I’m writing this blog post as my fortnightly article for next week’s Oswestry and Borders Chronicle. Has to be done for first thing, Monday morning. So it’s style is rather more ‘article’ than ‘blog post’. Here goes.
So much is being written about the process by which the UK is leaving the European Union, that it’s difficult to know what’s actually happening. Or to “see the wood for the trees”. Or to “separate the wheat from the chaff”. Choose your own phrase. But for me, the process of withdrawal is proceeding much as I would have expected it to - in a most unsatisfactory way.
Let us look back. The decision of the British people to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016 came as a surprise to most, including me. In particular, it came as a huge shock to the Prime Minister of the time, David Cameron who resigned the following morning.
After much heart searching, I had voted Leave in the referendum, but I always realised that leaving would lead to years of disruption and uncertainty. I’ve not changed my assessment of what we face. We don’t know, but suspect that little or no preparation work had been done in preparation for a Leave vote. Quite rightly, new Prime Minister, Theresa May has taken the process forward with caution and care - refusing to be rushed. Fortunately a cautious approach is her personal style of government. Mine too.
The main reason why the process of leaving is so difficult for the Prime Minister and David Davis, her Brexit Secretary of State is that the EU is making it as difficult as possible for the UK to carry our it’s instruction from the 17.4 million voters of the UK to leave. Those involved in negotiating on behalf of the EU are behaving like haughty bullies. We saw the same attitude towards Greece over recent years, and we see it towards Catalonia at present. The British people will not be so easily bullied. The response of many of my constituents when we discuss this issue is to be more determined to Leave. The sheer arrogance, haughtiness and intrangigence has given much more impetus to a ‘No Deal’ option.
The UK wants a sensible ‘deal’ which benefits the EU and the UK. I suspect the EU puppet masters are becoming aware that the UK people's attitude is hardening. The UK Govt wants a mutually beneficial deal, but more work is now being done on ‘No Deal’. It should be. We should not continue with the childish game of posturing that is a feature of negotiations so far for much longer. The world outside of the EU is a big place, where there is a lot of potential for trade deals. It’s reaching time for constructive negotiation or leaving the table. I’ve always been one to turn my back on bullies.