It’s becoming increasingly difficult for many people in Europe to see any benefits from the EU and a lot of downsides and costs, including the loss of freedom and sovereignty. From Bruce Antonio Laue at takimag.com:
It was just supposed to be a trading organization, a way to make commerce easier and in so doing build a sense of friendship and understanding on a war-ravaged Continent. In fact it was called “The Common Market.” But even after having joined (after years of being blocked from membership by President Charles de Gaulle of France), Britain had doubts.
For decades a parade of prime ministers implored the E.U. to halt its efforts for the closer integration of nations. Their entreaties fell on deaf ears. On came the E.U. flag, the E.U. anthem, rules and regulations on literally every facet of human life. Officials began talking about a “federation” of states, with a common foreign policy and army. And then came the common currency: the euro, a fraud of monumental proportions because it sought to replace national currencies that are based upon the economic realities of each nation with the illusion of fiscal strength based on “solidarity.” It is, in reality, deeply dishonest with a distinctly anti-American flavor. Ever suspicious of Continental combinations, the British looked on in anger. When they finally had their say, they wanted out.
Brexit sent shock waves throughout Europe because it was the beginning of the realization among Europeans that it didn’t have to be this way, life could be different and it was in their power to make it so.
In an interview following the referendum the very pro-E.U. French president was asked if he would hold a similar one for the French. “Non,” he replied. But why not? “Because we might lose.” That is the essence of E.U. strategy: If you think the people might vote against our policies, don’t hold the vote. So much for E.U. democracy.
Most Americans have come to the realization that their government and politics are entirely corrupt. Europe will not be far behind. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
The blanketing canopy pressing down across the globe of TINA (there is no alternative) is rupturing. The fabric is tearing at the seams. Now, with the U.S. courts having abdicated their role in adjudicating suits in connection with the 3rd November election, it seems that President Trump will make a last effort to change the course of events between 6–20 January (inauguration day). At point of writing, some 140 Republican Representatives say they will challenge the outcome of certain elections on 6 January. Whether this challenge will succeed (in all its dimensions) is moot.
What then? Well, Red America – whether rightly or wrongly – sees that 20 January may prove to be ‘the end of the line’ for them. Eight out of ten Republicans believe the election stolen; that the crucial Georgia Senatorial race likely will be ‘stolen’ too; that the destruction of small and mid-sized businesses through lockdown was a premeditated strategy to further consolidate Big Business Oligarchs; and that ultimately Red Americans will face ‘cancellation’ by an incoming woke ‘soft-totalitarianism’, orchestrated by Big Tech. This is their perspective – their Epiphany revelation. It is, to say the least, bleak.
With such a dark prospect facing Red America, talk has turned toward secession or separation (though not yet to divorce) – the more optimistic see an orderly agreement, allowing Red and Blue America to find political living-space, whilst acknowledging the practical bonds of geography, commerce, currency, debt, diplomacy and military force. But many expect a vengeful repression, and no civility.
The Brexit negotiations continue to highlight the weakness of the EU. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:
Too many signs have shown us that the EU is in real trouble. The worst one possibly is that its own outdated idea about governance is replicated by a French leader facing defeat. What losers!
In practical terms, it is clear to see that the EU as a viable project is not only in a panic mode currently, but actually going backwards in its desire to model itself on a United States of Europe federal model. And there can be no better examples than Brexit negotiations, Covid and France’s current malaise.
