‘Sovereignty’ won’t mean we’re happy ever af­ter

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - POINTS OF VIEW -

I read with in­ter­est Ma­jor Field’s pro-Brexit let­ter con­cerned largely with mat­ters of sovereignty.

It was a co­her­ent ar­gu­ment but is guilty, I’m afraid, of a cer­tain naivety about the po­lit­i­cal re­al­i­ties of the mod­ern world.

Brex­i­teers seem to imag­ine that ‘sovereignty’ is like the ‘home’ square in Ludo: you can get there and be happy ever af­ter in splen­did iso­la­tion.

Well, per­haps Bri­tain could in the 19th Cen­tury, sur­rounded by its vast, ex­ploita­tive and lu­cra­tive Em­pire.

Now we are an eco­nom­i­cally weak and un­bal­anced na­tion (not enough in­dus­try, too much City of Lon­don spivvery) and when we leave the EU, the trade deals of “global Bri­tain” will see us eaten alive.

The USA will pri­va­tise our NHS in re­turn for chlo­ri­nated chicken and In­dia will in­sist on mas­sive im­mi­gra­tion in re­turn for some ac­cess to their mar­ket. God only know what Rus­sia and China, both of whom hate and now rather de­spise us, will in­flict on us, alone and friend­less.

You can’t put ‘sovereignty’ in your pocket like the fright­ened vir­gin’s tup­pence: you have to use it!

In the Fed­eral Europe of the Fu­ture, Bri­tain could be a de­ci­sive force – help­ing to shape a con­ti­nent to our own taste and con­ve­nience.

The EU is al­ready based upon our pre­ferred free trade ide­ol­ogy and when we have in­sisted upon opt-outs (no Euro, no pa­per­less bor­ders, big re­bates) we have al­ways got them.

EU im­mi­gra­tion is a wholly made-in-West­min­ster prob­lem; other EU na­tions ex­er­cise num­ber con­trol in sub­tle ways but it has suited our MPs to blame oth­ers and take the cheap labour (it was called hav­ing your cake and eat­ing it). Look, the Em­pire is gone; only a fool or a sen­ti­men­tal Brex­i­teer be­lieves in go-it-alone ‘global Bri­tain.’ You never get ex­actly what you want in life (and cer­tainly not in in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics) but think of this: Bri­tain happy to be in Europe! (Geo­graph­i­cally we are there al­ready!) Bri­tain shap­ing Europe into a new force in the world and one day (long af­ter we are all dead), Bri­tain as part of a rather won­der­ful Euro­pean Con­fed­er­a­tion of Na­tions!

Such is our his­toric op­por­tu­nity, if we can clam­ber out of the nos­tal­giawal­low that is Brexit!

Alan Gleave,


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