“Brexit was a colossal misjudgment…a fantasy sold by its backers…that will damage our national and personal wealth…hamper our future security …and may even, over time, break up our United Kingdom.”  So spoke former Conservative Prime Minister John Major in London recently.  Unfortunately current Prime Minister Theresa May, a BREXIT convert, is prepared to lead  the British people out of the European Union simply because she could offer no better explanation than “ Brexit means Brexit.”      After losing a majority in the last election,  she went on a buying spree for votes in Parliament  and spent a billion pounds for promises from   10 Members of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.  To no one’s surprise, the British border in Ireland remains the  ‘last’ sticking point in reaching a withdrawal agreement with the EU.

In Brussels recently PM May   pleaded for “…courage, leadership and trust…” to complete the technical   withdrawal   agreement   but  has spent two years without a  21st century vision of  how  Brexit  could best serve all in the UK.  Instead May’s   mantra has been:  (1)  her  Leave proposal   is the only serious credible option; (2)  the EU wants to carve up the UK  and  does not respect the constitutional integrity and democracy of the UK; and (3)  the EU attitude  is to  punish Britain’s leaving.  Ireland’s re-unification, like Lord Voldemort’s name, must never  be mentioned.

Let’s review the whining.

  • May insists the   British   referendum requires more political  and legal respect, though  tainted by  Russian meddling,   than  the EU’s  27 nation rules based  economic compact.     She insists her Brexit proposal is the “…only serious credible option” despite her flip-flopping   on a ‘back-stop’ Irish border clause.  There is no  logic  or reason or practical  option, like the Irish Sea as a customs border,  acceptable  to  her 10 DUP partners who prefer to see Britain crash out of the EU.
  • May demands respect for Britain’s ‘constitutional integrity  but has  none for Ireland.    Conservatives   contempt for Irish   laws and   democracy is legendary.  They have    promoted religious discrimination, violence and lawlessness there for decades. Ignore  the democratic vote for independence  in 1918?  Easy.  Dismiss the 2016    56 % vote in NI to remainin  the EU?  No problem.  Undermine   the 1998 Irish peace treaty? Done.    She  now   unilaterally  claims it has outlived its usefulness. The British have always had a Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) attitude toward Ireland’s democracy and laws.
  • Britain claims  the EU wants to  punish them  for  leaving  the treaty but  doesn’t say how or why.  Playing the victim card won’t work.    It should be remembered Britain’s   30 years of  prosperity with EU  membership has helped make it  the world ‘s 5thlargest economy. The EU’ s demands   relate to a partitioned  Ireland which after Brexit faces serious economic obstacles and to  the related effective  customs enforcement issue.       The British referendum  vote to leave (52%)  EU hinged on Britain’s   dislike of  commercial rules  and human rights which the EU has   adopted to promote the common good.   Brexiteers have failed to define  what  post-Brexit prosperity will look like or  how it will be achieved, so May’s  blame game is transparently cynical.

Ironically, the weakened May’s partnership with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) prevents her  from   seizing  an  opportunity to forge  a new relationship with Ireland and the EU. Her attitude is like that of a predecessor, Churchill, who pronounced “I didn’t become the King’s First Minister to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire.”  America must be prepared for pleas from May for sweet heart trade deals, contracts, and favors to save them from the folly of Brexit.   The U. S. must counter with its own GFA Treaty demands and  for concrete steps from the British to re-unify Ireland.  Ireland’s unity strengthens the EU, a bulwark against the menace of   Putin.  A U. S. President must be prepared , as was President Clinton in the Gerry Adams visa issue,  to say: …Enough of this bull____!

Michael J. Cummings, Secretary

American Brexit Committee

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