22 January 2017

So now we know. Teresa May outlined her priorities for negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union in a speech on Tuesday. As we suspected, her main priority is for the UK to have full control over immigration, i.e., an end to the right of EU citizens to live and work in the UK and, presumably, an end to the right of UK citizens to live and work abroad although they haven’t received the same attention (I wonder why?) as those smelly, foreigners who come over here, steal our jobs, steal our housing, steal our national health service and steal our women! In other words, the most important aspect of what will be our new relationship with the EU is based on pandering to the racist element in the Tory party and the loony Brexiteers rather than considering the appalling damage that will ensue when the UK withdraws from the single market. As one commentator put it,

If “taking back control” of its borders was more important to the UK than the single market, which it obviously was, then so be it.

The rest of what we might foolishly think of as the important stuff, i.e., business and the economy, hardly got a mention in her speech.

Foreign officials and commentators have welcomed the “clarity” in her speech but they’re amazed that the UK seems to maintain this delusional notion that they can opt out of free movement of labour yet retain privileged access to the single market. Indeed, the current president of the European Council, Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat said, soon after the speech, what we’ve all been saying all along – the deal for Britain must, by definition, be worse than what we currently enjoy inside the EU. Duh! But somehow the Brexiteers still imagine we can have our cake and eat it too. Cloud Cuckoo land.

There have been a number of good articles explaining the irrationality of the UK’s stance.

Because with all due respect to UK national sentiment, the reality is brutal: we are talking about a mid-ranking power of 65 million people, most of whose industry is owned by foreign capital, negotiating with one of the world’s principal trading, economic and monetary powers – a power that comes with a market of 450 million people.

Ouch! Mid-ranking power? Or, how about this:

. . . it is an illusion to suggest that the UK will be permitted to leave the EU but then be free to opt back into the best parts of the European project, for instance by asking for zero tariffs from the single market without accepting the obligations that come with it.

Have you ever run across a similar situation where so many people are absolutely desperate to cut off their nose to spite their face?

On a lighter note, we had a splendid meal out on Thursday evening with our friends Helen and Inayat. They were our final tenants in the Granny Annexe in Byfield and, when they could see that we were close to selling the house they found themselves a lovely cottage to rent in the charming village of . . . Moreton Pinkney! They’ve now found themselves a house to buy and will be moving out of the village next week. So, this was a final celebratory meal and, at their suggestion, we went to the Crown in Weston (just down the road from here) which was excellent. They’re not moving very far away so we very much hope there will be many further opportunities to investigate fine dining opportunities. But one thing is for sure, we’ll certainly be visiting the Crown again.

I ran across an article this week which was, for me, a relief to read. Those who know me tolerably well will know that I am, shall we say, a somewhat frequent and perhaps excessive user of the occasional naughty word. I do try to constrain my use of expletives and/or vulgar expressions to a minimum when in the presence of my granddaughters but I know their parents still worry about what they will come out with after spending a few moments with Grandpa.

Well, I am delighted to say that a study carried out at Cambridge reveals that the more you swear, the more honest you are!

Long associated with coarseness, anger and vulgarity, it seems the swearers among us are actually less likely to be associated with lying and deception.

I knew there was a reason why I am so potty-mouthed.

Finally, I ran across this somewhere which certainly made me smile. I think we’re going to need lots of material to make us smile over the course of the next four (or eight!) years.

Much love to you all,

Greg

 

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