We call this whistling in the wind Guy

Britain’s decision to make a clean break from the EU was an opportunity to reform Europe and avoid a further breakdown in ties between its remaining member states,the European Union Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator said on Monday.

Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and member of the European Parliament, also said the election of US President Donald Trump, and what he views as Washington’s move toward more protectionism, was a wake-up call for the EU.

“The Brexit discussion is a good opportunity not only to discuss and negotiate a new agreement, a new partnership with Britain, but also to fix that now it is time to have a real government in Europe,” Mr Verhofstadt said in an interview in New York while promoting his new book: “Europe’s Last Chance.”

By real government he means fiscal union. Germany pays 20% of GDP to Brussels which then spends it on Greek pensions.

I’d actually be interested to see someone try it. See how long it would be before they were torn apart by the howling mob.

17 comments on “We call this whistling in the wind Guy

  1. He also means a federal state. A “United States of Europe”, which he is not afraid to say when talking Dutch or German (I heard him on the radio last week saying exactly this), but he always deliberately minces his words in English and when dealing with English-language media.

    To me, this was the biggest lie of all from the Remain campaign. “Stay in and reform it from the inside”. But the EU project is more in line with Guy Verhofstadt, and you can be sure that in the event of a remain vote, he’d have been all over the TV proclaiming that the UK had voted for ever closer union.

    The remainers would have known this if they had the language skills to consume more than just English-language media. I’m sure some of them did and concealed it, which is politics as usual, but I’m also sure that many believed the “reform it from the inside” propaganda.

  2. “We have to conclude before the European elections of 2019,” he said, reiterating that Britain will not be able to choose policies allowing it to fare better by being outside of the EU instead of being a full member.

    Indeed. Because the Federalists may not have the numbers after the 2019 elections. He knows he is losing the argument and so needs to make the changes permanent before the voters change their minds.

    Simply being out means Britain is better off. There is no way to prevent that.

  3. I think a key leave argument is that they would have tried something like this even if we’d stayed – the logic of the Euro requires it. And as Sir Ivan and the initial response of the markets to a Brexit have shown us, we would have caved.

    Probably the Remain campaign’s greatest success was persuading people that the economic side of the argument mattered and the political side did not.

  4. Of course an alternative tactic may be to let things get so bad that people will accept the United States of Europe to ‘save’ them.

    Tricky timing though, because civil war could break out if you leave it too late.

  5. The U.S. moving to a protectionist stance, eh? So matching the stance the EU holds?

    I think we are seeing one of those weird shifts the Left goes through when Republican Derangement Syndrome gets really strong. The more Trump favours a protectionist stance the more the Left will move towards free trade, even though they have spent the last thousand years fighting it.

  6. The question is whether the EU will collapse if they try to go for closer union. I have seen some Remain voters who are opposed to a USE argue that it would, and that it’s therefore foolish of us to risk economic turmoil in leaving before that happens. But I think that at best a few more states on the fringes would consider leaving.

    As abacab says, a Remain vote would have been taken, not just by Verhofstadt but by the Europhiles in the civil service, as an ongoing mandate for more Europe.

  7. Rob – “The more Trump favours a protectionist stance the more the Left will move towards free trade, even though they have spent the last thousand years fighting it.”

    People who have spent the last decade fighting TTIP are now telling me that Trump is condemning the peoples of the world to poverty and misery.

    Just as they condemn Multinational corporations for exploiting workers in Bangladesh and they condemn Multinational corporations for not exploiting workers in Cuba. And Haiti.

  8. Creeping real government = federalization of debt so that the Greeks can spend on the German credit card and present them with the bill in 15 years.

  9. When Charlemagne’s Reich fell apart after his death, it became three separate realms. How many realms will the EU decompose into?

  10. See how long it would be before they were torn apart by the howling mob.

    On current evidence, I’d say forty-four years until the next most rambunctious member leaves.

    As Keynes [didn’t] say: “The [single] market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

  11. “The Brexit discussion is a good opportunity . . . to have a real government in Europe,”

    Then they should thank Britain for leaving.

  12. “It is a wake-up call,” he said, driven by “Brexit, and amplified by the elections in the United States.”

    Translation: “The peasants are revolting against distant managerial elites and their dream of dissolving national communities in the acid bath of globalist political strictures and toxic mass immigration!

    “But I have a cunning plan….”

  13. The question is whether the EU will collapse if they try to go for closer union. I have seen some Remain voters who are opposed to a USE argue that it would, and that it’s therefore foolish of us to risk economic turmoil in leaving before that happens.

    Indeed. Let’s wait and have the massive economic turmoil when it all breaks up, with the added ‘benefits’ of a few more years of ever closer political union on top.

  14. ” now it is time to have a real government in Europe”

    In other words, the Project will continue, regardless.

    But we knew that, didn’t we.

  15. “reiterating that Britain will not be able to choose policies allowing it to fare better”

    How does he plan to stop us? Invade?

  16. reiterating that Britain will not be able to choose policies allowing it to fare better by being outside of the EU instead of being a full member

    You mean the EU isn’t perfect? You could actually do better by being outside? Well, why didn’t you say so before?

  17. As abacab says, a Remain vote would have been taken, not just by Verhofstadt but by the Europhiles in the civil service, as an ongoing mandate for more Europe.

    Voting “Remain” = “The British have voted in favour of More Europe”

    Voting “Leave” = “Now the British have left we can fast track the move to More Europe”.

    Nothing anyone does short of civil war and the creation of a few “Brussels Windchimes” will move the project in the direction of less Europe.

    Every crisis is just an excuse for another turn of the Federalist screw.

    Glad we’re BRExiting, but I wish Theresa May would get her shit sorted out with serving formal notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Don’t want to be left with our dicks in the wind.

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