It’s sometimes quite unnerving to listen to the entrenched attitudes of the EU. Having read Michel Barnier’s terms and conditions for the Brexit exit - in particular, you’re in but you can’t have a say - it makes me wonder what they actually expect their post-Brexit world to look like. By setting out a rigid position toward Britain they presumably imagine that this will be to their benefit; make Britain beg and crawl and offer no resistance ??? Well, there are grounds for them believing that based on Britain’s lack-lustre negotiating activities so far, and maybe that’s what they are banking on for Phase 2.
Therein lies the challenge. With Eurosceptics now openly challenging the robustness, commitment and competence of the government to negotiate Brexit as was voted for, the May administration has a choice. It can continue to deal in its weak and flabby fashion and end up as a subservient associate of the EU or it can beef up its game and start conducting itself like a professional and determined government that has a distinct purpose. Let us speculate what might happen....
To get the best negotiating team at the table requires the abandonment of party political prejudices and the adoption of a cross-party/industrial panel that understands what is at stake and an appropriate manner in which to negotiate - in other words, country before political position. Now will such national spirit be shown by the government for Phase 2 ? Not a cat in hell’s chance in my opinion. They will enter Phase 2 with much the same lack of grit that characterised Phase 1 - and remember that the outcome of that was to agree to pay a lot of money just to get to the negotiating table for Phase 2. I’m with the Eurosceptics here. I share their concern that our government will capitulate to EU demands at every turn - they, inherently, do not have the will, desire or comprehension to negotiate Brexit as per the mandate. Political positioning is far more to their taste - and Anna Soubry’s call to repel Brexiteers at all costs is indicative of that mentality - but what the government have so far failed to appreciate is that the electorate will not forgive a capitulation - as they wouldn’t in 1940 - and in that judgement they will find Leavers and Remainers alike against them - for they will have delivered an outcome that suits nobody.
If you want a more robust negotiation then you must shout from the rooftops for it and our media must be charged with the responsibility of portraying the options without bias or prejudice. Will the British electorate get off its backside and do this ? I sincerely hope so, but I do question whether they will muster the wherewithal to bother.
Trumpland is playing its games again. I see Hillary Clinton reading from Fire and Fury at the Grammy award ceremony with a big, cheesy grin all over her face. Just what she hopes to achieve by this is anybody’s guess but it’s in poor taste, lacks judgement and is wholly inappropriate for a Hollywood bash.
Gender wage gaps are still in the news with EasyJet’s new boss volunteering himself for a pay-cut to show he is not some misogynistic fat-cat. Be careful of what you say you will do, Mr Lundgren.