DOUG NICHOLLS looks at the desperation of the EU Brexit negotiators and their threat to Ireland
JOSE MANUEL BARROSO was president of the EU and now works for Goldman Sachs. This two-way traffic between Goldman Sachs and EU functionaries has a long history — as long ago as the ’30s Wall Street started to promote the idea of a federal Europe with a single currency, rendering nation states redundant.
It’s quite natural for him therefore to refer, as he does, to the EU as the “European empire.”
That was the idea all along, as the papers behind Ted Heath’s lies that we were only joining a common market reveal. The EU is an imperial power, its purpose is to remove national self-determination and put the leaders of the markets’ packs in charge.
Internally the big powers, notably Germany, colonise and asset-strip smaller powers like Greece.
The financiers control former nations, redesignated as “economic zones,” through debt and the control of their public assets and banks. They are now looking at trade controls in Ireland to try the same.
Through policies of forced migrations, at one and the same time the EU makes wandering nomads of millions of workers, particularly in the accession states where vast skills gaps now exist, and it slams the door to those fleeing the wars and destitution it supports overseas.
Externally the EU seeks to act as a bloc on the world stage and strangle agricultural production in places like Africa and control gas and oil pipelines to the east. Since 2016 it has built its military forces and policy to back up these claims if needed.
Its origins in the European Coal and Steel Community sought to remove from any independent country the ability to be self-sufficient in energy supply and steel production. The attack on British steel and coal was not just a nasty union-bashing move by Thatcher.
The Common Agricultural and Fisheries policies function to disable self-sufficiency in national food production. Procurement rules culminate in the obscenity of European governments and companies owning British utilities and railways. Renationalising all this, as Labour wants, would hit Michel Barnier’s bosses badly.
Empires don’t like slave rebellions, as Spartacus found out. They want to hang Britain out in public to deter others from trying to break free. There’s nothing more vicious than an empire scorned.
The EU’s rules around leaving, the dreaded Article 50, are designed to make leaving as near impossible as it can be. The stance of its negotiators when faced previously with referendum results opposing their treaty proposals, as in the Netherlands, France and Ireland, has been to force a rethink and a revote.
In Britain we did not have a referendum on any of the key steps and treaties that made us subservient to the unelected power of the EU. It was a slow motion coup d’etat indeed.
As the euro currency continues its dangerous decline, as the industrial powerhouse Germany faces increasing worker discontent and the rise of the far right, and as more and more EU member states — and more importantly their citizens — think leaving the EU is now a real option, so the tactics deployed against Britain’s Brexit negotiators become more desperate. This is why they have rejected any compromises made in the negotiations by the British government.
You won’t be able to land your planes on our soil if you’re naughty, says Jean-Claude Juncker; we want to annex Northern Ireland, says Barnier; you must obey all of our rules forever, says Donald Tusk; don’t try to leave or we will topple your government, says Guy Verhofstadt; we’ve got George Soros on side funding opposition to leaving, says Emmanuel Macron.
When the other side’s negotiators get desperate, you know you are winning and should pile on the pressure harder.
It’s entirely up to the EU if it wants to undermine the goodwill in Ireland embodied in the Good Friday Agreement by setting up a hard border.
The British and Irish governments do not want this. They have no need to create it. With a little more than irony, Brussels dominates Dublin and now wants to dominate Belfast. Its imposition of a hard border would be a new form of colonialism in itself.
The Northern Ireland border has more checkpoints already than throughout the whole of Europe, some 275.
The flow of trade across it is largely agricultural. A relatively small amount of Northern Ireland’s total trade is with the republic.
It was worth in the region of £4 billion per annum in 2016. Also about 1 per cent (£1.3bn worth in 2016) of the republic’s trade is with Northern Ireland and about 11 per cent with Britain.
The Republic of Ireland is the fifth biggest customer for UK exports.
The UK is the second biggest customer for Irish exports. We need frictionless trade between our two countries.
In 2016, UK exports to Ireland were worth £34bn; imports from Ireland were £21.8bn, resulting in a trade surplus of £12.2bn.
The UK had a surplus with Ireland in both goods and services.
Ireland accounted for 5.5 per cent of UK exports and 3.4 per cent of all UK imports.
Ireland was the UK’s fifth-largest export market and the ninth-largest source of imports. The UK has recorded a trade surplus with Ireland every year between 1999 and 2017.
Again, it is not difficult to see that Britain is in the stronger negotiating position if the EU commissioners want to create mayhem in Ireland.
British workers don’t want a hard border in Ireland and nor do Irish workers, there is absolutely no need for one as both professional customs experts have shown and committed politicians understand.
So if no-one in Ireland or Britain wants a hard border, why does the EU want to impose one and what right does it have to do so?