The Britain we knew is gone forever

To lose one country is a misfortune.  To lose both simultaneously looks like carelessness.  I apologise for paying so much attention to the UK, when the system has become so dysfunctional in the US.  But the US is not in danger of actually breaking up, and the UK is.

The following from the highly respected Martin Wolf in the Financial Times:

“No one knows what kind of Britain will emerge from the “Brexit earthquake” – but my increasingly clear conviction is that the outcome will be ugly and the damage long-term.  The UK that “the world thought it knew – stable, pragmatic and respected – is gone, probably forever”.

Failing to agree a smooth Brexit due to fears over the Irish backstop is a national folly – since that backstop only prevents Britain from making trade deals that are either “less important than maintaining good relations with the EU”, “probably unavailable” (China and India) or “abusive” (the US). The now-likely prospect of a no-deal Brexit risks multiple constitutional crises, the suspension of Parliament (“an executive coup”) and the probable break-up of the UK. And when it comes to political leadership, we face a sickening choice between a “serial fantasist” (Boris Johnson) and a man who supports “any notionally left-wing tyrant he can find” (Jeremy Corbyn). Can Britain really be this lost, “dithering between Ayn Rand and Leon Trotsky”? What’s happening is “not worthy of a serious country”. The conclusion? We no longer are one.”  (Martin Wolfe, Financial Times, 20 July 2019)

My contribution:  Without the UK the EU becomes a de facto German economic empire, something the British have traditionally resisted.  The right policy would have been to get back into the Brussels bureaucracy, down and dirty, and change the things you don’t like, not huffing and puffing on the sidelines, with  dramatic visits by Prime Ministers that were never going to work.  We started the process decades ago with a large number of experienced and pragmatic British civil servants running the show in Brussels, but these people have long gone and were never replaced by the Little Englanders in successive governments.  Instead?  Endless hot air, grumbling, and straightforward lies, some of them appearing to emanate from Moscow (well, of course Putin wants to dismantle the EU).

Alas, poor Britain! badly served!

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