While I do not rule out a Brexit deal before the end of the year, given the EU’s attachment to last second dramas (while making Britain “crawl across broken glass”, as Angela Merkel revealingly put it), the only prudent course is to prepare for glorious independence.
Perhaps the saddest story in all this is the EU’s chronic inability to face reality.
It is not just their refusal to recognise that we are no longer a member. It is their attempt to shore up a crumbling, divided continental edifice by being beastly to the Brits pour encourager les 27 autres to stick with the devil they know.
They remind me of Communist East Germany. It built a wall across Berlin, not to keep the West out but to try to stop their disgruntled citizens from leaving.
Those that tried were lucky not to be shot.
They also invite comparison with Vladimir Putin who is so intolerant of dissent that he poisons the awkward squad.
They are so bent on revenge for our leaving the club that they place their own economies, already ravaged by coronavirus, in greater danger through disrupted trade.
Meanwhile, recognising the under-funded state of European defences, Putin is on manoeuvres just beyond our territorial waters and fish and China could succumb to temptation in the South China Sea put in its way by the unmitigated mess of American politics.
When will they ever learn?
Perhaps only when the uneasy EU blows up before their very eyes. And that depends on how long the 25 will put up with the dictatorial Franco-German axis.
The euro and Covid-19 have shown there is no future for federalism in Europe.
Its price is measured in the euro induced North/South divide and the inevitable national response to the pandemic.
When will they ever learn? It’s a good question, given they have had 32 years to take on Margaret Thatcher’s prescient warning about federalism in her 1988 Bruges speech.
Nothing less becomes the so-called democratic EU – who, pray, has voted for federalism? – than a vindictive approach to the UK in the New Year.
The line of lorries queueing into Dover is a token of our fears of trade obstruction as stockpiling chokes the port.
Assuming our absolute sovereignty is secured in any last-minute trade deal, now is the time for Britons to come together to celebrate our recovered freedom. If the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists had their way, we English would be left to face the music.
When will they ever learn that we earned our glorious 300-year history together? Perhaps only when they are members of the EU, assuming it would ever take on their liabilities.
As they play their silly games the rational British will now have to learn to live with freedom. And as Margaret Thatcher often said: ”Freedom incurs responsibility. That is why many men fear it.”
The three immediate challenges today are coronavirus, our parlous economy and debts and how we exercise our post-EU and post-Covid freedom.
They are challenges certainly to Boris Johnson’s statesmanship and leadership.
But they demand all of us, including old crocks like me, rise to them.
All of us have to demonstrate that we mean business in building a better Britain.
We shall not do that if top management shows more interest in its material wellbeing than the success of the enterprise or organisation it is supposed to be serving. When will they ever learn their grasping is a poor and counter-productive advert?
Organised labour has to abandon its knee-jerk strikes, now manifested in threats of Christmas withdrawals of labour. There is no point in kicking what livelihood is left for their members in the teeth. When will they ever learn?
Which brings me to politicians themselves. They are elected in part to lead opinion. It would have been far better if they had turned down their £3,300 pay rise instead of having it withdrawn by the awarding authority.
And local councillors have no moral right to make local taxpayers foot the bill for their overspending and coronavirus costs if they continue to take a penny of their £10,000 a year “allowance” for just turning up.
Let us show we can all handle freedom with responsibility. Let us deny historians cause to wonder why we never learned.
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