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STEPHEN GLOVER: It’s potty for Europe to blame all our supply woes on Brexit


A former prime minister of Finland has advised that the European Union ought to ship support to Britain when it faces an inevitable scarcity of meals and different provides. Alexander Stubb attributes our supposedly dire issues to Brexit.

What a good suggestion, although please don’t suppose me ungrateful after I say I hope the Finns will go straightforward on the sautéed reindeer.

On the opposite hand, Finnish vodka is great, and let’s pray they gained’t maintain again on that entrance.

With luck we’ll drink ourselves silly all through the grim winter that our European mates are sure awaits us as our supply chains clog up and we run out of the fundamental necessities of life.

The conviction that Brexit has introduced a as soon as nice nation to its knees is widespread all through the EU.

According to Clément Beaune, France’s bumptious Europe Minister, we’ve a made ‘a mess’ of Brexit which he confidently describes as ‘a failure’ and a ‘bad choice’.

Almost every action by the British Government is seen by Mr Beaune as a diversionary tactic to take our minds off the disaster of Brexit. Pictured: fishing vessels off the coast of Jersey

Almost each motion by the British Government is seen by Mr Beaune as a diversionary tactic to take our minds off the catastrophe of Brexit. Pictured: fishing vessels off the coast of Jersey

Almost each motion by the British Government is seen by Mr Beaune as a diversionary tactic to take our minds off the catastrophe of Brexit.

If we refuse to grant the requisite variety of fishing licences to France, it’s allegedly as a result of we’ve been pushed half mad by our mounting difficulties.

Mr Beaune is stern. ‘It is not by creating problems for our fishermen,’ he says, ‘that you will solve the problems of shortages of Christmas turkey.’

Silly us! It appeared so obviously apparent that refusing just a few fishing licences would increase the supply of turkeys.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s former Brexit chief negotiator and a attainable candidate in subsequent April’s French presidential elections, ploughs an identical furrow.

Referring to our logistical woes, he mentioned on Tuesday: ‘Taking hostage the fishing rights of a few small boats in the Channel will not solve Britain’s Brexit issues.’

The British attitude towards the Northern Ireland Protocol is seen by some in Europe as a way of distracting attention from Brexit. Pictured: Customs officials watch on at Larne Harbour, NI

The British perspective in direction of the Northern Ireland Protocol is seen by some in Europe as a manner of distracting consideration from Brexit. Pictured: Customs officers watch on at Larne Harbour, NI

Even the British perspective in direction of the Northern Ireland Protocol is seen by some in Europe as a manner of distracting consideration from the horrors engulfing us.

We have been lectured by a number of respectable European newspapers, which generally replicate the views of the pro-EU political class.

For instance, Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung declares, considerably idiotically: ‘The British Government is escalating the conflict with the EU over customs borders because it wants to distract from its problems after Brexit. Europe will not be able to tolerate that.’

I concern we can not keep away from contemplating the advanced and essential treaty referred to as the Northern Ireland Protocol, about which the EU produced new proposals yesterday. 

Those who imagine that the Government’s want to change it’s merely one other diversionary ruse may scarcely be wider of the mark.

Boris Johnson was arguably improper to signal it, however he did so as a result of it was the one manner to get Brexit carried out.

Pictured: General views of Loyalist anti-Irish sea border posters as freight is checked at Larne harbour which is one of the main entry points between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK

Pictured: General views of Loyalist anti-Irish sea border posters as freight is checked at Larne harbour which is likely one of the foremost entry factors between Northern Ireland and the remainder of the UK

It was flawed as a result of it made Northern Ireland a statelet certain by EU guidelines, working beneath the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. It additionally created a border down the Irish Sea, which Mr Johnson promised he would by no means do.

I don’t usually belief the PM’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings, however I feel he was telling the reality on Tuesday when he tweeted that it was at all times the Government’s intention to ‘ditch bits [of the Protocol] we didn’t like after whacking [Jeremy] Corbyn [in the General Election]’.