At the eleventh hour we have seen how, despite Britain remaining steadfast to its demands at the negotiations for a departure from the European Union, the EU itself shoots itself in both feet and looks even to its own supporters to be a loser of the highest order. Last minute demands are thrown into the negotiations by France’s Macron who is fearful of his own presidency hopes being scuppered if he has to deal with the wrath of thousands of French fishermen who will be out of a living by January 1st – if Britain is to get back full control of her own waters. To counter this with new demands about how the UK, as a non-member of the EU, goes about its business internally is both hilarious and desperate. Of course as a non-member of the bloc the UK will have its own ideas about how government interacts with business and state aid rules. How did a desperate French president threw this into the negotiations at really the eleventh hour demonstrates how weak the EU is and when it is presented with important matters, how it plays the role of a cheap girlfriend to its real masters. The fact that France could be allowed to do this is shocking. But the truth is that Macron is not playing for a deal. He prefers a no deal which he can use as political capital for his own fishermen. And the EU almost fell for it. Clearly there are divisions within the EU as to how to go about getting a Brexit. Many member states, like Germany, for example, are happy to give back fishing rights to the UK in exchange for a Brexit deal. Doesn’t the EU have billions of euros at its disposal to compensate and retrain out of work citizens? Of course it does. Structural funds run into billions and there is no viable reason why the existing EU rules would not favour out of work French fisherman.
If members of the EU want EU money, they have to play by the EU’s often draconian and nonsensical edicts. Hungary and Poland said no thanks. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:
Over the summer while the U.S. was mired in the worst kind of color revolution with race riots, economic shutdowns and the worst kind of divisive politics, the European Union was celebrating its great achievement.
A seven-year budget and COVID-19 bailout package that was heralded as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Alexander Hamilton Moment.” Because that legislation, meant to be the cornerstone of Germany six-month stint as the president of the European Council finally granted the European Commission the ability to issue debt, collect taxes and disburse funds.
That would be the way the COVID-19 relief funds would be raised and distributed. It was the first moment of fiscal integration under a central EU body that would bypass the individual member states as the means by which to raise capital.
It would be the first step in the process of consolidating debt issuance and euro creation under the control of Brussels, rather than continuing to carry out the fiction of individual sovereign debt.
The euro is a fatally flawed currency because of this and if it is to survive deeper into the 21st century having only one central issuer of it, the EU itself via the European Commission and the European Central Bank, with one aggregated risk profile (interest rate) is necessary.
The current leadership of the EU was put in place to make this happen on powerful Germany’s watch. And in July is looked like it was done. The markets loved it. The media hailed Merkel as the great leader of Europe. Some countries balked, the so-called Frugal Five, but eventually they signed off on the draft legislation once they were no longer directly on the hook for any more wealth transfers from them to perpetual problem children like Italy, Greece and Spain.
Someone is finally standing up to the Eurocrats and their one Europe vision. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
There comes a point where negotiation becomes surrender. Those actively undermining you will always demand more than their right. Those behind the Great Reset have been creating no-win situations for voters for decades to this exact end.
Over the summer Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki led the opposition to the EU’s budget and COVID-19 relief package standing firm that funds not be tied to any internal political decisions member EU states make.
Both of these countries have incurred the wrath of German Chancellor Angela Merkel over things they do she doesn’t like, invoking Article 7 against Poland over changes made to its Supreme Court, for example.
So, this is nothing new. Neither is the way the EU conducts itself in negotiations.
For the past four years we’ve watched the EU put the United Kingdom through the worst kind of psychological torture over Brexit negotiations which have been anything but.
It appears that the UK will definitely slip through the EU’s fingers. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:
It finally looks like the four-and-a-half-year saga of Brexit is coming to an ignominious end. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the final bluff of the incompetent bureaucrats in Brussels, walking away from trade talks while leaving the door open.
But that door is only open if the EU is willing to crawl in on its knees and give the UK what it wants, a minimal free trade deal, Canada-style, which was offered by then President of the European Council Donald Tusk.
The EU played hardball giving zero ground for four years while undermining the UK from within its own political and bureaucratic structures. It was as transparent as it was cynical, but it couldn’t sway the British people and that gave Johnson the political will to just say no.
And it was this hardball negotiating stance that had worked in the past finally broke like waves along the Cliffs of Dover. The reason why it failed was that arrogance was fueled by powerful forces having their back,
They believed in the power of coercion being stronger than the will of the British people.
And they were wrong. Dead wrong.
In an instant this past weekend the entire façade of he the EU’s inevitability vaporized as Johnson went on TV and told the world to prepare for a No-Deal Brexit, regardless of whether that was the optimal outcome or not.
