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Europe shows its true colours The vaccine debacle is a sign of the EU's future direction

The mask slipped — Emmanuel Macron's Trumpian qualities have been on display. Credit: Chesnot/Getty

The mask slipped — Emmanuel Macron's Trumpian qualities have been on display. Credit: Chesnot/Getty


February 1, 2021   5 mins

It’s the ultimate political fantasy: the sudden revelation that exposes your opponents for exactly who they are. It might be a stolen letter, a leaked email, an unguarded moment captured on camera.

Sometimes — just sometimes — the fantasy becomes fact. On 28 April 2010, Gordon Brown was caught on microphone calling Gillian Duffy a “bigoted woman”. All she’d done to earn the Labour PM’s insult was to raise the issue of immigration with him. What followed was a humiliating apology — but neither he, nor arguably the Labour Party, ever recovered. It wasn’t just the incident itself, but what it symbolised: the disdain that the modern Left has for its traditional supporters.

In any walk of life, regaining someone’s trust is much harder than losing it — and with good reason. It was Maya Angelou who said it best: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

That is how we should judge the behaviour of the European Commission over the past few days. Disregard the climb-downs — especially the claim that activating the Article 16 to impose a hard border on the island of Ireland was a “mistake”. As for apologies, the only thing they’re sorry about is the criticism they’ve received — which wasn’t only from the usual sceptics, but also from those such as Michel BarnierCarl Bildt and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Had there been no complaints — just a cry of “uncle!” from AstraZeneca — there’d have been no remorse from the Commission. Indeed, they’d be patting themselves on the back and planning the next shakedown. As it is, no amount of backtracking can change the fact that they showed us who they are.

For British Eurosceptics this is a teachable moment. They told us the EU was a bureaucratic nightmare, a protectionist racket, a mercantilist scam — and now they have the evidence. Meanwhile their opponents, the diehard Remainers and Rejoiners, are in a tight spot. How on Earth do they defend such reckless behaviour?

One approach is to admit that the European Commission was wrong, but for the right reasons. After all, there are lives at stake — and putting one’s own people first is a sentiment we can all understand.

But if lives were their main concern, why choose the path of confrontation instead of cooperation? Both AstraZeneca and the UK have every interest in seeing the vaccine supply issues resolved. Even more important, they have practical experience of getting them resolved. The UK contract also had its problems, but these were quietly addressed rather than turned into a diplomatic incident.

Perhaps making a drama out of a crisis was the whole point of the Commission’s tactics. The drama distracts from the underlying scandal, which is the EU’s mismanagement of its vaccine procurement programme. But let’s be generous and assume that they were only out to save their citizens, not their own necks. In this reading of the situation, the Commissioners chose the path of confrontation because that is how they roll.

The EU is big. It has clout. For a certain kind of Eurocrat, there should be no embarrassment about using this strength to get what Europe needs. Consider the speech given by Guy Verhofstadt — not a man shy of showing us who he is — to the 2019 Lib Dem party conference:

“The world of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation states or countries. It is a world order that is based on empires… The world of tomorrow is a world of empires in which we Europeans, and you British, can only defend your interests, your way of life, by doing it together, in a European framework and in the European Union.”

An imperial mindset would certainly explain why the Commission acted in the way it did. Empires aren’t famous for asking nicely.

This brings us to the other Remainer defence, which is to admit that the EU did the wrong thing and for the wrong reason — and that this is precisely why we’d be safer as part of the empire. To adapt the old adage about tents and micturition “it is better to be inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent being pissed on”. The argument is as cynical as it is cowardly, but that’s not all that’s wrong with it.

For a start, it assumes that no one inside the tent gets pissed on, which is clearly untrue. For instance, the Republic of Ireland, an ultra-loyal member of both the EU and Eurozone, wasn’t even informed (let alone consulted) about the decision to invoke Article 16.

Anyone who was surprised by this hasn’t been paying attention. If it suits the most powerful core members of the Union to betray the interests of the peripheral members, then they will do it. Just look at what they did to Greece during the first Eurozone crisis or what Germany is doing to its eastern neighbours by building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia.

The real difference between being outside and inside the tent is how you get pissed on. Outside, the main threat is trade policy — which is exactly the weapon being used by the EU against the UK in regard to vaccines. But inside the tent, you can get hosed-down in other ways. For instance, last year the European Commission acquired the power to borrow hundreds of billions of Euros from the money markets — for the purpose of protecting the Eurozone from the impact of the Covid crisis. If the UK had voted to Remain, we’d have been on the hook for that colossal debt — despite staying out of the single currency.

As always, the key point is that we didn’t just leave the EU as it was, but as it is becoming. Equally, the opportunities we have outside the EU weren’t fixed in 2016 either, but are constantly evolving. Studies into the economic impact of Brexit — especially those undertaken by British governments — are unambitiously static in their assumptions. For instance, see page 31 of the 2018 long-term economic analysis for examples of the important global trends that are explicitly not modelled. These include technological, demographic and other changes that could be of huge benefit to an advanced, knowledge-driven economy like our own.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that the UK will use its freedom to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. However, the success of the UK’s vaccine procurement programme does provide a powerful proof of concept. As an example of what could and should be possible, it is made all the more compelling by the contrast to the EU’s approach. Despite the advantage of a much bigger internal market, the EU procurement programme has been bogged down by performative politics, bureaucratic delay and government lobbying on behalf of vested interests.

Finally, it’s not only integration that’s changing the EU. For the last 16 years, it’s been anchored to the Chancellorship of Angela Merkel. She has steadied the ship through numerous crises including the Great Recession, the eurozone crisis, Brexit and the pandemic. While she’s made mistakes, the “Queen of Europe” is nonetheless a force for continuity. Not for much longer, though. Her reign is drawing to a close — and the vaccine debacle is a sign of what the EU could look like in the hands of less impressive leaders.

We should be especially concerned about an EU in which Emmanuel Macron is the leading light. Last week, it wasn’t just the European Commission who showed us who they were — we also saw the Trumpian qualities of the French President on full display. His absurd claims about the efficacy of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are a warning sign that should not be ignored. The same goes for the opinion poll that showed Marine Le Pen running him close in a run-off vote for President. Yes, that’s the candidate of the far Right within four percentage points of leading the EU’s second largest economy. Meanwhile her ideological soulmate, Matteo Salvini, is in poll position to become the next Prime Minister of Italy (the EU’s third largest economy).

We therefore cannot assume that the EU of the future will be like the EU of the present. The EU of last week was just a glimpse of how bad things could get.


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

peterfranklin_

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Peter Scott
PS
Peter Scott
3 years ago

The totalitarian nature of the awful Ruling Caste in the western democracies – which class is made up of ‘elites’ without competence and ‘meritocrats’ without merit – insists ever more and more on having its own way in every single thing. That is the meaning of the latest attempts at bullying AstraZeneca in particular and the peoples of Ireland and the UK in general.

Determined to have absolute power, resolute to accept no remonstrance from any public, the EU hierarchs answer to Voltaire’s description of the French aristocracy in the 18th century: ‘They forget nothing and they learn nothing’.

If the disgraceful voters of Ireland, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy and Greece (and the United Kingdom) repudiate in referenda or national elections anything the hierarchs want to do, then such rebuffs are simply ignored or subverted and the will of the rulers is sheerly imposed.

We have the same thing in a lesser degree, but very preponderant, on this side of the Channel: a Conservative Party and a Labour Party which are fantastically slow to learn anything from electorates which keep trying to infuse them with a sense of populist priorities.

However, for once in many years, a British government has got one thing right [cue a brilliant fanfare from long-silent trumpets].

It has appointed in charge of procurement of vaccines a lady who is informed, rational, sensible and therefore competent. She, Kate Bingham, has taken the sane decisions, the
correct steps, and so this country is now powering ahead with a vaccination programme practically as early and as rapidly as could humanly be done.

The EU’s handling of the issue has been exactly contrary and wholly characteristic of ITS competence in all matters. This has produced huge delays and bottle-necks. The hierarchs of that unhappy realm are determined to lay the blame on others – and guiltless private companies and the British people are set in their stocks for pelting with threats.

