Skip to comments.Boris Johnson Is Close To Getting Brexit Done
Posted on 10/21/2019 4:42:19 PM PDT by Kaslin
One of the most baffling reactions among liberals since 2016 was to compare Boris Johnson to Donald Trump. I reside in England, and saw tweet after tweet from the Max Boots and Tom Nichols of the world on why these two, and Brexit and the election of Trump, are exactly the same.
The reality, as always, is a lot more complicated. There is of course similarity in both events. Both were a rebel yell against orthodoxy in the respective countries. In the United States, it was by masses of people who oppose the elites’ conventional wisdom, from mass immigration from Latin America to foreign intervention in the Middle East. In the United Kingdom, it was about the ever-closing European Union. The British, and mostly the English, did not want to be vassals of an empire.
But that was where the similarities end. Trump is mercantile, Boris is a free trader. Trump is a businessman from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who wants the United States to end what he perceives to be free-riding from allies and focus on China as the peer competitor, given that America’s favorable balance is fading fast and theres a time to draw a line in the sand.
Boris, a classics scholar from Oxford, can recite The Iliad in ancient Greek, talk about ascending tricolons in rhetoric, and is a former editor of The Spectator with books on the Roman empire and Winston Churchill under his belt. He is at heart a historian who wants to break open the EU monopoly and open up trade to turn London into a Singapore upon the Thames. Thats something Germanys Angela Merkel is extremely worried about, as she considers post-Brexit Britain, alongside the United States and China, to be an economic competitor for the EU.
Trump is rightfully skeptical of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, given that the United States has been carrying Europes security burden for more than 70 years. Britain wants to strengthen NATO as a counter to the potential EU army. Trump wants America to retrench from parts of the world. Britain is renewing obscure imperial era treaties with Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand, sending the Royal Airforce to the Pacific, and reopening a naval base in the Middle East, 60 years after the Suez Crisis.
The way Boris and Trump are similar, however, is not their whiff of blond hair, but the entrenched resistance they both face from unelected bureaucrats and opposition politicians. Entrenched edifices and interests are always hard to topple.
As the new Boris-negotiated Brexit deal is stuck in Parliament for one last time, one cannot help but wonder how different it would have been if Boris had been in charge of negotiations with EU heads of state and not former Prime Minister Theresa May. It is now amply clear that May never wanted to even try for a favorable deal.
Her priority was not to make a damaging Brexit. In reality, however, she neutered her own side first, and made sure the EU wont take British negotiators seriously. Added to that was the daily sabotage. Conservative MPs who won under Conservative tickets turned into Liberal Democrats and independents trying to block Brexit openly with the Labour Party and the Greens. Imagine half of the Republicans turning into Justin Amash.
Mays personal lack of charm wasnt a help, either. Boris is different. He has a rapport with French President Macron, and he understood that the EUs concern about North Ireland was legitimate. With the removal of the backstop but keeping Northern Ireland in customs, Boris made the ultimate compromise, which turned the EU to his side.
The reality now is that the EU wants this deal to be passed in the Parliament. The British Liberals and Greens who counted on the EU to cancel Brexit are now thrown under the bus by the same imperial entity they thought was going to save them.
The next days and months are going to be ugly. No one likes to find out false gods, not especially liberals believing in the End of History. Its almost like a religion being proven false. The street demonstrations against Conservatives might increase, and there will be resistance against the opening economy. Small issues will be hyped up in sympathetic media to show how Brexit ruined Britain.
But there is also a sense of inevitability in the air. Brexit cannot be stopped anymoredelayed, maybe, but not denied. The last time Johnson lost in Parliament was after a bunch of Conservatives tabled a motion taking No Deal off the table. That was goodafter all, crashing out of the EU is not prudent anyway. Britain needs to have good security and trade terms with its neighbours.
But that crisis is over, and the soldiers are falling in line. It is not known yet if Boris has the numbers in the Parliament, but even May supports this deal. And public support for the Conservatives is at an all-time high. Meanwhile, Conservatives under Boris lead with more than a 12-point margin in any general election scenario, followed by the Liberal Democrats. Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is polling their lowest in decades, and the far-right is decimated beyond recognition.
Nirad C. Chaudhuri once stated that one can only be a true Englishman living anywhere in the world if one yearns to be free. Before Brexit, I walked around talking to people and wrote about how much the people of this island simply want to be different from the EU. It is cultural and historical.
