Apart from the 'minor event' [irony alert] across the Atlantic today, with the inauguration of a new President (the 45th, President Trump) in the United States of America, there have been some major developments here too, in relation to the United Kingdom (UK) and its forthcoming exit from the European Union (EU), in the past few months. In October 2016 the Prime Minister Mrs May announced that she would 'trigger' Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty no later than 31st March 2017 - you can read more about this here. Much more recently, on 17th January 2017 she delivered a major speech in which she set out 12 key areas in her plans for implementing our departure, one of which specially pleases me, that we will no longer be a part of the 'Single Market' (aka the 'protectionist cartel' of the EU) - you can read more about this here and here.
The 12 key areas referred to above include:
- 1. Certainty;
- 2. Control of our own laws;
- 3. Strengthen the union (referring to the four nations which together comprise the UK);
- 4. Maintain the Common Travel Area with Ireland;
- 5. Control of immigration;
- 6. Rights for EU nationals in Britain, and British nationals in the EU;
- 7. Protect workers' rights;
- 8. Free trade with European markets;
- 9. New trade agreements with other countries;
- 10. The best place for science and innovation;
- 11. Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism;
- 12. A smooth, orderly Brexit.).
Naturally there has been considerable reaction to her speeches, not only within the UK itself (and of course from our 'illustrious' [another irony alert] First Minister in Scotland), but perhaps more relevantly from some leading figures within the EU itself; I don't plan to detail that here, except to observe that most of the 'spluttering' responses from EU functionaries and leaders from other countries has been uniformly negative and frankly intransigent. Perhaps not entirely unexpected, but given the shambles which the EU has got itself into, with its badly thought out policies, is still somewhat remarkable, when subjected to critical analysis. Specially of course the Eurozone of the 'single currency', the Euro, but the general protectionist reality of what is purported to be a 'free market' (aka the 'single market'), but of course is nothing of the kind - it is basically a protectionist cartel, specially in anything relating to food, for the benefit of a few members, but certainly not of the UK.
The high unemployment levels, in particular amongst younger citizens, in certain member-states of the EU, mainly amongst southern countries, appears not to concern the Brussels bureaucracy or the leaders of the few Eurozone member countries which benefit directly from the monetary union represented by the Euro. I find this particularly reprehensible. This is indeed probably the major reason that changed me from being a fervent Europhile to someone convinced we as a country had to get oursleves out of this bizarre mess, which is anything but 'democratic'.