Nick Herbert doesn’t get it

The British trajectory towards certain departure was sealed by a Conservative party leadership contest that demanded its victor signed up to full-blooded Brexit. But the failure was Europe’s too. At first reacting in disbelief, Europe then behaved as a partner scorned. Well, then – go, it said. But you can’t expect to keep the house and the car, and there’ll be a price for this selfish separation.

Just as Europe’s unwillingness to compromise had denied David Cameron the extent of renegotiation he needed, so costing him the referendum, it would deny the possibility of change after the vote. The smart move by Brussels after the result last June would have been to propose continuing membership for Britain while allowing us to check free movement. After all, we will now control our borders anyway. Better to do so inside the club than outside.

A different prime minister – perhaps Boris Johnson – with a different leader in Europe – Nicolas Sarkozy, perhaps – might have renegotiated after the referendum. Britain, already with the special status of being outside the eurozone, could perfectly well also have been apart from free movement too – able to control migration but otherwise a full member of the EU. The British people would have got what most of them wanted: to be in the market but in control of our borders.

If they’re idiots who cannot do the sensible thing then we should leave, right?

10 comments on “Nick Herbert doesn’t get it

  1. Having your own currency is some kind of special status now. I must have missed that meeting.
    And on free movement the EU could have made the liberal suggestion that the UK stops subsidising immigration from the EU, mocked us for restricting labour migration within the UK and then leave the rest to market forces.
    They didn’t because it’s as much about control for the EU as it is about control for the UK’s over-bearing interfering government.

  2. Europe needs to reflect on one of its great but neglected political philosophers:

    Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.

    But then if they listened, if they understood, they would not be in this mess.

  3. But the principle of ever closer Union has always been more important to the Eurocrats than any measure of effectiveness of anything they do.

    Why would anybody expect the membership of a generally loathed (by the Eurocrats) set of islands get any more rational treatment?

  4. I thank them for their incompetence. I do wonder how much Cameron’s last minute “but we can negotiate more” and the EU’s stupid statement that we couldn’t finally won it.

    I mean, who makes such a statement when your ally is trying to help keep you in and you just undermine him?

    I’m also grateful that it got rid of that wanker. I’m not saying May is perfect, but she’s more serious.

  5. The trouble with the status quo ante, with ‘special status’ for the UK outside the eurozone and Schengen is that decisions are increasingly taken by majority vote (as is inevitable in a community of twenty-odd members). There are two natural voting blocs – the eurozone and Schengen, actually for most practical purposes they’re the same bloc – so vital decisions on migration and finance will be taken with little reference to the UK’s desires and needs. And that’s why we’re better out; ideally with mutually beneficial arrangements, but since that will depend on rational behaviour by EU elites, the odds are not looking good.

  6. Bloke in Wiltshire – “I’m also grateful that it got rid of that wanker. I’m not saying May is perfect, but she’s more serious.”

    Well she does have better legs. But I still think we would be better off with Teresa May.

  7. The whole piece is a pile of ordure.

    If the majority want to stay in they would have voted that way. The article is just more ReMainiac wankproduct.

    He is right tho’ that Johnson would have proved treacherous.

    We must yet await the final verdict on Dress-Up.

  8. So now Boris (the one who actually campaigned to Leave) would have been a better bet for a a negotiated stitch up between the EU and the UK than the person who campaigned to Remain?

    What are these people smoking? If Boris had ended up PM they’d have been painting him as the next Trump by now.

  9. Doesn’t get it? Not paying attention more like:

    “The smart move by Brussels after the result last June would have been to propose continuing membership for Britain while allowing us to check free movement.”

    The EU made it perfectly clear free movement was non-negotiable for them. Which makes sense, since it emphasises national identity and undermines the EU one.

  10. NeilsR, that ‘the smart thing’ line you point out is the most egregious ‘not getting it’ quote. He’s treating the entire vote as a negotiation lever. Not as an actual decision, just a tactic to get a better deal. The sad thing is he seems to think that’s ok, to hold the referendum then come back with an announcement that he got better terms, no need to go through with it!

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