Having produced international disgust at their willingness to jeopardise the fragile peace in Ireland, and domestic exasperation at their handling of procurement in their own countries,
the EU hierarchs double-down on going to war with the individuals who have got things right.

If the Occidental peoples desire deliverance from this quality of rule, they have got to start sending to their parliaments persons who are among the brightest and best in their societies and no longer stuffing their legislatures and Cabinets with samples of their stupidest and worst.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

‘Voltaire’s description of the French aristocracy in the 18th century: ‘They forget nothing and they learn nothing”

The ‘forget nothing, learn nothing’ quote comes from the 1820s and was said of the Bourbons following their restoration in, I think, 1820. Funnily enough I am currently reading about this period in a very good little book about Louise Colet, the model for Mme Bovary.

That aside I fully I agree with every word of your post. And you perfectly express something I have said countless times with:

‘the awful Ruling Caste in the western democracies – which class is made up of ‘elites’ without competence and ‘meritocrats’ without merit

Jean Fothers
JF
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Always had the idea that the French slaughtered the wrong half of their population in their revolution.
I note in the pic at the top, that Macron is wearing the colours of his country’s flag on his mask, for when he meets with Merckle

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Ouch!

Pierre Brute
PB
Pierre Brute
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Nice.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

All illegitimate regimes resort to nationalism and xenophobia, blaming others for their failures. One difference between facism and communism for example is that facism has nationalism and racism built in, communism without fail quickly ends up the same despite it’s slightly more ‘noble’ aims.

Aden Wellsmith
AW
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Remain is racist. The EU is racist.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

But the Left is winning because it doesn’t call itself ‘communism’ any more. Now it is called ‘racism’ or ‘gender issues’, etc.

James Wellings
JW
James Wellings
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

And Britain today is top of the league for nationalism and xenophobia, putting the selfish wishes of a marginal elite before peace in Europe! Can be no argument about that

Julian Flood
Julian Flood
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Hosiery mannikin.

JF

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Yes totally.. have you got any actual data to back that up?

Every international survey I’ve seen shows the UK to be at the Top of the least xenophobic and racist countries.
We’re now got a none racist immigration policy, unlike when we were in the EU – which is great. I do realise that some remainers miss the defacto white first EU immigration policy, sad little racists that they are.

Last Jacobin
LJ
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I don’t believe the UK population is particularly racist or xenophobic. Though you would get that impression if you thought those who comment on Unherd articles were representative of the population.

The EU screwed up on this one. The UK government got lucky on picking Astra Zeneca and acted decisively and uncharacteristically by ordering shed loads of vaccine. It also let the NHS run the vaccine programme rather than outsourcing it.
The ‘non-racist’ immigration policy is no such thing. It discriminates on wealth rather than country of origin. The vast majority of the world’s poor are black or brown. The policy is a way of letting the rich in while closing the door on the undesired poor black and brown people.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I don’t believe the UK population is particularly racist or xenophobic. Though you would get that impression if you thought those who comment on Unherd articles were representative of the population.

I’ve found commenters on Unherd some of the most polite and erudite people online. I encounter more racism and xenophobia in the comments sections in publications like Slate, the Guardian and Washington Post.

Last Jacobin
LJ
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

See post in these comments about France’s national flag being white? Polite?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Or another about Germans wanting to forget the war and the French pretending they won it?

James Mason
JM
James Mason
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

It characterises one of our most endearing traits, irony. Lighten up.

LUKE LOZE
LL
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

2 points.
The government didn’t get ‘lucky’ it invested 7 times as much per head as the EU in vaccines and limited pharma liability. This wasn’t luck, it was a very rare case of making a sensible decision by the UK.
The EU in contrast was stuck in politics and penny pinching for months. In the great scheme of things the EU savings will be a few Billion Euros, for a loss 1000s of lives and 100s Billions of economic damage. Really silly.

Immigration wise whilst part of the EU the UK hlgave preference to very white poor Eastern Europeans (vast bulk of one sides immigration) over anywhere else in the world. It was de facto racist, the number of non white Eastern Europeans is tiny.

Basil Chamberlain
BC
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The EU does not have a de facto white first immigration policy, since there are large naturalised ethnic minority populations in much of the continent. An Algerian-born resident in Marseilles, an Indonesian in Rotterdam, or a Afghan in Malmö, has, provided that they have acquired French, Dutch or Swedish citizenship, just as complete a right to move freely around the EU as does an ethnic Frenchman, Dutchman or Swede. By contrast, a French Canadian, a Afrikaner from Johannesburg, or a Minnesotan of Scandinavian heritage has no such right. A genuinely racist immigration policy would focus on ethnicity rather than passport.

Peter Lockyer
Peter Lockyer
3 years ago

I’m not sure a young French person of Algerian descent will be re-assured that they will be treated equally as an ethnic French person. Racism in France is alive and well, despite its attempts to hide it under the fig leaf of republican citizenship. I had a long conversation with three amusing and very vocal French Algerian guys who were on parole from prison and walking the Chemin du Puy with their prison chaplain. They told me exactly what it is like to be in their situation.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Lockyer

I’ve no doubt that’s true; but the comment referred specifically to immigration policy, which clearly does relate to passport rather than race.

Simon Baggley
SB
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Evidence please

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Clown ..Totally Eurowash, 1995 Germany recognised Wartime allies Croatia, Worsening Civil War.NATO had to stop..Same Ukraine in 2014 EU stirring up the Russian bear..it is NATO keeping the peace Not Sclerotic EEC,EC,EU

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Advice (free):
1. Find tree.
2. Bark up it.

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Marginal élite ? I thought it was us stupid plebeians who voted for Brexit. You cannot have it both ways.

James Mason
JM
James Mason
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

From which rich seam of fantasy did you mine this exquisite 24 carat nugget of dross?

Jerry Jay Carroll
JC
Jerry Jay Carroll
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Critical Race Theory teaches that every white person is racist at birth. I take it from that it doesn’t then matter what form of government rules the racist populations. As for xenophobia, I take it you are a globalist cosmopolite.in favor of open borders. .

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Read it properly. Critical race theories assert that society is inherently racist. If you’re part of that society you will have absorbed that racism – that applies to black and white people. If you’re white and in a society that is racist in favour of white people and not black people you start from a position of privilege compared to black people. Is that such a difficult concept?

Brian Dorsley
0
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

If that were true, Western societies would have a caste system similar to that of India. As such, anyone can make it in the West, regardless of their skin tone or circumstances of birth. I’ve found Critical Race Theory an unreliable epistemology with which to describe inequality in Western societies. It’s simultaneously parochial and condescending in its treatment of what it perceives to be the ‘oppressed’ group.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

It all falls apart when Black Africans come here and outperform White and Black Brits. The same story is repeated for other groups. A very similar pattern is followed in the US and Canada.

It shows more than anything that culture is hugely important to success. A lot of British born whites and blacks are nursing various grivences rather than getting on with succeeding.

CRT and other leftwing grifters are holding people back, it’s s tragic and causing huge tensions.

gunscratch
gunscratch
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Don’t forget a theory is just that, it’s not real, it hasn’t been proven. As soon as it is, it ceases to be a theory and becomes a ‘law’. I can never understand why people get so juiced up over something that is really just a guess and can fall flat on its face when someone else proves it wrong, like the “steady state theory”. A theory only holds water until someone proves or disproves it then it ceases to be. That’s why critical race theory is nothing but a load of tosh dreamt up by the woke-ist left. And it’s not a theory, it’s an ideology but they know that if they told the truth instead of using psycho-babble people would just laugh at it. CRT is nothing but a con.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

But who is responsible for this allegedly inherent racism? I doubt that many CRT ideologues think that blacks have anything to do with the racism; rather, they are solely the victims of it. And I use the word “ideologue” advisedly, as CRT is not a theory. A theory can be verified if true, disproven if false. The promoters of CRT would never allow such an inconvenient thing as the truth to interfere with their narrative.

