Know your enemy
From Adrian Ekins-Daukes.
One of the key Brexit texts is “Change, or Go: How Britain would gain influence and prosper outside an unreformed EU.” written in 2015. Highlights summarised below by Jennifer Rankin (Guardian):
- UK/Irish relations scarcely get a mention.
- The EU would agree to negotiate a new trading relationship before the triggering of Article 50. The UK would have a new deal in its back pocket before the formal process of leaving the EU even began.
- The UK could enjoy “a common market relationship with EU even if it did not sign a special deal after exit”.
- The authors were relaxed about the UK losing the benefits of EU trade deals, because “the EU underperforms at managing trade policy”. It doesn’t have a trade deal with the US and China. Anyway, it is “highly likely” EU FTAs “could be photocopied”. The UK could quickly do its own deals.
- It obsesses on tariffs, but pays scant attention to non-tariff barriers. In revealing language, it saw limits to the EU’s ability “to penalise Britain” and inflict “malicious harm”.
- Easy transport links for firms and citizens: “there would be no significant disruption or inconvenience for UK firms or passengers”. UK travellers can keep the EHIC insurance card when visiting the EU. The Change or Go report provided the underpinning for Michael Gove’s “We hold all the cards” 2016 speech.
Taken together, Gove’s speech and the Change or Go report make it clear that Brexiteers believed:
- The EU was about to implode sometime soon or, at the very least, be severely weakened.
- Brexit would trigger a domino effect and other countries would follow the UK out.
- After the Brexit vote, the UK would hold all the cards and be the centre of a new, anti-EU European alliance.
- The UK could dictate terms because the EU would desperately need UK trade.
- The UK could have customs union and single market benefits without the commitments and obligations of membership.
- Travel to the EU from the UK would continue without interruption and with no new requirements.
- It was all about the trade in goods, tariffs and borders.
- The UK would quickly be able to negotiate trade deals with all the major powers to compensate for any loss in EU trade.
Incredibly, Leave Voters still seem to believe much of this nonsense in the face of all the evidence and the passage of time. In particular they cling to the to the idea that Merkel will come to the rescue of the negotiations at the last moment and that the obstructive Barnier will be sacked (editor’s note, we have seen the Cummings and goings of many UK trade negotiators and whipping boys whereas Barnier has remained in place all through this process). Our Government believe that all that we have to do is to continue to allow David Frost, our negotiator, to continue repeating idiotically “we are now an independent country”, and the EU will finally concede.
Write to your MP using this material to set out the case as to why the unicorns of Brexit MP’s have been shown to be fatally flawed. Call for a suspension of Brexit pending a full public enquiry and consultation.
Read Anand Menon’s recent paper on the subject.
Michael Gove’s lies and various other lies are captured in this piece of music which is prophetic in terms of our sleepwalk into a banana republic and a fascist state.