The Actual Point

Of the EU that is.

The Brexit talks seem to have ground to a halt again but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.

The Americans have insisted that any post-Brexit US-UK trade negotiations be done in secret, which seems seems oddly sensible from their point of view, given that there won’t be any negotiations. It will be a take it or leave it offer which we will have to pretend to have negotiated. Transparency is not helpful to either side in this scenario. We are already setting ourselves up to get screwed over by the USA, and getting overexcited about the prospect of blue passports as if that is where true national sovereignty lies.

This is all just dicking around. “Brexit” still means “brexit” and apparently “tautology” now means “tortoise” as we shamble slowly towards obliquity and irrelevance.

The actual point?

While we are dicking about with the deckchairs on The Titanic a leaky aircraft carrier that we can’t afford, the EU is actually doing something. Something important. Something morally necessary for the survival of European democracy. Something we should be supporting. They are standing up to the increasingly despotic government of Poland as it attempts to undermine the rule of law and the independence of Poland’s legal system. Well done them! I know the EU can often be a slow, inefficient juggernaut meandering an uncertain path but this time they are right where they need to be and facing in the right direction. They could have just let this slide but they didn’t.

Now, surely this is something that, Brexit or no Brexit, we can all agree on? Right? Er, right? Theresa? Theresa, are you listening? What did I just say? No, not that thing about the bloody tortoise! What did I say after that? Democracy and the rule of law? Ring any bells? No? OK. Lets try a different angle. What have you been up to lately, Theresa?  Doing your best Neville Chamberlain impression? Wowed the audience in Poland did it? What do you do for an encore? Vidkun Quisling? You really don’t get it do you? We are supposed to be better than this! Yes, even Tories are meant to be better than this.

OK. Forget her. She is beyond help.

For the rest of us we get to glimpse the actual point of the EU. Whatever else may be wrong with it, no matter how inefficient and in need of reform, it is basically a force for moral good. It stands for democracy and the rule of law. The people of Poland will feel some comfort that they do have one powerful ally as they try to avoid drowning in this new wave of global Putinism. Unfortunately, May’s craven performance will have undermined that. That’s right. We are not only screwing up our own country. We are now screwing up other people’s countries and undermining efforts to help them!

Forget us. We are beyond help.

Morality? Ethics? The UK doesn’t care about any of that tree hugging hippy crap! Just give us disadvantageous, asymmetric trade deals with any tyrants that will have us. We will sign anything now. Trump? Putin? Erdoğan? Anybody? What could possibly go wrong?

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December 23, 2017. #Brexit, Sensible.

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