Last Jacobin
LJ
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

Why always try to find blame? I know I’ve got away with stuff (minor illegal acts) because I’m a white middle class bloke and if I’d been black I wouldn’t. It doesn’t mean I’m to blame and doesn’t mean I feel guilty. But having recognised that fact I can’t ignore it.

Mark Cole
Mark Cole
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

For a more modernist interpretation look no further than the Empire in Star Wars punishing the outlying worlds for not joining “the Empire” and succumbing to its rules and of course its protection. As I recall it was smiling Chancellor who turned out to be the Evil Emperor – you have fun casting it in Europe….

EU needs more a round table of independents with some strong overlapping/common interests

Vive la diference!

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Cole

Overlapping / common interests like managing the production of coal, iron and steel in order to control the mass production, again, of Panzers. This, as `i understand it, was at the heart of the original idea. Everything else can and should be left to individual nation states and the free market. The people of Europe sleep walked into Verhofstadt’s empire. The British woke up and walked out of it.

jonathan carter-meggs
jonathan carter-meggs
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

It has been too easily ignored in this debate that the UK has fared quite badly with many more deaths per million than other countries (if you can believe the way these numbers are calculated). Consequently it can be argued that the needs of the British people are paramount for their own sake and that of their nearest neighbours.

Shannon Peters
Shannon Peters
3 years ago

You can’t believe any of the numbers . . .

An NHS Nurse Writes”¦

A registered nurse who has been working in NHS hospitals throughout the crisis has written the following article for us about his experience.

Matt Hancock said that there are 37,475 patients in hospitals in the UK with coronavirus ““ yet no context was offered. So there are approximately 120,000 NHS beds in England, which would make Hancock’s figure around 30% of NHS England bed capacity (and that’s not taking into account bed capacity of Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland). That also doesn’t take into account extra potential capacity from private hospitals nor the Nightingale hospitals. A headline grabbing statistic like “37,000 Covid admissions” might sound alarming, but without context it is meaningless.

It is also important to stress that this figure of 37,475 are patients admitted for any health reason, with a positive PCR test on admission or within the last 14 days ““ it is definitely not 37,000 patients who are unwell with Covid respiratory symptoms.

Patients are tested on admission to determine whether to be put in “green” or “red” areas. I have seen first-hand patients admitted to hospital for completely unrelated conditions, nil Covid symptoms, but have a positive PCR test on admission. These go down as “Covid admissions” but they are actually admitted for conditions completely unrelated to the respiratory system, such as heart failure or kidney disease.

I am sure by now we all have known somebody who has had a positive Covid test result but no symptoms. This is true also for hospitalised patients being admitted for other reasons ““ massively inflating the “Covid admission” numbers.

I have also had first-hand experience of patients who have been admitted into hospital for an unrelated reason, and caught Covid whilst there (nosocomial infection) ““ and then they also go down in the NHS statistics as Covid admissions.

Hancock’s figures without context are not only unhelpful, they are misleading the public.

Tom Fox
TF
Tom Fox
3 years ago

WE have certainly had a lot of deaths, but international comparison is fraught with problems of different counting systems. You’d think that a death is a death is a death, but no – wait. WE over count, counting any death where the deceased has had a positive covid diagnosis within 28 days. In a ridiculous but true example, if a 25 year old died after a positive covid test within 28 days in a motor bike crash, he WOULD be counted. Meanwhile, in France, you only count if the covid death was registered within 3 days, and in Spain, you only count as a covid death if you die in hospital. Since avast number of our covid deaths happened in care homes – about a third, you can see the issue.

I’m not claiming we didn’t suffer a lot of deaths, just that international comparison of top line covid death figures are unreliable. The best method is to look at age adjusted excess deaths per hundred thousand of population. This irons out not only these counting anomalies, but also adjusts for population size.

jim payne
JP
jim payne
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

If the Gvnmt. published the ages of the deceased as well, it might shock some of the idiots who ; party, rave and congregate in large numbers. It’s not just us oldies that peg out. Also hear the death rate from ‘Flu’ has dropped considerably. Good one Tom.

Alexei A
AA
Alexei A
3 years ago
Reply to  jim payne

According to The Sunday Times yesterday, flu has virtually and mysteriously vanished this past year.

Also, wrt Covid numbers counted, France does not count deaths in care homes. Were that the case in the UK, it would clearly make a huge difference, with over 30% of fatalities ascribed to care homes.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Alexei A

“According to The Sunday Times yesterday, flu has virtually and mysteriously vanished this past year.”
Hardly mysterious. Social distancing, masks, lockdown, handwashing – all very effective against flu.

Tom Fox
TF
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  jim payne

On a personal note, I discovered that another person I know died of the pestilence. Horrible; a fit, active, funny and lively woman. She was over eighty, but had years of active life left to run. She had been sheltering herself for best part of a year, but met up with her wider family for Christmas celebrations with the horribly predictable result. She was the sort of person who would have been out walking and meeting her friends for coffee at the age of ninety…. Not to be, sadly.

J Reffin
J Reffin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

I feel particularly sad for the ITU staff coming off shift in London who have been harassed by the conspiracy theory nutters. January was extremely rough with a lot of working-age people dying in ITU.

Tom Fox
TF
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  J Reffin

Yes. I know that’s true. I just heard of a bus driver in his forties known to a neighbour of mine who died alone in a foreign country. He was a Pole who came here to work and send money to his family in Poland. I don’t know the man, but he was by all accounts an ordinary man, without the weight or health problems in his late forties. There are people here who think this disease should be left to let rip and tear its way through the population. They seem blind enough not to realise what that would do to the availability of medical services of all kinds when hospitals were overwhelmed.

John Mann
JM
John Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

“The best method is to look at age adjusted excess deaths per hundred thousand of population.”

Indeed. But those numbers are not exactly being widely publicised.

Peter Kriens
Peter Kriens
3 years ago
Reply to  John Mann

Indeed. But those numbers are not exactly being widely publicised.

Yes, just not in the news. Look at https://www.euromomo.eu/

Roughly the numbers are that every year 1% of the population is expected to die of old age, disease, accidents, etc.

Last years we had ±0.1% deaths above average, which is 1 in 1000. Worst hit places like Belgium & New York were at 0.33%. This explains quite well why I do not know a single person who died.

Tom Krehbiel
TK
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

The US is even worse in respect of that extended time period, as I understand it. Here in the States, any positive Covid-19 within 60 days of death counts. Perhaps now that Democrats don’t need such stats with which to justify beating Trump over the head, the policy will be changed. And the mass media will be all aglow with the news of how much better Biden is at handling the virus.

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

I think the key issue is to focus on the problem rather than who the President is.

johngrant4est
johngrant4est
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

“The best method is to look at age adjusted excess deaths per hundred thousand of population”
Agreed. Data is available for the UK and in the first weeks of January that metric fell back to the average for 2016-2019 (2020 was excluded due to the epidemic in the UK)
There is no doubt that the respiratory unit, high dependency and critical care beds in the UK are full, but this isn’t being reflected in excess deaths. at least not any longer. The purpose of the lockdown seems to have been to prevent the (mainly political) fall-out from having specific ‘bits’ of the NHS overwhelmed, whilst all the other bits sat on their hands. Many surgeons were effectively furloughed during the worst periods, especially when their case mix required higher than ward-level care.

Andrew Hall
AH
Andrew Hall
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

I read Capt Sir Tom Moore was admitted to hospital with pneumonia on 12 January but was tested Covid negative on admission. He was discharged on Jan 22 and tested positive for Covid-19 on that day, still with pneumonia. He was in the late stages of cancer. Will he be registered as another Covid-19 casualty? One presumes so.

Tom Fox
TF
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Hall

This issue can’t be raised often enough Andrew. A VERY substantial number of the now deceased victims of covid-19 were in fact victims of poor infection control in NHS hospitals. it was said a little while ago that at least 20% of the dead caught their disease in hospital.

