Monday, 26 March 2018

The London Brexit luvvies need to grow up or shut up.


Here is a reason why you should despise the flappy-mouthed London Brexit luvvies. Galileo is Europe's own global navigation satellite system, designed as a competitor to the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou. Plan is for Galileo to be fully operational 2020.

There's a lot of UK money invested in it and a lot of high quality jobs dependent on it. We have also geared a lot of our defence toward being part of that system. Nobody wants an EU army but we are not a superpower and we can no longer afford to maintain a standing army and a vast fleet of ships so, we do look toward defence cooperation.

Being that the EU has decided to amalgamate its industrial defence policy the UK has no choice but to talk to the EU one defence matters. Brexit does not make the EU disappear. The post-referendum question has always been one of what sort of relationship we want with it.

The question here is whether we want to divest from the Galileo system, and if so what do we replace it with and if not, what level of usage rights do we want, how much are we prepared to pay and if we are prepared to pay should we be satisfied with mere observer status without any technical or political input?

Grunting slogans like "Leave means leave" and "I know what I voted for!" does not answer these questions. In this there is a greater philosophical question in that if we do decide to ditch Galileo then we face the choice of going cap in hand to the USA or significantly downgrading our military capabilities to being just a national defence force. Did the referendum provide an answer to that question? No.

Similar questions have to be asked and answered in respect of Europol and Euratom. In an ideal world these would be agencies independent of the EU for multilateral cooperation irrespective of political union. But they aren't. They are EU institutions and they exist whether we want them to or not.

So while the likes of Claire Fox, Brendan O'Neill, Julia Dunning Kruger and the London Brexit circle-jerk shout slogans, cheering on their binary Brexit they completely concede the battleground to remainers and civil servants on all of these issues - leaving it to the adults who have to contend with these realities - and with no political input will simply concede to leash agreements overseen by the ECJ.

As each of these technical questions emerges officialdom will simply conclude that they may as well take the path of least resistance because nobody is going to notice, nobody is going to care, and little by little they rebuild every strand of EU membership - simply because there were no alternative ideas on the table. And then those same Brexit luvvies will cry betrayal and complain that we are run by technocrats.

And here I have to admit to something. When it comes to Galileo I have no idea if we should maintain our share of it. It has its roots in military me-tooism - another bauble of superstate pretensions not dissimilar to the already obsolete A380. But here's the thing; whether we want it to exist or not is by the by. It does exist, we paid for it and we don't have an alternative idea on the table.

Extrapolating this, we can apply the same concerns to customs cooperation, air travel, agriculture and fishing. What good is sovereignty without the power and the capital to wield it? Why pull a fish out of the sea if there's no market to sell it to?

I have reasonably good answers to a lot of these questions but I'm wasting my breath and my time. I can write a boiler plate rabble-rousing Brexit blog along with the best of them insisting that democracy is respected, but the need for international cooperation does not evaporate with Brexit and Brussels is still the regional superpower.

By insisting that Brexit is a binary estimation and only the total demolition of UK-EU economic cooperation qualifies as "full Brexit" we stand to lose a great deal. For what exactly?

We are told Brexit is for democracy so that we are free to decide things for ourselves, yet the people at the forefront of these arguments are those who take zero interest in any of it and are entirely at ease with these decisions being delegated to others. What then was the point? If it is all to be conceded to technocrats why did we even bother?

Brexit is a decade long trek through a minefield where a wrong step could very well be a disaster. If we concede the territory to the ultra-Brexit zealots, the kind the London luvvies are only too happy to cosy up to, then there's a good chance of regulatory collapse and the loss of all formal external relations - leading to a decade long depression - and all of the miserable consequences therein.

But then there is also the danger that leavers take so little interest in the details that we end up with Brexit in name only, tied by a million threads - done so discreetly that no Brexiteer will even notice what has been done to them.

This requires that those who pushed for Brexit take an active role in scrutinising it instead of throwing a toddler like tantrum at every concession and crying "betrayal".

The fact is that we do need an enhanced relationship with the EU, we will be paying into the EU budget, we will have shared jurisdiction in a number areas of cooperation and we will be adopting rules be they European or international - because that is how the world works. To insist that none of this is necessary and that "we voted for Brexit" - with no regard to the real world dilemmas of globalisation - is just teenage petulance.

Ultimately we wanted this revolution and now we've got it. What we end up with really all depends on what we say and do now - and choosing allies with care. Right now all we're doing is handing the keys to the country to the disaster capitalists on the Tory back benches and their useful idiots in the Westminster bubble. I guarantee you that is not the Brexit any of us voted for.

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