What part of sovereignty don’t the French understand? Apparently, this time it’s the part that involves Britain’s right to control access to her coastal waters post-Brexit.
Actually it’s not even that. Fishing rights are just another pretext for the EU to make Brexit as painful as possible, pour encourager les autres. Scared witless of a domino effect, with other EU members falling out of its grip, the EU has never for a second negotiated in good faith.
Instead of trying to arrive at a mutually beneficial accommodation, EU functionaries resort to blackmail, knowing in advance that the British will find it unacceptable. Now they insist that EU fishermen be guaranteed “continuous [meaning unlimited] access to British waters and fish.”
French MEPs Nathalie Loiseau and Pierre Karleskind, both Macron’s allies, have written a letter to their colleagues asking them to vote down any trade deal that includes Britain’s sovereign control over her territorial waters.
They must “ensure that a partnership agreement, if reachable, does protect the interests of our fellow citizens.” This is yet another EU lie. The only interests MEPs, and the EU in general, have ever wanted to protect are those of that political contrivance – and the economy be damned.
That stands to reason: from its inception, the EU has pursued political or, more precisely, ideological objectives. This has always been camouflaged with the same lie that survives to this day: that the EU’s aims are mostly economic. Yet, as one of its midwives, Jean Monnet, explained back in the early 1950s, that’s merely subterfuge:
“Europe’s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose but which will irreversibly lead to federation.”
The trick worked famously with all European countries, including, until July, 2016, Britain. Then her smug ‘leaders’ called a referendum, never doubting Britain would be confined to a European superstate in perpetuity as a result.
That only went to show how detached they were from the people of their country. The notion of dissolving Britain’s sovereignty in a continental superstate flies in the face of the country’s history, constitution and national character. The British were never likely to do an Esau and sell their birthright for a mess of pottage – especially one as messy as the EU.
Like all other ideologies, European federalism is pernicious and single-minded, if more cynical than most. This explains the continued attempts by the EU to sabotage any equitable trade deal with Britain: an ideology always trumps all other considerations, including the economy.
That’s why EU negotiators don’t mind risking any damage to their own economies, which will inevitably result if no free trade between Britain and the continent exists. An exchange of tariffs will ensue, with the businesses – and ultimately consumers – of both parties bearing the brunt.
How will the Germans like to see Britons driving Toyotas instead of Audis? How will the French feel about their wines losing ground to colonial competition? EU bigwigs really don’t care, as long as Britain suffers too — and is seen to suffer by other members experiencing itchy feet.
“Why should European fishermen suffer the consequences of a decision, Brexit, they were not part of?” ask the letter’s authors. The implication seems to be that French and Spanish fishermen ought to have had a vote in the 2016 referendum.
But those poor men are already suffering similar iniquities that have nothing to do with Brexit. For example, they can’t sail into the Caspian Sea and catch sturgeon in Russia’s or Iran’s waters. And you know why? Because those waters are indeed Russia’s and Iran’s.
Such is the way of the world, chaps. Get used to it, if you haven’t done so already.
Actually, though they’ll never gain access to those Caspian sturgeon, French fishermen will still be able to fish in British waters. It’s just that their quotas will be reduced, but hey – 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. They could always make up the deficit elsewhere.
I just hope Johnson’s cabinet stands firm – but fear it won’t. I’ll say one thing for our ‘leaders’: they never go against their convictions, for the simple reason that they have none.
They’d sell not only Britain’s birthright but their own families for a couple of percentage points in the polls. It’s just that they may decide that they can’t afford another backlash from the electorate at this time, Covid and all. Let’s wait and see.
Meanwhile, I suggest that Mme Loiseau change her avian name for the piscean Lepoisson. Considering her dedication to fishing, it’s more apposite.