Heard this one? “An American, a German and a banker were in the EU bar and told a Brit he couldn’t leave….”
Well, just when the great and the good were hoping that UKIP might be losing momentum because Dave was going to make His Great Speech about having a vote on renegotiating that EU directive on turnips rather than a straightforward in/out referendum the genie jumps out of the lamp and grants Nigel Farage and his party three golden opportunities.
The speech is still some way off but already dire warnings have been issued by “business leaders” (bankers – yeah, they have proven to be so upright honest and businesslike) – CBI (aka big global corporations) – and assorted suits. “We will lose out on exports to the EU” they cry. Excuse me? Presumably EU countries buy our stuff because it meets their needs, not out of charity for the UK.
Then some smooth US State Department poobah says that President Obama wants us to stay in the EU as a bagman for the USA since the French and the Germans, who actually run the EU, have never been fond of America. Also, of course, Obama and his henchmen are still wedded and glued to that old 1950s shibboleth of regional superstates – after all they are working hard to undermine the powers of the individual US states and upgrade federal power (Obamacare, Stimulus, gun control etc). A Washington/Brussels Axis would be so much easier to manage with no pesky politicians upsetting the apple carts – just the bureaucrats and diplomats codifying and making deals in cosy conferences.
Then, of course, the entry of the ultimate cartoon character, the German..
Gunther Krichbaum, chairman of Germany’s European affairs committee and acting as Angela Merkel’s ventriloquist’s dummy, used a visit to Britain to condemn Dave’s referendum tactics. “Ve distrust allowing ze voters to have any say in ze way ze EU is run. Ve know vot ze people vant much better than zey do und ve vill not be blackmailed into renegotiating ze EU Turnip Directive” (well he didn’t actually say that but it sums up the gist of his blathering)
With the carpet being pulled away from under Dave’s feet his Master Plan (kick in/out into the long grass by waffling on about renegotiation) is already looking like last weekend’s pizza. Several of the Tory government’s big guns have noticed UKIP snapping at their heels in recent polls and are leaning towards a referendum on in/out rather than one on a cobbled together list of renegotiated powers.
Which is why Nigel Farage’s UKIP has been given this good fairy gift. A banker, an American and a German telling us that we shouldn’t even have a referendum on our relationship with the EU? That will make most of us even more determined to demand one – because, oddly enough, what is good for global banks, Barack Obama and Angela Merkel does not always align with what is good for Britain.