May’s Dien Bien EU saw her fly in, shot down and bombed out

May’s Dien Bien EU saw her fly in, shot down and bombed out

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Friday 8, December, 2017

THERE ARE EVENTS that are pivotal in a nation’s history. They define us for better or worse. The Suez crisis saw the end of the Empire. Yorktown saw the establishment of the United States. The fall of the Berlin Wall changed the course of European identity and history.

Dien Bien Phu was a military disaster for the French in Indochina. Worse, it left France devastated politically. In short succession the collapse of their Empire, of the Fourth Republic and humiliation by an Asian power was the most dramatic reversal of fortune for a European country since the Treaty of Portsmouth ended the Russo-Japanese war.

It was characterised by hubris, appalling preparation, a lack of intelligence and a determination to win for a cause by a seemingly less able side. The French flew into the plateau, fortified it and then found themselves cut off completely. Pounded by guns, starved by siege, they finally surrendered after about two months of being absolutely outclassed at every turn. The French flew in and those who were not shot down were bombed out by Vietminh artillery. 

Fast-forward to 2017 and it’s been about the same amount of time since the Florence speech, a folly beyond pardon in hindsight. May was never a Leaver but the extent to which she has deployed extreme Remainers as Sherpa’s to muscle through the current shambolic offering is a stain on the reputation of British diplomacy. 

It is we who admit some kind of war guilt. It is we who now have to pay humiliating reparations and not to diverge from EU regulations lest we lose Northern Ireland. We who now have a province in Ulster than has been Finlandised to the point Dublin via the ECJ will yield more power over the residents than the British government. 

To quote an infamous headline, what we saw on Friday was capitulation without negotiation. The EU has given nothing and heaped insult to injury with well-deployed press briefings, leaks­ – and for what? 

We now will have to deal with the ECJ for at least eight years without having any British judge after 2021. EU citizen family benefits will continue for decades, including for children yet to be born. We will have to pay Brussels for anything it asks for, and it can always insist on a larger sum before the final deal is inked. We are seeing the clock being run out while we do everything but begin preparations for a WTO rules arrangement. 

We are seeing our half of the pizza chewed up and spat out before the EU begins to even nibble on its own. For now Brexiteer MPs are quiet. They are probably busy reading. Soon they will work out mass migration will continue if not rise. That Brussels will dictate our trade policy without any say in the matter. For some this seems a price worth paying to leave – but of course we don’t have to pay anything to leave.

In reality May is preparing to keep the UK in the orbit of the EU long enough to take us back as the Commission and Council ram through federalising legislation while we look away. This is without question a complete and conceived betrayal of the mandate to govern by taking us in law and in spirit out of the European Union.

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