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BUSINESS - DIGBY LORD JONES


Brussels are concentrating on immigration, a faltering Euro and especially preventing Poland from ‘doing a Brexit’. We are no longer on their radar; it’s over and M. Barnier is just going to let the ongoing civil war in Britain do his job for him.


It was then, Dear Reader, that the scales fell from my eyes!


Michel Barnier didn’t need to do anything in Stage One; just keep saying no and allow the Remoaners in the UK plus the media do his job for him. They successfully got the price for their own taxpayers up to €39 billion.


He won’t budge during Stage Two either; the Grand Project is too important; but the UK also can’t budge this time. Services are too important.


In 1973 we joined the Common Market for Trade; we put up with 43 years of all the depredations of Brussels because of the opportunities of trade; we are seeking to leave with a deal on...trade. But ‘they’ aren’t looking at this whole situation in the same way at all. The destruction of wealth and the removal of opportunities to get those out of work into work (at which the EU has been spectacularly poor) count for nothing as long as the integrity of Le Grand Projet is unharmed.


They are dealing in apples; we are dealing in pears. We are looking for stuff that isn’t even on their agenda; we cannot win because we’re playing one sport and they’re playing another. This is irreconcilable.


SO WHAT’S TO BE DONE?


We should tolerate the deluge of criticism and cries of “failure” from the unbiased (don’t make me laugh) media and big business and announce right now that we’re off to the WTO. It’s not what we want, but we have no choice. And (unlike any other country in the EU28) we have other hinterlands to fall back on: the Commonwealth, the USA, Japan & interestingly, Europe. We must do it, do it now and not falter. We must explain we do so reluctantly, but we are doing it...and then get on with it. Let us put the ball firmly in Berlin’s and Michel Barnier’s court.


Business would know where it stands and can plan accordingly (something it’s rightly been screaming for); we would save that part of the €39 billion that isn’t payment of the Notice Period (€20 billion) since all parts of this deal are inter-dependant.


And Berlin would have to justify to everyone from Warsaw to Stuttgart that the consequent destruction of wealth and opportunity across Europe really is a price worth paying for an unattainable dream.


Lord Digby Jones


Lord Digby Jones is former Director-General of the CBI & UK Trade Minister; a non-aligned, Crossbench Member of the House of Lords & a Businessman (chairing six companies), author & broadcaster. He works closely with Cancer, Military & Educational Charities.


Find solution on page 94 / 79


Fill in all the squares in the grid so that every row, every column and each of the nine squares contain all the numbers 1-9!


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