We hear of the proposed £60 billion pay off to the EU. It grows everyday. The extraordinary aspect of this whole sorry affair is the complete lack of professionalism in theses negotiations.
Possibly no surprise as the participants are all drawn from the political & bureaucratic class. Untrained in these matters & playing with money that belongs to someone else. As the Americans would say, nobody has any ‘skin in the game’.
From a British perspective this approach was flawed from the beginning. The standard of the modern politician in Europe is woeful. The British civil service are third raters promoted paradoxically on their uncritical commitment to the EU project. In short nearly all the players in the game are Remainers save one or two token Leave politicians as window dressing for the home electorate.
The British government should have fielded a team headed by men of administrative & commercial experience committed to facilitating the will of the electorate in the spirit of the last Prime Minister’s letter to every house in the land. A suggested team might include Mervyn King, retired BoE governor, Digby Jones late of the CBI, & international & domestic entrepreneurs James Dyson & Tim Martin.
They should be backed up by a forensic accountancy team & apolitical constitutional lawyers.
Of impeccable credentials, possibly recruited from the Commonwealth.
The armoury the team should have is a leave date set in concrete, with a pre negotiated WTO arrangement, hence a message to the EU they must negotiate seriously. Our membership subscriptions must be paid into a trust account for future settlement to ensure negotiations are not prolonged to maintain a status quo without end.
- The accounting position must be open & so clear it can be published in any weekend colour supplement.
- How much does the EU owe the UK? Real estate, European Investment Bank, past paid up assets in realistic assessments. In other words commercial due diligence.
- We must have an itemised account from the EU, in fine detail. In any commercial transaction this would be a given.
- As very long term net contributors there can be no question of a moral responsibility, in fact quite the reverse.
- A modest good will payment might be considered taken from the UK overseas aid budget, nothing more.
- There is no public desire for a ‘special & deep relationship’ with this anachronistic customs union.
- We want to send a signal to the world we have broken our shackles permanently with this failing institution.
The UK is a global trading nation, a constitutional democracy with its own ancient & effective legal system. We can remain good neighbours but nothing more. The EU negotiating team at present do not believe we are in earnest about leaving. That message must be corrected.
Parliament must meet its obligations & carry out the promise made by the two main political parties both in the chamber & subsequent manifestos.
© Godfrey Bloom 2017 http://godfreybloom.uk/blogs/