It signaled to the rest of Europe that no longer do you have to take the diktats of a bunch of feckless, unelected technocrats if you don’t want to. And this failure to secure submission of the Brits will have immense consequences during this next election cycle in Europe.
Is there method to President Trump’s foreign affairs madness? Probably. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece wondering if there was a deeper meaning behind the Trump administration’s bizarre maneuvers in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over snapback sanctions on Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the resumption of these sanctions by the U.S. and demands that all the signatories to the JCPOA abide by them or face serious consequences.
In that article I noted the following:
Now at the same time, Trump and Pompeo have been very active across Europe rewriting the U.S. troop deployment map there to pressure Russia into signing new INF and START treaties under threat of U.S. expanded deployments in Poland.
In the same week Boris Johnson unveils new, very unpopular social distancing rules barring gatherings of more than six people, he puts the screws to the Scottish Nationalists who still think their support comes from their being arch-Remainers and not the contrary nature of most Scots.
In the same week that Boris Johnson sets an October 15th drop dead date for Brexit talks with the EU, President Donald Trump’s election chances rose to even for the first time this summer.
Now given all of that, it’s clear that Boris Johnson as Prime Minister is a decidedly mixed bag. His response to the Coronapocalypse has been an unmitigated disaster, bowing to political winds he should have never exposed himself to.
In doing so he’s squandered the significant goodwill his Brexit maneuvers of 2019 garnered him and the Conservative party. So, it’s obvious by now that his lack of managerial/organizational skill is what is undermining his government.
At the same time, however, Johnson’s handling of Brexit has been nothing short of excellent, the valid criticisms of the Withdrawal Act by Nigel Farage notwithstanding.
Johnson inherited a poison pill from Theresa May and in his zeal to fulfill a political promise agreed to a treaty with the EU that would bring his hardball negotiating stance to the current crossroads because of his compromises on the issue of Northern Ireland.
Political centralization in the grubby mitts of politicians and governments always dooms economies. From Antonis Giannakopoulos at mises.org:
In the wake of the economically disastrous covid-19 shutdowns, the political class has desperately tried to save the failing euro system. On July 21 European leaders agreed on what they called a “historic” deal. It was nothing more than a multitrillion euro stimulus package. However, it is more probable that the “recovery fund” will delay any chance of a much-needed economic restructuring taking place. What it will do is waste scarce resources and capital while setting Europe up for another financial and debt crisis. Another even more important issue is the dangerous path toward political centralization the EU is heading down as a result of the crisis. The European Parliament is very much dominated by procentralization forces and contains few individuals who defend the principles of decentralization and economic freedom while seeing with great concern the ever growing power of Brussels.
Has the social democratic project for the EU prevailed?
The Classical Liberal View: Economic Union, Political Decentralization
Even before the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which created the core institution that later became the EU, there have been tensions between the two paths that a European union should take. The tension is between the classical liberal vision and the social democratic vision. The liberal vision puts its primary focus on defending individual freedom and respecting property rights while promoting a European free trade zone with a robust free market. The treaty of Rome was a major victory for the liberals, as it was built on two basic principles: freedom of movement and the free circulation of goods, services, and financial capital. In short, the treaty aimed at the restoration of rights and values that had been lost during the early twentieth century as nationalism and socialism prevailed in the European Continent.
With the latest twist in the Brexit saga it looks like he and his negotiating team are ready to drive the final stake through the heart of them and the European Union with the Internal Market bill.
The Withdrawal Act’s validity and applicability to the future relationship between the EU and the U.K. is predicated on two things.
Both sides negotiating a Free Trade Agreement in good faith.
A free trade agreement is actually signed by the two parties.
If either of these things do not come to pass Section 38 of the Withdrawal Act upgrades the power of the U.K. government since it asserts the sovereignty of the U.K. parliament as a law-making body for the whole of the United Kingdom.
This includes Northern Ireland.
Johnson’s seeming sell-out of Northern Ireland with his agreeing to the Withdrawal Act was always predicated on there being a free trade deal struck between the EU and the U.K.
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