IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Be careful what you wish for in Europe

02 March, 2018

• IT is very sad to see sub-par MPs reduce the Brexit debate to a party political points-scoring squabble.

Labour, we are led to believe, foresees the UK being a member of “a customs union that looks pretty much like the current customs union”. Laser-like precision.

I have a pair of trousers that look pretty much like another pair of trousers. No wonder Michel Barnier sometimes looks confused.

The truth is the customs union is a barrier to trade, principally targeting imports from the Third World. We tax their exports and bung a bit of aid in return. The import duty raised is passed on to the EU to spend on who knows what.

They don’t get their accounts audited. Tax the less fortunate and pass the money to the unelected few who enjoy a lot of summits, dinners, limos. Get the picture? I cannot imagine any self-respecting progressive viewing this with anything other than contempt.

There can be no question of remaining in the EU. We voted to leave and punched our ticket. The EU will not permit us to remain. They don’t want us to remain but they would love the craven to ask if we can come back.

They would allow us to rejoin immediately after we had left. Seamless but on new terms: their terms. Be careful what you wish for.

Pop quiz. Do you want to replace sterling with the euro? Do you want the UK to be a member of the Schengen Area? Do you want no rebate on our contribution? Do you want the EU to set tax policy, social policy, foreign policy? Answers please on a postcard to “Ever Closer Union PO.”

If the answer is “yes” you are a Re-joiner. Remainers never existed unless you count people at parties who can’t take the hint.

All aboard Chuka’s red bus with the strange writing on the side. Jean-Claude is wearing the peaked cap this trip.

STEPHEN SOUTHAM, N1

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