One can perceive why the EU believes the Protocol was signed in dangerous religion. It was, and it’s fairly shaming.

But the Government has an obligation to strive to reverse its error, not least as a result of it has upset Unionists who need Northern Ireland to be handled as legally a part of the United Kingdom, which in fact it’s.

The EU — within the guise of the pragmatic European Commission Vice-President, Maros Sefcovic — has now undertaken to slash the variety of customs checks on meals and vegetation coming from Britain into Northern Ireland. Many imagine that checks have been carried out with punitive zeal.

Hats off to Mr Sefcovic, whose constructive method has reportedly irritated President Macron and our outdated buddy Clément Beaune, who don’t favour making any concessions to the ghastly Brexit British.

Pictured: Loyalists during a rally against the Northern Ireland Protocol in Belfast last month

Pictured: Loyalists throughout a rally in opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol in Belfast final month

The truth stays that the EU appears unwilling to go additional and do what Brexit Minister Lord Frost referred to as for in a speech on Tuesday — specifically, substitute the jurisdiction of the European Court in Northern Ireland with the oversight of an impartial physique in whose creation the British Government would have a say.

Many observers insist that Brussels won’t ever agree to do that since it will contain passing supervision of its sacred Single Market to a 3rd social gathering. They could be proper.

But what’s simple is that the EU has proven flexibility in making an attempt to accommodate British considerations. Whilst nobody can understand how it will finish, it appears the Commission — not like Messrs Macron and Beaune — is displaying a level of widespread sense.

If solely there have been extra proof of this high quality amongst those that, like Alexander Stubb, have satisfied themselves Brexit Britain has turn into a basket case.

This is a story that has additionally been taken up, albeit extra circumspectly, by former Remainers within the BBC and anti-Brexit Press.

Let’s study our supposed calamities with cooler heads. I don’t dispute that there are difficulties, and even that they might have been exacerbated by Brexit.

A 'no fuel' sign on the forecourt of a Shell petrol station in Reading, Berkshire, on October 7

A ‘no gasoline’ signal on the forecourt of a Shell petrol station in Reading, Berkshire, on October 7

But it’s certainly loopy to conclude that they supply proof that leaving the EU has been a catastrophe.

The gasoline disaster, which was the product of panic-buying fairly than any shortage of the stuff, has ended.

It in all probability wouldn’t have occurred if somebody attending a personal Government assembly hadn’t leaked to ITV News {that a} handful of BP retailers have been operating low on petrol.

That there aren’t sufficient lorry drivers is self-evident, however the issue is shared by different European international locations, in a few of which, similar to Poland, the scarcity is bigger than within the UK.

Brexit has performed solely a small half. According to the Office for National Statistics, round 12,000 EU drivers have left the UK since 2016. That equates to roughly 4 per cent of the nation’s whole HGV workforce. An absence of examiners and exams delays are extra important components.

Almost each developed nation is experiencing post-Covid supply chain issues. Maybe ours are worse than some others due to a scarcity of labour aggravated by Brexit, however most EU international locations are in the identical boat.

Another looming hazard is excessive inflation. The International Monetary Fund has simply singled out the UK, and much more the U.S., as international locations dealing with the danger of rising costs.

Germany, on the coronary heart of the EU, had an annual inflation price of 4.1 per cent in September, in contrast with 3.2 per cent in Brexit Britain.

The reality is that, if this nation have been nonetheless within the European Union, we’d be experiencing the identical issues.

Project Fear has been hijacked by the likes of President Macron, who has a vested curiosity in making an attempt to persuade his voters that leaving the bloc is inevitably catastrophic.

Of course, there are issues — of which the Northern Ireland Protocol isn’t the least. But we must always reject the unproven and self-serving narrative that we’re victims of Brexit. Welcome although free Finnish vodka is perhaps, we’ll get by simply high-quality with out European support.

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