Britain’s contribution to the EU has shot up by £2.6 billion per cent in the past 12 months, new Treasury figures show, as the UK’s growing economy was used to prop up Brussels’ budget. An “eye-popping” £15.5 billion was sent across the Channel in the year ending March 31, compared with £12.9 billion the year before – an increase of 20 per cent.
The extra money would be enough to put 50,000 more police officers on the streets or fund 81,000 social care beds. Brexiteers said the increase was yet more evidence that Britain must leave the EU as soon as possible to stop taxpayers’ money “pouring into bottomless EU coffers”.
Let’s be clear. I’m no supporter of Boris Johnson. I dislike his Tory politics and social priorities and I think his economics are daft. But he is the best hope for Brexit. So let’s offer him some advice for when he becomes Prime Minister (if I can do so without being expelled from the Labour Party).
A new Prime Minister with a new government has the right to demand a new negotiation. Do so, and take a tougher line than trembling Theresa. Get the predictable reply from an EU so amorphous and disorganised it can only say “no”. That inflexible intransigence will be encouraged and defended by clamouring Remainers and the Blair/Mandelson/Lib Dem fifth column in Britain.
Ignoring the fact that their collusion has encouraged the EU to evade any acceptable agreement so far, the Remainers will denounce “No Deal” or “crash out” to undermine our negotiating position and frighten the nation. It ain’t true. Only the EU can produce No Deal by refusing to change its position. They won’t dare to embark on a trade war. It would be damaging to them as well as us, at a time when recession is developing. It’s a little difficult to see a shambling organisation which Remainers tell us is so benign and virtuous, rejecting all the norms of modern trade by setting out to cripple and punish their former partner, for the crime of doing what its people want.
The medicine won’t disappear, flights will arrive almost on time, students will still exchange, travellers visit and nationals from each country will still work in others and trade will go on. Even if there’s no comprehensive treaty, there’ll be a live and let live de facto settlement to allow the EU to get on with its follies, an EU army, trying to make the euro work and dealing with refugees.
use No Deal as a negotiating threat, rouse British anger at their bullying then call an early election. Gordon Brown made the fatal mistake of not calling for a new mandate. You need one and you have a good chance. Labour has divided and disabled itself. The nation wants the impasse ended and is crying out for leadership. The time is ripe. And you can always take the precaution of offering, say, £50 million to the constituency of every Labour MP who votes for your settlement. Several will accept it – I certainly would if I was still there!
My one proviso is that you avoid splitting the Brexit vote by reaching a pact, like the Lib-Lab agreement of 1905 which was brokered by Herbert Gladstone between the Liberals and the new Labour Party to bring Labour in. That would have kept Labour as a minority pressure group, had the Liberals not split. The Brexit Party can’t be treated like lepers now they’re a force.
Theresa’s failure can be a springboard to your success. Feebleness was her metier. Now the country wants someone strong and convincing. After years of misery, bafflement and failure, people want leadership, optimism and a bit of fun – not more misery and fear from the cheerless Remainers.
The Kill Boris campaign waged by the media who once loved him, the liberal intellegentsia and The Guardian has succeeded only in convincing people you’ll provide all that. So boost your prospects further by promising to end austerity with a big boost to spending.
That’s vitally necessary anyway. None of it should go in tax cuts for the rich, they’ve already done well. The greater need is state aid to exporting industry and venture capital for import substitution so we can seize the opportunity to boost exports and replace imports, which the inevitable devaluation (due anyway, so horrendous is our trade deficit) will provide.
Winning will be the start of the first serious negotiations with the EU in which we’ll fight our corner, not lie down like a mat to be walked on. The Northern Irish border remains a problem, but could surely be dealt with by making the whole of Northern Ireland a free port where we won’t impose customs barriers. The Irish can put them up if they want to, but having benefited for years by unfair tax competition they might welcome the competitive advantage of becoming a goods entrepot too, which would allow customless trade both ways.
Good luck. Britain deserves some. Doing what the people want won’t be as tough as the miseryguts fear, the Remainers want and Treasury miscalculates.