My partner retired as a GP eight months ago and has been trying to volunteer as a vaccinator. After 35 years in the NHS with unbroken service, she has been made to jump through a ridiculous number of hoops, Today’s was a two hour course on emergency resuscitation – as if she needed it!!! I asked her if she thought the course was covid safe an hour ago, and she though not. There were ten people confined in a large room for two hours without adequate ventilation and ordinary non medical, self provided masks.

For her at least – well practised in resuscitation since her earliest time at medical school, this was a stupid and unnecessary risk. The influence of NHS bureaucrats on ANYTHING at all is inevitably negative. They are hoop jumping jobsworths, whose sole function seems to be to slow any initiative down and to generate paperwork and obstruction.

Tom Fox
TF
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Hall

Why shouldn’t he be registered as a covid-19 casualty? He was one. Without Covid he would be alive now.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I was once almost fanatically pro-EU, but it became obvious at least 15 years ago that these people are very, very nasty indeed. And one could argue that they have been demonstrably incompetent for at least 20 years. Certainly, they had been warned since 1970 that a single currency would destroy the economies of southern Europe, so its imposition was an act of both malice and incompetence, at least in economic terms.

Anyway, if the last week or so has awoken more people to the sheer evil of this wannabe empire, that can only be a good thing. The fact is that if you want to be an empire, you need some competent people in charge, and the EU has not possessed or displayed any competence since the 1980s. (Remember how hopeless is was as Yugloslavia fell apart?)

von der Leyen is, perhaps the worst of the lot. Her record in domestic politics is one of utter disaster. There are good articles on this in both The Spectator and der Spiegel right now. She makes Kinnock and Cahty Ashton look useful, although I’m beginning to think that we sent both those horrors as part of a deliberate plan to undermine this most wretchedly hopeless organization.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I was a huge EU fan too…I had an EU flag hung up in my room at university, signed myself right up to study EU law, did an Erasmus year and went out to live on the continent as soon as I possibly could. I was going to be the best European that Britain had to offer!
I also voted remain, but now I’ve changed my mind. To lose faith is a terrible thing – but to lie to oneself to keep it alive is much worse. Love Europe, can’t stand the EU.

K Joynes
KJ
K Joynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Love Europe, can’t stand the EU.
This. I may be being nitpicky but I wish the title of this article said ‘The EU’ rather than ‘Europe ‘.

Dan Elliott
DE
Dan Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  K Joynes

that’s because the author bleeds through his wounds… unable to see the difference 🙁

Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I was a rabid supporter of the idea of a COMMON MARKET for Europe, but with the United Kingdom in the centre. I am now convinced that 90% of the worlds problems are caused by politicians and beurocrats, a conviction only reinforced by the arrogant vindictivness of the Brussels Mafia.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

I think it has long been obvious that 90% of the world’s problem are cause by politicians and bureaucrats.

Raoul De Cambrai
Raoul De Cambrai
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I’m sure you have statistical evidence for that profound statement.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

One example was Obama and Clinton sending their marines out to murder bin Laden in his bed.

Julian Flood
JF
Julian Flood
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Un autre puppet de sock.

JF

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago

Ha ha! Fraser always makes these enormous sweeping generalised statements. What can anyone say to them in reply, since we will always have politicians and bureaucrats (assuming we don’t in some way let AI quantum computers take over…)

It is far more interesting to discuss why some countries are so much more competently governed and administered than others. Taiwan and Singapore seem to be among the best. The UK used once had a reputation once of being quite well governed, but both the government and the administrative state have failed pretty spectacularly in this crisis, though perhaps we will be able to learn and apply some lessons for the future.

Jane Jones
JJ
Jane Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Per Perry Anderson, in his LRB series on the EU, this organizaiton has become an oligarchy of unaccountable, nondemocratic institutions that have increased their power via “stealth coups.” With the result that they can arrogate to themselves powers and rights that are NOT in any actual treaties. And there are no “consitutional” means to rescind those powers —for the same reason. There is no law or constitution to refer to. So, comparing the dysfunctional EU bureacracy to both UK and disastrous USA regimes, Anderson notes that at leaset in the latter two there is a theoretical possibility to change things via votes. Not the case in the EU, Anderson maintains and demonstrates via numerous examples.

Julian Flood
JF
Julian Flood
3 years ago

Puppet de sock.

JF

John Cole
JC
John Cole
3 years ago

Eyes.

Jon Redman
HJ
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

The long game in the UK’s interests must surely be for the EU to break up and be reconstituted as a free trade bloc. The existence of the euro and the need for any seceding countries to come up with a replacement currency are severe obstacles to this, however.

The euro countries are now de facto satellite states of Germany and to some extent France, much like the Warsaw Pact states vis a vis the USSR.

Exactly how important the colonies’ interests are to the ruling junta was demonstrated this weekend, when an unelected official decided to close Ireland’s border without telling Ireland.

Fraser Bailey
FB
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

‘The long game in the UK’s interests must surely be for the EU to break up and be reconstituted as a free trade bloc’.

This might not even require a ‘long game’. Assuming a ‘right wing’ coalition comes to power very soon in Italy, there is every chance that Italy will leave the EU. Meanwhile, le Pen is more or less 50/50 with Macron in the opinion polls when it comes to the run-off next year.

But yes, the existence euro is a significant obstacle.

Jon Redman
HJ
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I wish I shared your optimism on this, Fraser, but Italian governments never last very long. It’s hard to see how they could get from referendum promise to exit in any less than the 4.5 years we took, especially with the need to replace the euro as well.

Any extended timetable means there would need to be several successive governments, each with the resolve to make this happen in the face of EU bullying.

A euro member seceding and surviving would be an existential threat that the EU could simply not tolerate.

44benn
AB
44benn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Good point on Italy. Let’s hope we are the ‘euro member seceding and surviving’.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  44benn

Well, luckily, Alan, we weren’t a eurozone member. But this difference will certainly be brought up, and its significance as an obstacle used, to dissuade any eurozone country from following our example, no matter how successful we are.

It is probably valid to do so, because the currency issue is certainly an insuperable obstacle to Joxit, which is why the SNP is anxious to handwave it away.

The EU knew this, of course, and as Graham points out just below, the euro’s real purpose was not what it was said to be.

Jane Jones
Jane Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

“Well, luckily, Alan, we weren’t a eurozone member. But this difference will certainly be brought up, and its significance as an obstacle used, to dissuade any eurozone country from following ourexample, no matter how successful we are.”

This view is very strongly reinforced by Perry Anderson, writing in the London Review of Books.
https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-p

Well worth a read (part 3 in a three-part series—the whole thing is very valuable). Probably free (not behind paywall) if you don’t access the LRB very often.

Per Anderson Brexit was only possible because Britain had NOT joined the Eurozone. The longer things/life goes on, the more i think future Britons will thank their mums and dads for voting Leave.

Robin Lambert
RL
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

No We were in the ECU from October 1990,the issue Which Tories deposed Thatcher for..in November 22,1990 ..ECU cost to Uk Taxpayers,john Major economic folly,is believed to have Cost,depending on sources, £20-68billion…

Fraser Bailey
FB
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes, you are probably correct on all those points. Still, the entire spectacle would be entertaining, if nothing else.

Mark Walker
Mark Walker
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Very entertaining? Only provided one does not hold assets in euro

Eloise Burke
Eloise Burke
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

There IS the example of Britain, which Britain did not have when fighting for Brexit.

Antony H
AH
Antony H
3 years ago
Reply to  Eloise Burke

Yes, that should warn them off trying it. If we had had such an awful debacle like this to refer to then even the simple lies of Leave would have struggled with traction.

John Cole
JC
John Cole
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The Euro was introduced to ‘in the darkness bind them’ anyone trying to leave would be asked to pay their share of the € debt as part of the process, that means, unless there was a catastrophic failure of the € leaving is a non starter.
As would Scotland be required to repay part of the UKs debt should they seek to leave.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Macron won’t make the run off. Barnier says he will stand against him. Eduard is standing. That split’s macron’s vote.

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, I have many friends in Italy and this is what they are all talking about. Added to the fact that Italy has always devalued the currency in bad times and now it can’t. A referendum for sure.

