“AND never the twain shall meet” was a phrase used by Rudyard Kipling in ‘The Ballad of East and West’. One wonders if life is lived in a parallel universe. On one side you have regular people doing their everyday bits of everyday living and then you have those who make decisions that affect the rest of us.
Brexit talks are a muddle of confusion. The Brits do not know what they want. Neither do the Eurocrats. Taoiseach Leo is sitting back letting it all unfold despite calls for him to be proactive. Some state of affairs when we as Irish people are the most affected by Brexit and we are not even at the negotiating table! Will our laissez faire attitude once again allow a border to split the land?
The predecessors of the current Government shirked their national responsibilities in 1925 by walking away from any real negotiations on the Irish Boundary Commission. More truth at that time might have saved a lot of trouble some 40 years later. Truth is not a great bedfellow for politicians. Will the current Government also walk away from negotiations that will affect this country for generations?
Hiding behind European skirts is neither an option nor a form of leadership. It is capitulation. Irish politicians should be at the forefront of Brexit negotiations. We have capable men and women in many Government departments. Irish citizens are waiting open-mouthed for details from Brussels about our future. It is preposterous. It would be funny if it were not so serious.
What is the benefit of foreign politicians posing for photographs as they straddle the Irish border? Can they really feel any sense of the impact of ‘border life’ or island life?
What have we learned since the last great Eurocrat intervention when the non-elected ECBs Jean Claude Trichet instructed us to take a bailout to pay off his bondholder colleagues? Fianna Fáil capitulated. Later Fine Gael/Labour pinned that bank debt on the shoulders of Ireland’s children for generations by assuming it as sovereign debt. The sad reality is that the only sovereignty we can claim is sovereign debt.
We are losing the grip. It always starts slowly. In the end we will all wonder, ‘How did it come to this?’ That happens because we all choose to ignore what is going on.
The creation of a European army is on the horizon, even if Brussels denies it. PESCO (Permanent Enhanced Structured Co-Operation) has been described as the ‘stepping stone’ in military co-operation. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s head of foreign affairs and security policy, said PESCO should be ready by January 2018. This is all in the wake of an ongoing silence from Britain because of Brexit and from Ireland, a supposed neutral country.
According to the president of the German Social-Democratic Party, Martin Schulz, “So far in the European defence policy there is little co-operation, also because the acting people do not know each other. That is why we need a college at the European level for military staff training, where every young major who is chosen for higher leadership positions is compulsorily trained for six months with other officers from European armed forces.”
A central army means a centralised fund that will create an EU arms industry. You might wonder if we learned from history. Those in power keep writing the same narrative the world over. It centres round arms with the ‘common man and woman’ picking up the bill, financially and in the frontline.
Couple this with the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker’s recent EU speech. He wants one President, one Finance Minister and more decisions by qualified majority. All this can be done without changing any EU Treaty “if all heads of state or government agree to do so.”
Imagine qualified majority voting on a common consolidated corporate tax base, VAT, digital industry tax and a financial transaction tax. It would put Brexit into the tea party category. What was once a European economic dream is heading towards a military nightmare. We joined an economic community that has long since been hijacked. Britain will soon find that out, as we will, as Eirexit rather than Irexit.