Brexit and reformI suppose, naturally, the ongoing saga about our relationship with the EU post-Brexit, whenever that might happen, is pregnant with naivety. There are two strands at work here. One is that ardent “remainers” cling to the belief that the EU is worth fighting for when in reality it remains in a complete pickle of an unsustainable structure. As Wolfgang Munchau wrote on 18 December, in the fanatically pro-remain Financial Times, in his article “Recovery cannot hide the holes in the eurozone”: “We end the year in perfect gridlock. The proposal of the German finance ministry is unacceptable to the French and the Italians. The French proposal is unacceptable to the European Commission. The Commission’s proposal is unacceptable to everybody. As is [Martin] Schulz’s idea of a United States of Europe. “Will euro zone reform happen eventually? If it does, then it will not be through an ordinary political process but another crisis, one that threatens the wealth of northern creditor nations. This is the real cliff edge Europe faces. Not Brexit.” [rb_inline_related] The other main strand of naivety is that Brexiteers, much of the media, and presumably much of the electorate, seem to think that May’s recent 4am dash to Brussels, Neville Chamberlain style, has achieved rather more than Chamberlain did with Hitler back in 1938. The fact is in both cases the key players have yet again signed up to the European tradition of kicking the can down the road. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” maybe a neat phrase but the subtext is obviously that nothing has been agreed by anyone about anything. When the great British public wake up to this, there are going to be fireworks. Into this unappetising scene lumbers, stage right, the previously sacked attorney general, one Dominic Grieve, who decided that the time had come to give his fine legal training an airing by putting down a successful parliamentary motion rebelling against his party’s Brexit process. In his show of legal conviction it clearly has not occurred to him that he has run straight into the welcoming arms of Corbyn’s stormtroopers at momentum who care not one fig for the niceties of parliamentary democracy, but do know how to go about constructing a Marxist state. His political naivety is breath taking. And, finally, what of my own naivety I hear you say? Well, the latest example is I have just shelled out £610 for my annual subscription to the Financial Times in the belief that our only national financial newspaper has an interest in covering news and developments in British Companies. Considering back in 2012 I wrote a City Grump entitled “Has the FT given up on British businesses?” this is stunningly naive. Indeed, just how so was rubbed into me this morning as the Lex column, that hallowed home of former distinguished alumni such as Nigel Lawson, Richard Lambert, Martin Tayor and David Freud, today chose not to cover one single UK item. Oh dear. I wish you a Happy Christmas and a New Year ruled more by the mind.
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