A slight problem is that Italy gets its fair share of refugees and it will have to decide what to do with them if the border is not open.

Mark Walker
MW
Mark Walker
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Death of the euro does not need a ‘right wing’ coalition in Italy and/or France to happen. The euro Target 2 trade imbalances have become huge sums. In the coming years (may take 4-5) the ECB will be unable to sell Bonds in order to finance the borrowing needed to support the Target 2 trade imbalances.

My view is that the ‘Money Markets’ will trigger the death of the euro with a refusal to buy ECB Bonds. Similar situation to the UK leaving the EMS but a financial crisis bigger than 2008. Gordon Brown will be considered a hero for not joining the euro.

Jeff Bartlett
Jeff Bartlett
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Walker

Mark, your point is interesting but sadly, for me, a bit too technical. Is it possible for you to signpost me/us to an idiot’s guide to your argument? Many thanks!

Mark Walker
MW
Mark Walker
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Bartlett

‘How the euro dies’ by Nickoli Hubble is a good guide. Next track the Target 2 trade imbalances which the ECB funds by buying Government debt from Italy, Greece, Spain etc (data from interweb). These trade imbalance are a growing bubble. All bubbles burst eventually, who knows when. History of UK crashing out of EMS was when ‘sentiment’ in money markets turned against Norman Lamont, and George Soros made a fortune by betting against Sterling.

Fraser Bailey
FB
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Bartlett

There are many videos etc on T2 available to watch on YouTube. As one of the videos explains, imagine you are paying Monopoly with some who goes bankrupt. You then lend them some money but they go bankrupt again and cannot repay you. T2 is lending from Germany to souther Europe. It stands at over 2 trillion euros. None of it will ever be repaid.

Colin Reeves
CR
Colin Reeves
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

But will the ‘right wing’ be allowed to be elected? The US has shown the way to subvert elections.

Graham Willis
GW
Graham Willis
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

What is the real purpose of the disastrous Euro? – Clue; it’s not the removal of exchange rate risk.

vilistus
vilistus
3 years ago
Reply to  Graham Willis

That’s easy; to keep Germany’s exchange rate artificially low so they can sell those expensive cars relatively cheaply.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  vilistus

Is it that or is it to superglue together countries that adopted it, because it will become impossible to secede?

Aden Wellsmith
AW
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

If you look at all the problems in the world, ask the question are politicians involved?

H D
H D
3 years ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

True, very good.
Also if you look at all A&E deaths in the world medical staff are involved…

Victor Newman
VN
Victor Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

Ask yourself why no accountant has been able to certify the EU accounts?

Duncan Mann
Duncan Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  Victor Newman

Its complicated… https://fullfact.org/europe

Stephen Murray
SM
Stephen Murray
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Mann

Marta Andrearson? She was kicked out of her job for just trying to tell the truth!

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

Yes – I voted to stay in in about 1975. It was a common market not an undemocratic empire and fraud machine.

Richard Lord
Richard Lord
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The structure of the EU makes it impossible for it to ever have a credible leader. The powerhouses of France and Germany will never allow a EU leader with competence and power to be appointed. This would allow the EU to act in the interests of all nations, rather than primarily in the interests of the Germany / France alliance.

Jean Fothers
JF
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lord

There was one true reason for the formation of the Eu, commencing with common market.
That was to allow Germany to hide its terrible past and pretend it never happened. Also, to allow France to pretend it won the war.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

This episode of Yes Minister is informative! https://youtu.be/rvYuoWyk8iU

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I have never cared for the EU. Not one jot. Had some time for EFTA and the EEC but it has always been a project geared around the original ECSC members, just as Churchill advocated. As a patriot of Britain I could never agree to support the monster called the EU and still harbour ill feelings of Major, Blair and Brown because of their deceits.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Smith

Though Gordon Brown will go down in history probably as the person who more than anyone else kept the UK out of the Euro. Robert Tombs – no Europhile he – has recently written that once you are in the single currency, it becomes almost impossible or at least extremely painful for most ordinary people to leave it.

Mark Smith
MS
Mark Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I don’t know who Robert Tombs is but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that is one of the primary reasons for the Euro. To ensnare witless and gullible members.

Brown was and is a despicable man. Bigoted and a liar. Both he and Blair said we would have a vote before signing the EU Constitution which miraculously morphed into the Lisbon Treaty when it was rebuffed by France and Ireland and Denmark if I recall correctly. We didn’t have a vote but Brown signed it anyway.

So yes his 5 tests that could never be met were ostensibly the reason we didn’t join the Euro but more fundamentally that was just a ploy to undermine Blair.

David Owsley
DO
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Smith

well said.

Andrew Wood
CD
Andrew Wood
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Smith

You should read Tombs’ The English and their History – very sound

Stephen Murray
SM
Stephen Murray
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

You mean the Muppet who announced he was selling UKs gold BEFORE he did so? That Gordon Brown?

Robin Lambert
RL
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Smith

and Heath,Howe,Rippon all lied &Knew they were lying..roy Jenkins earned £62,000pa when UK Average wage was £2,500pa

Andrew Hall
AH
Andrew Hall
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Smith

I would add to that list the opportunistic Mrs May who treated Brexit leadership like the mythically indecisive Grand Old Duke of York marching his ten thousand men towards an advantageous hilltop before battle, changing his mind, then changing it again, until confusion reigned. We sang:
‘And when they were up they were up
And when they were down they were down
And when they were only half way up
They were neither up nor down.’
It so describes Mrs May’s idea of generalship it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

James Wellings
JW
James Wellings
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Your first para is false concerning the single currency. The same assertion about its effects could be said of the US, yet the US with it’s single currency, same divide N to S, is the strongest, most prosperous and internally peaceful country in the world.

Julian Flood
Julian Flood
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Pantyhose marionette.

JF

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  James Wellings

Yes, but the US has direct transfers of money from north to south. The EU has not yet implemented this, even though they were warned of its necessity from 1970 by Kaldar and other economists. Eventually it will have to happen, at which point the tax payers of the Frugal Four will start to get very angry indeed.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Well said.

Aidan Collingwood
AC
Aidan Collingwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Very good summary of the EU quagmire. And nice to hear it coming from someone who was so deeply into it, too.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

I would not disregard the EU’s claim that it was a mistake to activate Article 16, or even to talk about doing so. It very clearly was a mistake. One in a very long string of mistakes the EU has made recently. Threatening drug companies, not really a good look, is it? And just think, not long ago everyone was lauding the EU’s COVID performance. Brexit is looking increasingly like the best decision the UK ever made.

Richard Hankins
RH
Richard Hankins
3 years ago

How utterly ridiculous to uphold Brexit because the Commission has attempted to misuse its power. It was a big mistake – and hopefully they will learn from it.

Brexit is also a huge mistake. I wonder how many years it will take for the UK to learn from it?

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

There are counless other reasons that Brexit was a good idea.

Antony H
AH
Antony H
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Ah yes, “sovereignty” cannot be counted, can it? Especially when so many have no idea what it means. Brext was a stupid, self-harming idea.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Antony H

Only in your “stupid” mind

Mike Smith
MS
Mike Smith
3 years ago

It wasn’t a mistake until the backlash started.

Annette Kralendijk
AK
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Brexit doesn’t look much like a mistake these days. And the Commission was always one of the reasons for Brexit. But the larger question is how many EU members will now feel somewhat misused by the EU’s wrong footed ness with Covid. It can’t feel good to Ireland, can it? Nor can it feel good to watch Germany trying to buy vaccine for itself outside the EU. It seems like EU members really are on their own.

Antony H
Antony H
3 years ago

So you fee that a mistake, quickly rectified and with no negative impact, completely outweighs the debacle of red tape and border issues that are forcing businesses to reduce their operations and lay off UK staff while opening, on UK government advice, outlets in the EU? The loss of freedom of movement, the loss of access to security information and the damage to the UK economy amount to nothing in your eyes?

Julian Flood
Julian Flood
3 years ago
Reply to  Antony H

Sock. Puppet.

