Hell hath no fury like a partner scorned

Hell hath no fury like a partner scorned

by Ewen Stewart
article from Wednesday 16, September, 2020

THE RESPONSE of the Johnson Government to blatant EU bullying has been one of moderation in the extreme. Far from being an outrageous breach of international law it is a cool, reasoned response to unacceptable aggression.

Some of the more timid Conservative MP’s, coupled with the usual outrage from the Europhile left, exercise themselves over an alleged minor breach of international law (that would only be invoked if required) – but show no interest in how Brussels is prepared to annex part of the UK, acts in exceptionally bad faith and uses that as a bludgeon to ensure even the mainland remains tied to EU regulations in perpetuity. 

Under these circumstances Johnson’s Government can and should go much further; if the EU won’t back down the UK should simply walk away as no meaningful, fair or sensible negotiation seems possible. 

The threat from the EU that it will ban all live animals and animal products such as cheese, beef, lamb and the like from January 1st from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland, is beyond outrageous and shows that hell really does hath no fury like a former partner scorned.

What is essentially a blockade of foods to a part of our country is a desperate ploy to try and cow a friendly neighbour. Other countries would do well to watch how Brussels behaves (just as it did with Greece) and build that into the equation when dealing with such an aggressive partner. Johnson must not back down and frankly any Tory MP seeking to undermine the British negotiating position, as so many did before December’s general election, should be deselected. 

Britain meets all EU regulations currently, has amongst the highest animal and food welfare standards in the world, is host to at least three million EU citizens, rightly giving full and equal access to British public services, provides by far and away the most significant financial capital in the EU and jointly with France the most significant European military and security shield within Europe seems to count for nought. 

Moreover, UK cultural assets are the envy of Europe and its capital, London, dominates and is Europe’s only truly global city. Rather than seeking a close relationship Brussels seems determined to try to browbeat the UK into accepting its writ, manifestly in contradiction to the clear instructions of the British population via the referendum and subsequent general elections. 

For the EU to threaten to treat a friend in a manner worse than Turkey, or Morocco is an outrage and further emphasises what a rotten bloc it is. 

Britain has been warned. The EU, shorn of any real nationhood, demos or hard power resorts to the actions of a paper tiger with legal threat and sleight of hand to try and undermine legitimate exchange. 

If the EU will not back down and treat the UK as a partner, accept we are going our own way but will almost certainly continue to have exceptional standards, by global comparison on social, trade, products and the environment as well as almost every other area we should simply walk away in totality from the withdrawal agreement, back our ingenuity, creativity and global strengths and play the EU at its game. No deal. 

Lets’ adopt WTO rules. The rich irony is under the WTO the two sectors with the largest tariffs are automotive and food stuffs. In both cases the EU has multibillion surpluses with the UK so it is pretty clear who has most to lose. 

Western Europe has been failed by the EU. It’s stultifying homogeneity, petty bureaucracy and conformity has stifled Europe. The Single Market is no great prize; British trade to Europe had stagnated. The growth is elsewhere as all the stats, including youth unemployment consistently show. 

No part of the UK can be held hostage – and all the signs are the EU will adopt every trick in the book with legal warfare year in year out. Sadly the EU can no longer be trusted. Its negotiating team and the EU members’ leaders have created an environment where there is no option but to walk away, trade on WTO terms and build our already strong global relationships based not on mercantilism but on strategic strength, innovation and fair and open free trade. 

Ewen Stewart is a City Economist whose career has spanned over 30 years. His consultancy Walbrook Economics specialises in the interaction of macroeconomics, politics and capital markets and advises major pension funds, asset managers and hedge funds. He is Director of the think tank Global Britain and his work is widely published in economics and political journals.  

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