David Fuller's view -
It is often said that a safe exit into the European Economic Area is a non-starter because it comes with obligatory free movement of EU migrants. This is not true. The EEA council approved immigration controls for Liechtenstein in 1997 and these later evolved into a quota system. The legal precedent exists.
This is purely a political issue. If Britain and the EU wish to resolve the dispute, they can do so easily, either with the Liechtenstein model or the Ukraine association model, which allows for much the same thing. All else is posturing.
What is imperative is that Conservative Party quickly dispels the narrative propagated by the entire global media that Britain is succumbing to reactionary nativism and turning its back on the post-war international order. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post ran stories after the vote deeming it to be the death of liberal globalisation. Variants of this corrosive theme have taken hold everywhere.
It is a little irritating since all we have done is to take back our sovereign self-government from a deeply dysfunctional organisation that has over-reached badly, plays fast and loose with democracy, and is itself a major cause of the crisis engulfing Europe.
Britain is the first country to volunteer to lead one for the four NATO battalions being formed to defend the EU's eastern border in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and the Royal Air Force patrols the Baltics, two of many commitments that are a little too lightly overlooked.
Professor Alan Riley from the Institute for Statecraft says Britain should go further to demonstrate with absolute clarity to Washington and every European capital that the country is resiling from nothing and is an ally to be reckoned with.
He wants three British armoured divisions deployed in Germany or beyond, a Royal Navy squadron in the Baltic, with a boost in defence spending to 3pc of GDP to silence all talk of retreat and entirely change the strategic balance in what is now a disarmed and paralysed Europe. I agree. We need this anyway because the world is turning more dangerous by the day.
Sir John Holmes, a veteran diplomat and EU expert, told a forum at Chatham House this week that Britain could turn Brexit into a golden era of relations with Europe "if we play our cards right and in the right spirit".
"Paradoxically, it may be easier to work together once we are free of our own paralysing fear of supranational institutions and of abandoning our sovereign right to our own policy. Once the divorce is complete, we should be able to escape the endless wrangling," he said.
Sir John asked whether anybody really believes that the status quo ante was acceptable, or whether a narrow victory for Remain would ever have resolved the matter. The answer is obviously not, and if that is the case, what conclusions do you draw?
The task for the next prime minister is to convince EU leaders that it is better for everybody to have a good British neighbour rather than a truculent British tenant. She go to Brussels with a nuclear-armed smile.
The best part of this article, in my opinion, is the conclusion above, which I will comment on in a moment.
First, I hope that the third paragraph of the full article (see link above or PDF in the Subscriber’s Area) is an exaggeration. There is a considerable amount of positive deflation (increased output at lower costs leading to higher profits and stronger growth), due to the accelerated rate of technological innovation.
The problem is that technological innovation is also highly disruptive, at least initially. Consider Amazon, reaffirming its overall upward trend, or Google which needs to break its progression of lower rally highs to reaffirm demand dominance. See also a list of other Autonomies mentioned by Eoin below.
This item continues in the Subscriber’s Area where a PDF of AE-P’s column is also posted.
This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.
Back to top