JF

Antony H
Antony H
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Flood

Profound

Annette Kralendijk
AK
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Antony H

Didn’t say anything like that. Merely pointing out that the EU did recognize its mistake. As one of many it’s made. You probably should not add a bunch of stuff to it.

Jon Redman
HJ
Jon Redman
3 years ago

the key point is that we didn’t just leave the EU as it was, but as it is becoming.

This. I abstained in the EU referendum because I thought both sides were unworthy of support: Leave because buffoons like David Davis clearly had no idea how the EU and our EU departure worked, and Remain because its campaign was so patently dishonest. The most dishonest part of the Remain pitch was exactly its insinuation that to Remain would be to remain in the EU of 2016.

My question, “Remain in what, exactly?”, was never honestly answered. The mug voters were left to suppose that we’d Remain in something similar to what we were now in. But this has never been true in the previous 40 years, and in 2016 there was no reason to think it would change – and many reasons to think the process of absorption would continue, to a point where it became irreversible.

Just as any UK euro entry would have been, to Remain in the EU on its present trajectory would have been unconstitutional (which has never once since 1973 occurred to the Queen, disappointingly, who’s supposed to uphold the constitution). It would represent a decision to do something literally irreversible by any future government.

The most shameful aspect of Remain behaviour has been not only the woeful, total failure of our institutions to respect this constitutional principle before the referendum, but Remainers’ connivance at overturning the result subsequently.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Agree with most of this, but the characterisation of David Davies seems unduly harsh.

Being mainly focussed on principles – rather than the means of leaving – seems perfectly understandable.

This is something Theresa May didn’t seem capable of when Davis resigned.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

David Davis said on Twitter on 26 May 2016:

“Post Brexit a UK-German deal would include free access for their cars and industrial goods, in exchange for a deal on everything else. Similar deals would be reached with other key EU nations. France would want to protect £3 billion of food and wine exports. Italy, its £1 billion fashion exports. Poland its £3 billion manufacturing exports.”

So Leave advocate and subsequent actual Brexit Minister did not understand until a month before the referendum that there could be no UK-German deal, nor any bilateral deal with France, or Italy, or Poland.

It’s still there to read. So I think buffoon is more than fair.

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Isn’t that the Brexit Free Trade deal though? Haven’t the Germans maintained access for their cars? Hasn’t the UK obtained a series of things in return? I expected the EU, rather than the UK, would ‘hold most of the cards’; and that’s reflected in the deal. isn’t it?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

Davis thought he was going to be negotiating trade deals bilaterally with individual EU countries. He did not understand that no such thing is possible. Despite advocating Leave he had not a clue how Leave would work.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Davis, and his boss, T May, knew, as we all do, that the rest of the eu will do whatever Germany tells them to do. Even though occasionally, the Germans allow Macron to pretend things are his ideas.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If you read that meaning into his statement then it it not DD who is the buffoon.

Jon Redman
HJ
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

It was not a statement, it was on Twitter.

The first calling point of the UK’s negotiator immediately after #Brexit will not be Brussels, it will be Berlin, to strike a deal

(1/3) Post #Brexit a UK-German deal would include free access for their cars and industrial goods, in exchange for a deal on everything else

(2/3) Similar deals would be reached with other key EU nations

(3/3) The truth is existing trade deals with non-EU countries would stay in place until either side wanted to renegotiate

all of which is total, utter ba11s. He actually thought that after Brexit we would be doing individual deals not with the EU (“not be Brussels”), but with “other key EU nations”. Not with the EU on behalf of them but individually. He further thought that existing trade deals would be grandfathered.

That’s not all he didn’t understand. He also claimed that “within two years, before the negotiation with the EU is likely to be complete, and therefore before anything material has changed, we can negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU.” The UK was not in a position to negotiate new trade deals until after it left the EU.

The man is an utter clown.

Ian Barton
IB
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Davis was pointing out what the key decision-makers different positions were going to be at a national level ….. however the EU rebuffed any U.K. to nation conversations that the U.K. preferred.

I still think you are on the wrong track here …

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Davis is correct. He’s just outlining what a win-win deal looks like.

That the EU said no to this, means the EU is responsible for the job losses.

Antony H
Antony H
3 years ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

Davis was promising the undeliverable, due to either ignorance or dishonesty. The job losses, closed businesses, lost opportunities and crashed dreams are the fault of the Leave side, not the EU.

Jean Fothers
JF
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

David Davis was correct. His mistake was in thinking that his boss, the May creature, actually wanted to leave the eu. He also mistakenly thought that our “negotiators” were willing to negotiate for British interests.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

No, he thought he was going to go to Germany and elsewhere and negotiate a series of bilateral deals. It beggars belief that someone whose opposition to the EU was that it usurps national powers had not troubled to find out whether trade negotiations were a power the EU had appropriated. His ignorance was profound, but then I have heard anecdotally that he is bone idle.

Jean Fothers
JF
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Do you mean in the same way that May had secret meetings with Merkle before publishing her ‘Withdrawal Agreement’?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

..

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

No, I mean in the way that there was never going to be a withdrawal agreement with Germany, another with Italy, another with Poland, etc. There was going to be one, and if it threw various EU countries under the bus, it was just their tough luck.

Davis did not understand this and thought we would leave and he could set up lots of side deals with individual countries bilaterally and without involving the EU.

Michael Coulson
Michael Coulson
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

One of the initial post Referendum problems was that as a Remainer PM May put the key cabinet posts of Chancellor and Home Secretary in the hands of uber Remainers. The Chancellor then refused to create a no deal resource of £6 billion which would have sent a very early and clear message to the EU about our intentions if the withdrawal negotiations were not conducted fairly and in good faith.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Phillip Hammond has given EU investment bank 20 years to ”Pay back” Uk £20billion…

Ian Barton
IB
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Largely semantics – so we will have to agree to differ on this interpretation.

george_zoe
AB
george_zoe
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Don’t you think history will repeat, and that the EU nations, and UK, cannot actually live together, and it’s only a matter of time before it falls apart; and UK is beginning, very slightly & slowly, to be back in it’s time-honoured role of divide and conquer? The Brexit deal can be reformed once the individual nations start pushing for what’s in their interests, e.g., exports to UK.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Like you, I chose not to vote because both sides were clearly being dishonest and manipulative.

The EU’s response to the outcome of the vote, the negotiation process, and now this, have made it clear that we are better out than in – even if I still don’t believe the cakeist arguments for leaving.

I still hope that one day there will be a retreat from these dreams of empire, enabling the UK to collaborate effectively with like-minded countries that are currently in the EU.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

I’d be happy with the EU if it had any democratic integrity. If a comfortable majority in each country was happy with the creation of a superstate and the erasure of their nations then that’s fine with me – as long as the EU was also run by elected politicians not Civil servants, appointments and a rubber stamping chamber.

The dishonesty of those who claim that it’s not becoming a superstate or that it’s democratic is huge. For the record I also beleive the UKs democracy is pretty rubbish, a vote for an MP once every 5 years. We should have Swiss style referndums every few months on matters of interest, including what to spend money on, health policies, immigration etc.

Of course some people will claim that Brexit shows the danger of direct democracy, either because of the result or the years of anomosity. Both are entirely disingenuous arguments from people who want democracy to continue to mean the elite class doing exactly what they want with the veneer of democratic accountability.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Totally agree. I love the Swiss approach to referendums, i.e. they’re frequent and therefore not a big deal. Better to have more frequent and less dramatic strategic course-corrections, providing well defined boundaries within which government can operate.

valleydawnltd
valleydawnltd
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Its easy when you have a predominantly homogenous cultural and political outlook and a population barely larger than London.

Mark H
MH
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  valleydawnltd

Culturally, aren’t there significant differences between German-, French-, and Italian-Swiss? I had always assumed that but don’t have evidence either way (I only know German-Swiss people).

One could also argue this the other way round, that effective democracy in Switzerland has resulted in political homogeneity – but here too I don’t know the history!

Alex Camm
AC
Alex Camm
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

I did not vote for Brexit because of ‘dreams of Empire’. I am under no illusion that we would return to the ‘good old days’ .

