Blackmail: A Dirty Word For A Dirty Government

The British government has finally sunk to its lowest level in the latest bid to force the European Union into giving in to its demands. Ever since the vote to leave the E.U. was engineered by a group of billionaires and high-ranking politicians hellbent on handing British interests over to American corporations, the U.K. government has demanded to both have its cake and eat it. It expects to leave the Union, yet keep all the good bits it enjoyed while a member.

The European Union was founded on four core principles: freedom of movement of people, goods, capital, and services throughout the member states. Britain is now leaving the Union as of 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019. To date, no agreement has been reached and the negotiations have become increasingly acrimonious. Everything the U.K. has demanded has been in contravention of one or more of the E.U.’s founding principles.

To aggravate matters further, Southern Ireland (Eire) is a full member of the European Union, but shares a border with Northern Ireland, part of the U.K.. Under the Good Friday Agreement signed into law on December 2nd 1999, said border must remain open and free from any customs regulations. The quandary is how goods moving from the E.U. (Eire) into a (Northern Ireland) can be controlled when Northern Ireland will cease to be a member of the E.U. customs union.

The E.U. negotiators expect the U.K. to find a solution to this apparently unresolvable problem and so far the British government has failed miserably to solve the issue to the E.U.’s satisfaction. Now, the U.K. government is demanding the E.U. find an answer. Understandably, the E.U. is saying why should it? It’s Britain’s problem.

Why not simply move the border to the Northern Ireland coastline with the Irish Sea? Oh, no, state the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, they’re not prepared to accept that reasonable solution. They demand the border stay put.

Why can’t the DUP be over-ruled on the issue? They were the only political party on the island of Ireland to vote against the Good Friday Agreement. They also worked relentlessly to ensure the U.K. voted to leave the E.U., despite a strong majority of Northern Irish citizens (56%) voting to remain in the European Union. They’re also the minority party (only ten seats) in the British Parliament, but keeping Theresa May and her Tory hordes in power. Without them the government would collapse.

In desperation, this rabble of a U.K. government has now turned to blackmail. Dominic Raab…

…the government’s new ‘Brexit Secretary’ (the last one just resigned) has stated that the U.K. may refuse to pay the 39 billion pounds ($51 billion) it owes the E.U. if no trade deal is forthcoming from Europe

This from the ‘Irish Examiner’:

British Government threats to refuse to pay its £39bn divorce bill to the EU are “an empty threat” but “disappointing”, Dublin has said.

Speaking yesterday, the UK’s new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, a prominent Leaver, said the UK could refuse to pay its £39 billion divorce bill to Brussels if it does not get a trade deal.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph and also speaking on BBC television, Mr Raab said there has to be an element of conditionality to the exit deal and how the UK’s future relationship with the EU is determined.[1]

There are, of course, two obvious solutions to the whole unsavoury business: either move the Irish border to the Irish Sea and stuff the DUP, or hold a second referendum. After two bitter years of squabble and dirty tricks the British people have had their fill of Brexit. A second referendum would almost certainly result in a strong “remain” vote.

Neither will happen because moving the border would mean the DUP no longer supporting the government, which would then fall, and a vote to remain would also, undoubtedly, bring down the government.

Holding onto power at all costs is all that matters in today’s politics.

[1] “Threats by UK to refuse paying £39bn Brexit divorce bill “disappointing”, Senator says” Irish Examiner, July 22nd 2018

3 Replies to “Blackmail: A Dirty Word For A Dirty Government”

  1. Thanks for this update, RJ. I’ve tried to keep up with Brexit doings and undoings but have mostly failed to keep things straight.

    I used to think that British politicians were better than this, by far – even when they were on the opposite side of things to me, they still retained some level of common sense and practicality for which I could respect them (Thatcher excepted!) That seems to have disappeared during the time you and I have been away from the Old Country .

    I try to imagine how things would have been with some other well-known British politician in charge of the Brexit negotiations instead of Ms May, John Major for example. Surely things would not be so f’d up?
    What the heck has happened?

  2. Twilight ~ Much has changed in Britain since we left, not least the Tory Party. Like the Republicans of the US it has moved far to the right. After the Brexit vote, some Tory politicians were even suggesting amalgamating with UKIP. Theresa May only rules with the blessing of the far-right DUP and far right-wing ministers like Liam Fox, Michael Gove, and of course, our very own Trump doppelganger, Boris Johnson, now moved to the backbenches to prepare his battle for the leadership. In the wings, and a contender to be the next prime minister, we have Jacob Rees-Mogg, a man as Victorian in his attitudes as in his dress. He is anti-abortion (in all circumstances), anti-immigration, anti-same sex marriage, anti-foreign aid, and anti anyone being a minister of parliament who hasn’t attended Oxford or Cambridge, stating: “…the country would not be best run by “potted plants””.
    And THAT’s just the changes in politics!

  3. Brexit never leaves the headlines. What a disaster. I saw a good article on this and for the life of me can’t remember where, written when the UK originally came into the EU and it was the beginning of a bright empire-less future and the dawning of a new enlightened age.

    But this extreme right business, the theocorporatocracy, always throws women’s rights on the table first.

    We seem to be running completely out of control. I know Canadian economy is teetering because of tariffs and the autocratic fascist Il Presidento.


Comments are closed.