; threats don’t build trust. We’re not threatening. We are spelling out what we can and cannot do within the rules and regulations that we have created together. We have put forward loads of options but you have loads of red lines; sometimes it feels as if you just don’t want be part of the EU at all.
You want to be a third country, but cannot believe the EU has the gall to treat you like a third country. “The EU is rubbish, but we want to access the good bits.”
Your extremists also blame their own compatriots, those who are tearing their hair out trying to sort out the mess of 40 years of common rules and common standards. When Trump did this with the FBI, outcry, your ministers have been doing this for three years, no probs. “Oh we don’t want to diverge from high standards”, they say, but then again if your extremists actually succeed in their coup d’Etat, they will want to lower the standards of workers rights to boost entrepreneurs, and they will not care about climate change as many Independent UK extremists are deniers. They’ll delete their tweets, remove the articles from the websites, and say of course this is what we said we would do all along, and it will all have been a dream. Oh the dream of Independent UK is so wonderful.
Again, if this is what you want, go ahead.
But we know you well, we know that this whole thing was a massive kick up the backside of your government and the EU, and quite frankly justified in many respects. Politicians in power have been ignoring those that have been totally out of the globalisation loop for decades, and the EU becoming a federation is freaking many people out. Thanks to your vote for Independence the EU is more focused, it is less complacent; hell, it does not want to lose the UK. You remind me of Corsica a few decades ago, wanting to become autonomous, but not independent. You want to be independent of the duties of the EU but still have access to its advantages. Corsica is still French, and Corsicans are still Corsicans, even when they live in Paris.
The balance between keeping our soul alive and feeding the stomach.
Never easy is it ?
So, thank you Maggie for helping build the best market in the world, and Tony for ensuring the Eastern cousins are with us rather than turned to the East. Dear UK you really helped with these two achievements. It’s not without its headaches, clearly, but the alternative would be a border with an Eastern federation of nations in bed with Russia on our Eastern doorstep, a bear nation whose intents are not clear, dictating the rules. And then we have a new US eagle which nobody planned for, back when you voted to be Independent (with no planning either might I remind you when you blame us for daring to advise to plan in case of No Deal in 8 months’ time).
Still. Thank you for all your hard work and enormous contribution so far.
Time to move on.
You can’t just say “Oops, we got it wrong, we’re staying” we understand that. So we’ll have to go through the motions of realising that what the EU can offer without breaking the EU will not suit the UK. Outrage will ensue. Parliament will argue. Will there be a vote of no confidence ? Well, just now, it’s a big old mess, isn’t. If the members of the Conservative Party are to decide who your next potential Prime Minister is, will they go for Jacob who, by his own admittance, has no experience; though it seems to be a minor detail these days for high office. Or Boris ? Or Javid ? What about Corbyn and McDonnell as top team for four years, will pro-EU Labour voters vote for these guys ? It’s all up in the air. So it looks like you will have little choice but to vote again and you can have another ‘Will of the People’. Pain in the butt, I grant you, but the alternative could be worse.
A bit like Independent UK from where we’re looking.
So. When you do get your People’s Vote on the deal, as you will undoubtedly have to, please ponder carefully whether now is a great time to sail the seas. Just look at the men in suits who advocate the sailing and remember they put their money abroad because unlike most of the people who pay taxes to keep the nation going, they can hedge their financial bets in Ireland like Rees-Mogg, fill tax heaven coffers, invest in Russia and warn others not to invest in the UK like Redwood.
Who needs enemies hey ?
We trust you will see the wood from the trees, you will realise that the imperfect EU is still better than no EU and total reliance on a ruthless deregulated global financial world with Head Offices in London that will mainly benefit the same old men in suits that never gave a damn about others, and still won’t. They might come up with a marvellous detailed plan for the many not the few that will shock us all in its genius just before you need to vote. Freedom of the individual, less nanny state, less human rights that blocks common sense, less taxes to recover from short term changes may well win the day. You never know these days.
The only sure thing is that some will benefit from chaos, as some can and do, whichever way it goes.
We know this is a tough time for you, friends. We trust you will make the right choice for your country, we hope it is also the right one for us.
Naomi Klein: The shock doctrine.
(how chaos, created willingly or otherwise, benefits hyper capitalism.