O Brexit, my Brexit

By June 10, 2017February 18th, 2021No Comments

DANIEL HANNAN: Don’t panic! We can still get a strong deal with the most pro-Brexit House of Commons ever

By Daniel Hannan for the Daily Mail

10 June 2017

This is the most pro-Brexit House of Commons ever elected. More than 90 per cent of MPs have just been returned for parties that are promising to leave the EU, namely the Conservatives, Labour and the Democratic Unionist Party.

That fact is worth remembering as you listen to the excited comments by British Europhiles about stopping Brexit, and the sneering by some in Brussels about the supposed hopelessness of our position now that Theresa May has lost her outright majority.

It’s hard to see how Brexit could be stopped even if MPs voted en masse against their party manifestos.

The EU’s Article 50, which began the formal process of disengagement, was triggered ten weeks ago. Thanks, paradoxically, to the Euro-fanatical campaigner Gina Miller and her court case, its triggering was endorsed by both Houses of Parliament, giving it unarguable authority.

In both British and European law, the United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the EU on 29 March, 2019 [unless the UK chooses to leave sooner].

A lot of commentators misunderstand, or affect to misunderstand, this fact. Britain will pull out of the EU, with or without a deal, in less than two years.

The choice is not between leaving and staying. It’s between leaving in an amicable way and leaving with no agreement. Nothing that has happened this week will change that.

Everyone agrees it is better to withdraw in an orderly manner. We want to retain the friendship of our European allies. We don’t want a rupture that damages our economy or theirs, or that weakens the eurozone. Prosperous neighbours make the best customers.

That’s not to say that leaving with no deal would be the end of the world, simply that it is a second-best option.

Pro-EU politicians always use the same hackneyed phrase when they talk about a failure to reach terms.

They call it ‘crashing out’ of the EU ‘with no deal at all’. A more neutral way of putting it might be to say: ‘Enjoying normal, friendly relations with the EU, in the way that Australia and the U.S. do.’

Still, to repeat, both sides have made clear that they would much prefer an agreed and cordial withdrawal.

What might the terms of such an agreement look like? Has Britain’s hand been weakened by the election? Will Labour MPs work with Tory Europhiles to try to water down any deal? Will Brussels toughen its stance in response?

Again, it is worth looking at the manifestos on which Labour and Conservative MPs have been elected. Both promised to implement the referendum result.

Both accepted that Britain would settle its outstanding debts to the EU, but no more. Both opposed unrestricted immigration. Both rejected full membership of the [so called] single market [and customs union].

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