One of the reasons I voted to leave was because of the expensive if not exorbitant, and stifling bureaucracy .

This debacle seems to be one example of it in practice

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Camm

I think Mark was talking about the EU’s dreams of empire. If they stopped dreaming of becoming the USE, they would be less angry with us for our insulting secession, and more likely to engage rationally and co-operatively, to mutual advantage.

They won’t do so, because they want us to be disadvantaged by Brexit, no matter what the cost to individual EU states, companies and individuals.

This is not cutting off their nose to spite their face. We damaged their empire building project and their project is the end in itself. It’s not about what benefits Europeans. It’s somebody else’s nose and somebody else’s face.

Mark H
MH
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Camm

Oops – by dreams of empire I meant the EU!
I haven’t observed any dreams of – or nostalgia for – the British Empire.

Alex Camm
Alex Camm
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Sorry – over reacted – Brexiteers have been unjustly accused of harking back to the ’empire’. When on holiday in Italy (remember when we could do that?), soon after the vote, this was the comment made by a dutchman and seemingly shared by other europeans present at dinner. and repeated by remainers as a slur since then.

I do agree with your general point

Mark H
MH
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Camm

I have many times heard that accusation, but never heard a leaver express the nostalgia of which they are accused. So the thought didn’t cross my mind…

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Well, I’ve heard many leavers express nostalgia for a time when UK was a great maritime power leading trade (and warfare) around the world. The same people who get upset when tributes to slave traders and colonialists are criticised. The Empire lasted until the fifties. There was plenty of WW2 rhetoric around the leave campaign – nostalgia for Empire.

Mark H
MH
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Our groups of leaver acquaintances clearly don’t overlap! I’ve not heard any discussion where as you put it “tributes to slave traders” are discussed because that all blew up when lockdown was already in effect and social conversations outside the family have pretty much ceased.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Camm

The only people dreaming about, or talking about Empire were remainers. They never stop going on about “the Empire”.

No one who voted leave gives a tiny toss about the British empire.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

The EU will not exist in 2021. It will end this year.

Jon Redman
HJ
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

What does that look like?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Hopefully like Nostradamus you will be proved correct…

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Exaclty. Where were the 5, 10, 15, 20 year plans?
No remainer knew what they were voting for on that front.

Plus given the EU is statistically white, India statistically Brown, advocating for different rules is racist.

Remainers are racists.

TIM HUTCHENCE
TIM HUTCHENCE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Good point – there is no status quo. Apart from the band of course!
However, I did vote – based it on my thoughts on what the future might hold for the EU project. Here a couple of the incidents noted in the article were instructive – especially Greece (well documented in Yanis’s ‘Adults in the Room’). On the single currency, I found Mervyn Kings (‘End of Alchemy’) commentary compelling alongside Bernard Connolly’s seminal contribution in 1995.

Jane Jones
Jane Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

“It would represent a decision to do something literally irreversible by any future government.”

Exactly, And the same goes for narrower issues within the EU (that is, narrower than leaving the EU altogether). No democratic way to influence the actions of the Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strassbourg oligarchs.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

The declaring of Article 16 and the weaponisation of NI in order to further the EU’s own perceived aims and what it sees as the necessary humiliation of a post Brexit UK should have come as no surprise to anyone following this over the last four years.

Barnier and his Brexit ‘negotiators’ were captured on film brazenly stating their cynical intentions to use the NI peace process as a tactic back in 2018-19 in a Danish directed BBC aired ‘Behind Closed Doors’ Storyville documentary following their machinations, showing them up for what they really were all about.

The clip is still there on YouTube for anyone and everyone to see in all its gory glory, plus there’s a rather charming accompanying 30 second clip (part 22) as they all have a jolly old gloat about the whole thing.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

The level of cynicism on display in parts of the documentary is quite shocking – most notably from the Irish EU officials.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

My sentiments exactly. Shocking.

‘Friends like that’ as the old saying goes….

Jon Redman
HJ
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Indeed. Why we are apparently prioritising these creatures over our own people and diverting “excess” vaccine to Ireland I can’t think. Haven’t the Irish killed enough of the British?

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Maybe the Irish are aiming to match the British number of Irish killed in the ‘famine’ genocides?

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

Except most of Europe was starving at the time so very little to do with the British. Just myth.

Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

The British were in charge at the time. That’s why they got the blame.

Victor Newman
VN
Victor Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Wilson

And yet the same crisis due to the American potato blight occurred multiple times across 10 years and the people didn’t learn. You can’t force people to change their food sources: that would be EU imperialism. What about the Somerset, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, East Anglia potato blight crises that happened at the same time?

Last Jacobin
LJ
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Victor Newman

Happened in Scotland, too. With a similar, though less comprehensive, result of starvation and emigration. Cereal crops were exported from ‘famine’ Ireland to England for profit. Not to feed the starving of Norfolk.

David Smy
David Smy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I think this comment is very harsh.. I am English but I have read enough of what the British did to the Irish at the time of the famine. There are so many people in the UK who are descended from those desperate people who emigrated in the 1840’s to escape starvation. I don’t believe in reparations for acts carried out in the past but surely an awareness of that cruelty should influence our behaviour now. I hope we do help out Ireland with vaccines as soon as we can.

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Smy

Well said.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  David Smy

You are talking about inadvertence ~200 years ago versus the deliberate murder by the Irish of men, women and children less than 25 years ago. They’re entirely unrepentant, and indeed vaccines sent to Ireland could easily end up going to unreconstructed, unapologetic Irish terrorists. And let’s not forget Irish posturing during Brexit.

Mark Wilson
MW
Mark Wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

“deliberate murder by the Irish”. What, all of them? You realise that vaccines sent to England could go to drug dealers, child molesters and (whisper it) Remainers. Maybe we should cancel the whole thing.

David Smy
David Smy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes, of course you are right about the events in more recent history. I, too, lived through those times but things are healing between our two countries and, in that spirit, a kiss is always better than a kick.

Mike Smith
MS
Mike Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

In BBC parlance ‘Irish Veterans’.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I’d say you’re xenophobic but I think your level of vitriol and belief that the Irish are murderers, as a people, makes you a good old fashioned racist.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

With the centuries of to-and-fro migrations between the islands of Ireland Great Britain I find it hard to draw such a distinction between Irish and British. In my view historical bonds are important – like when one falls out with family, they don’t stop being family.
So while top priority for helping out other countries should probably start with poorer commonwealth countries, Ireland and Poland should also be on the list.

Terry Needham
PR
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

.. like when one falls out with family, they don’t stop being family.”
Well…up to a point. They can become something far worse.

Peter de Barra
PB
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

… not only is there a special link with Ireland but there is the imperative to protect Western civilisation and its values and peoples. When that is done, the Congo and the Central African Republic will no doubt be welcome to supplies ” the UN won’t of course help much ” should they not have developed their own by then. How controversial ! How close to BadThought !

44benn
44benn
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Can you post a link to ‘Behind Closed Doors’ you mention.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  44benn

Suggest you enter it into the youtube search engine, adding ‘Storyville’ to the title.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  44benn

The gloating bit. https://www.youtube.com/wat

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  44benn

Can’t post links on Unherd unfortunately, but if you type in ‘audio confirms Michel Barnier weaponised Irish border to trap UK in trade negotiations’ it should take you there.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

I’ll never forget the bit where an apparatchik gloats, ‘we’ve turned them into a colony’ (this was when May was still in charge).

Gary Cole
GC
Gary Cole
3 years ago

Don’t forget that the newly-appointed EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakidou actually stated that the EU doesn’t do queuing and has the right to push in at the front of the queue however late in the day they arrive.

To my mind queuing is a fundamental part of civilised society – but perhaps it’s only the British that think that – and perhaps we’re mugs to do so?