Britain remains a maritime power, looking out at the world, instead of a vassal state within the European Union. I also wrote about why, in the coming inevitable clash of interests between the United States and the EU, Britain will have to choose its linguistic cousins. One of the things that has been overlooked is this short post by Johnson immediately prior to the referendum.
In it, he wrote of Saint George, Englands patron saint: They deplored the dragon but they said that getting rid of it was too risky. Stuff that said St George. He slew the dragon, liberated the people and restored democracy. And he got the princess. In that spirit, the final push awaits. Heres hoping its out with the EU and on to the world.
And the next time someone says...Why not give up your sovereignty? Remember Brexit!!
Whatever happened to simply crashing out on October 31 with no deal?? No one’s been talking about that option since Parliament was prorogued.
The was always the worst-case scenario.
Conservatives only adopted it to show the EU that they were deadly serious about leaving, deal or no deal.
Once the EU realized that, and that they weren’t going to be able to roll BoJo like they had done with May, they were more willing to negotiate.
Contrary to the author’s assertion, President Trump is not a “mercantile”, or mercantilist, and is more of a free trader than even he presents. What his critics miss is that President Trump recognizes that the unbalanced trade agreements made after the Second World War gave other nations easy access to America without reciprocal access. It is (past) time to readjust our trade agreements to made trade more balanced. President Trump is now rebalancing America’s foreign trade.
Whether here or abroad it sure takes forever for conservatives to pull the thumb out and get something going.
That was exquisitely stated.
Yes, you are correct - EU needed to be pushed to the limit. But I am not talking about the EU. Boris has his deal with the EU, and its Parliament and his own party who will continue to throw up roadblocks. So if they won't vote, or don't pass it - what happens October 31?
If you'd just agree to hold your meetings in here, you'd have PLENTY of time to figure things out before the deadline.
Guess we’ll all have to wait & see what happens with the vote in Parliament ...
The Brits took on the continent twice before and won 2 wars. Now they are begging to leave some German run organization they got suckered into.
I expected more from an ex colonial power the once ruled the world. What the hell happened here?
The Boris deal is exactly the same as the May deal except that Boris has compromised (or as your post put it "rolled over") on Northern Ireland.
This guy was a classics scholar??
St. George was a Greek from Cappadocia who first became patron saint of Georgia in the 4th century (well before the Anglo-Saxons even came to the British isles) and the legend of him killing a dragon was not to save a princess (it was a maiden village girl) nor to "restore democracy".
Then they changed to no-deal
now the tune is changing to 'we want a deal' again.
Boris has agreed a deal with the eu commission. now that needs to be passed by the EU executive - the 27 elected leaders of the countries (like Morawiecki, Macron, Merkel, Orban, Varadkar etc.) and by the UK parliament
The DUP northern Irish will vote against it and parts of Labour and others will vote against it
if they don't pass it by October 31 then either a no-deal happens or they push for a signed, formal letter requesting an extension. Whether that happens is sheer speculation as is what could happen beyond that. Way too many variables to make any kind of prediction. Just wait and watch
1. The Brits didn’t “take on the continent” - they fought:
a. World war 1 against the Germans, Austrians and Turks and supported by the French, Italians, Russians, Americans etc.
b. World war 2 against the Germans, Italians and supported by the French, Poles, Soviets, Americans etc.
2. As to German-run, the EU was created as a way to curtail German power. The idea was to integrate the big German state into EU to contain its power. Yes, it will have a lot of say in EU, but it cant play Bismarckian realpolitik in Europe. Notice that every EU member state has a veto power. This is a big constraint on German power. Notice the Brexit agreement allows the small Ireland to punch its weight way beyond its size and May had to swallow the backstop.
By being a member of EU, Germany gives a great deal of power (especially in foreign policy) to EU where decisions have to be made on consensus.
It has been shown often enough that if enough of the smaller countries work together, they can outvote Germany, even if Germany has the biggest economy and the biggest population (seats in the EU parliament are counted based on the population, but in the other chamber, the council of Ministers, each country has one seat, the same applies to the Commisioners).
3. The “ex colonial power that once ruled 20% of the world” is no more. One should then expect more from Iran - which in 500 BC ruled over 45% to 50% of all of humanity. Or Assyria or Rome or Mongolia etc. powers come and go, nations come and go.
“Keep hoping Boris can get this passed.”
Why??? Have you read anything this about the deal he has reached with the EU??
The EU will still have the right to supercede U.K. sovereign authority and law on matters of the military, foreign policy, law (the EU “court of justice” will still be over U.K. law) and some matters of trade as well. For what? Can anthing be worth all that???
And the alternative is??
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