Saturday, 11 June 2016

Bluster and bluff from ze Germans.

Wolfgang Schäuble has apparently "ruled out Britain joining the single market if the country votes to leave the EU later this month". Fair enough. And that would be significant news were he lord, master and dictator of the entire EU. But he isn't. Even the EU isn't that dictatorial. Yet.

And what matters more is what he actually said. What he infers is that Britain cannot be part of the single market on the basis of the referendum proposal to deviate from EU rules. That is another thing entirely. It's a roundabout way of saying that if we do want the EEA then it comes warts and all, which is nothing we did not already know. It is yet another affirmation that Britain does not get to pick and choose. 

But if he really does mean it and that Germany will bully us into total separation in one go, it will likely be his administration having to explain to German industry why they must navigate a whole new tranche of non tariff barriers to export to the very wealthy UK market. Doesn't sound very realistic does it?

Moreover, he can't have it his way for the same reason the Kippers can't. There is nothing that I know of that could substitute the EEA agreement in under two years. So unless he actually does have a magic wand he is bluffing.

So we must question why this particular intervention at this stage in the game? Well, because we few bloggers have finally got it through to the numbskulls in the media that the EU is not the single market and that if we have an EEA agreement then none of the scaremongering is actually true. So this is a 100% political intervention from a German bully who doesn't actually have the authority to exclude us or the political capital to make it a reality.

Full separation has major financial and practical consequences for the EU as well as the UK, which is why it's just not going to happen. The EU may be inept but it does not have a deathwish. 

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