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Cole

… immigration ended orderly queuing years ago … I haven’t passed a bus queue for years …

Mark Cole
JK
Mark Cole
3 years ago

Its not just this big mistake that sends strong warning signals – consider the Stasi like attitude at the ports in confiscating food for personal consumption or rejecting and thus ruining thousands of tonnes of fresh fish for the sake of a wrong coloured Biro used on a from – absolutely nothing wrong with the form details just the ink colour

A small but very significant and damming use of control that in the past would have caused a war with such waste of peoples livelihood

The people fo the member states really need to see these acts for what they are and the Article 16 “mistake” was actually caused by a very fearful mindset – fear that these unelected, untaxed, nationally failed bureaucrats will actually be found out..

Its time for Journalists in Europe to ask the question – Is this the sort of Europe we really want?

I am pro a Common Market, Joint defence and intelligence including the police and would love to see a return to this without the waste of the EU parliament, commission et al

Its hard to be friendly to a neighbour who steals our EIB money, cuts us out of Galileo, undermines national integrity – blocks our borders and tries to partition parts of our country

Fraser Bailey
FB
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Cole

‘Its time for Journalists in Europe to ask the question…’

If you think the journos in Europe will ever ask any questions you are utterly deluded. They are hopeless beyond all salvation. I write as one who has lived in France, Germany and the Netherlands, and who still follows the Dutch press. It’s a joke.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

From recent conversations I’ve had with Dutch friends, there is a lot of disillusionment with the EU at the moment, and there has been for quite a while. I was working in the Netherlands when the euro was introduced. It basically slashed my wages by half.

Gill Clough
Gill Clough
3 years ago

Reference the remainer defence, “which is to admit that the EU did the wrong thing and for the wrong reason ” and that this is precisely why we’d be safer as part of the empire.” Sadly, many remainers are far more entrenched in their views. I’ve been informed that the EU are right to take issue with the UK because some of the UK’s supply of vaccines were manufactured in the EU and that effectively we have stolen the EU’s vaccine supply. To argue thus is to twist the facts into a tangled ball of half-truths to support their argument that the EU is some benevolent entity and it is the British who are behaving nationalistically, and to ignore the facts. I think even if the EU constituted it ‘EU Army’ and invaded across the channel, such ardent remainers would argue that the UK was at fault.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Gill Clough

Just about in living memory, there was another group of the UK great and good so enamoured by a foreign creed that they would truck no criticism or dissent and were absolutely prepared to sacrifice their own country on the alter of this creed

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Gill Clough

Well Sinn Fein,Scottish nationalist parties were pro-nazi 1930s through WW” ,so nowts changed!

Saul D
Saul D
3 years ago

A noticeable change in role for the EU has emerged in the past few months. The EU is starting to act as if it is a unitary country, centrally commanded, able to issue edicts to member states and to set policy that must then be applied at a country level. Previously, it felt that the EU was more of a council of consensus for member countries – like the icing on the cake – but individual countries having primacy.

The evolution to a command body has been coming for a while, but it feels that Brexit, Covid and Covid relief and the change of EU President has finally seen the EU actively taking political charge for itself, over and above its members.

JP Edwards
JE
JP Edwards
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

As you say, the counterweight was the UK. The Commisson are no longer constrained.

Martin Price
Martin Price
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

It is not a recent thing Saul. Research how the commission went about the Schengen agreement or how it has treated Greece following since 2008. It has not been a “council of consensus” for many years, or perhaps ever.

Saul D
SD
Saul D
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Price

I understand that the EU has been moving in this direction since at least the change from being the EEC and that the project has continued in spite of the votes of local electorates. The difference is a significant change in tone. In the last few months, the EU itself has adopted a position that it has reached primacy on decision making. It’s not a consensus of Macron and Merkel talking on the EU’s behalf, but the EU itself directing affairs in Europe – a subtle but new political phase.

J StJohn
AM
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

And in so doing, realising the vision of a unitary state enshrined by law in the Lisbon Treaty.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

Except it’s not a state.

Aden Wellsmith
AW
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Problem is that will push some members out.

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Surely though in a time of emergency. I would like to think that, had we remained we would take a similar decision to Hungary’s rapid acceptance of other vaccine.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

… and soon : The Army of the EU … ( la biche Francaise has the desired convenient nuclear capability … excellent ) .

Stuart Williams
SW
Stuart Williams
3 years ago

The activation of article 16 without consulting the member state is very very dangerous .
What if the EU had decided to close the border with the Russian enclave of Kalinigrad without consulting Poland or Lithuania ( both NATO members ).
The EU seems to be run by arrogant reckless fools.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

As Basil Fawlty ”Well done,Stating the Bleeding obvious”..

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Yes-replace” seems to be” with is.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

To all the fbpe, remainers and rejoin people out there, 1 question?
Where’s your God now?
Is there any acknowledgement that leavers may have had a point or is it still xenophobia and racism that made us vote leave?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

‘Where’s your God now?’

Ha, ha, as someone said: ‘When people no longer believe in God they will believe in anything.’

They will even believe, it seems, in the EU.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

That’s the thing with religious types… They have a way of twisting the facts to fit their beliefs. If all else fails “God moves in mysterious ways” and “you’re a racist” are enough to let the EU off the hook.

J StJohn
AM
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

I’m happy to let the EU off the hook; but blow me down they will insist on jumping back on it !

Raoul De Cambrai
Raoul De Cambrai
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Oh no, of course not, leavers weren’t xenophobes or racists. Well, some of them weren’t. And as for God, I seem to remember rather a lot of Christians (on the lines of the religious right in Trumpland) thought of the EU as a modern version of the Tower of Babel. You know, all those nasty foreign languages and, even worse, furriners. So you and Mike Boosh might try being a little more subtle in your arguments. Perhaps in your minds too. Just because some Christians happen to make a judgement one way doen’t mean that others see things differently.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago

…so, in 2014,15, and 16, we Brexiteers were trying to tell you the true nature and ideology of what the EU really was, but we were called “little Englanders”, racists, Xenophobes, uneducated knuckle-dragging neanderthals, and even conspiracy theorists, but in actual fact, what we were, was well researched.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

That’s perhaps another clue – when your opponent’s idea of “debate” is mindless insult, chances are that your argument is the stronger one.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Exactly. There was a picture floating around on facebook a couple of years ago which said it all, It showed a 1940’s Nazi Rally, an ISIS parade of black-clad jihadi’s brandishing swords and weaponry, an ANTIFA rally, and then a small group of aging UKIP pensioners who were labelled as “far-right extremists”. Honestly, you couldn’t write this stuff.

Jon Read
Jon Read
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Well said.

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Don’t forget ‘gammon’!

Russ Littler
RL
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Tye

true…a term which I never fully understood BTW?

Stephen Tye
ST
Stephen Tye
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Gammon is a pejorative term used in British political culture since around 2012, which received press coverage in 2018. In 2018, it became particularly known as a term to describe working class middle-aged or older men on the political right or who supported Brexit, in reference to the pink colour of their skin when emotional.

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago

Just because we’re out of the EU doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. Remember the “unelected rulers” of the UK, the Civil Service are entrenched Remainers almost to a man and woman (assuming two genders). They belittled any Brexiteer in their midst and fought tooth and nail against Brexit.
Unless the civil service swamp is properly drained then Britain will be continually hampered in the future by these fifth columnists. In addition the ruling classes are in charge of a cosy political monopoly with our First Past The Post voting system. Our choice is between liberal heavy – Labour -or liberal light – Tory – the problem with that is that the silent majority are conservative with a small c.
Until we radically change both the civil service culture and the political monopoly we will never achieve our destiny rather we will continue to underperform as an economy and a nation.
I want a new radical common sense party not driven by ideological precepts, political correctness and wokism. Let’s hope the Reform Party can grow into those shoes!

Richard Hankins
RH
Richard Hankins
3 years ago

The polls since the referendum show a consistent majority for remaining in the EU. I suspect that majority will grow from slight to substantial, as becomes ever clearer that leaving the EU has no benefits whatsoever – only losses, costs and disappointment.

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago

I think the return of a Pro Brexit government with the biggest majority for decades puts a lie to those polls you refer to.

Jean Fothers
JF
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

Pretend “Pro-Brexit” government

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Maybe, but they got the vote on the basis of delivering Brexit

Robin Lambert
RL
Robin Lambert
3 years ago