How amicable was this divorce? Well, honestly, the only amicable divorce that comes to my mind is the one that followed Elton John’s rather peculiar decision to marry Renate Blauel in 1984.
Said marriage was presumably conceived of as a means to maintain a certain air of respectability before such days when it was considered, in certain circles at least, absolutely de rigueur to be as bent as a wire coat hanger.
But, one presumes that 4 years down the line, after the chants at Watford FC had faded from memory, the divorce that followed was among the most amicable ever recorded.
Brexit has finally been authorised, and the British have severed some of the legal links they set up with the continent over the past 40-odd years. What remains to be seen is what both parties are able to make of this return to an old relationship. The old joke ran that divorce is so expensive because it’s worth it. In this case, that doesn’t immediately appear to be the case.
Obviously, the dust has yet to settle, and people are still finding their feet in this new relationship. That, too, speaks volumes about the protracted and awkward proceedings that we have been witnessing for a while. We can see, quite clearly, that people are still finding their feet, and yet it’s been four years since the process began. The fact that even after four years of preparation, people don’t know what they should now be doing is evidence, if any were needed, of the fact that this wasn’t a simple break-up.
But, simple or not, it’s happened. And so what now? Well, surely the most obvious magnifying glass we can use to examine the two parties is the one we associate with the present pandemic. That’s as good a place to start as any, obviously.
And straight off the bat, we can see that the parties are faring to wildly differing degrees. Comparing some of the statistics will lead nowhere, but a far clearer picture emerges when we look at the two parties’ attempts to secure vaccines.
There’s no question who wins here: Britain, released from the grip of the self-important EU behemoth, has succeeded where the EU, held back by its own ego, and the egos of those who consider themselves more important than most, has failed dismally.
There are obviously plenty of problems facing both Britain and the EU at the moment. But, it certainly looks like the EU is the one with egg on its face.
In the British parliament recently, Boris Johnson stood up and stated the following:
“We have already vaccinated more people, in this country, than the rest of Europe combined.”
That’s nothing short of shocking. The British are ranked 4th in the world for covid deaths per 100,000 people. That’s obviously not good. But it’s also astonishing to think that released from the restrictions of the EU, the British have been able to rise to the task in hand of securing vaccines. Whilst the 27 remaining member states sit, watch, and wait as minimal supplies of the vaccine dribble over the borders, the British are racing ahead.
If the present rate of delivery doesn’t improve significantly then we all know what’s coming next: many more months of restrictions. All thanks to the EU. Sometimes it seems like the EU really doesn’t know to what extent it’s playing with fire. And this chaos comes from an EU which has been angling to take the control of health care out of the hands of member states! Surely that idea must now have reached the point where it has to be discarded. This is surely a prime example of what can be expected of the European Commission. Macron’s demands that the ‘French’ vaccine be continually considered led to the EC ordering 300 million doses from Sanofi, only for it to be revealed that Sanofi’s testing had run aground.
Despite the fact that it was clear to everyone that Pfizer’s ‘German’ vaccine was going to be proved most readily available, the EC managed to screw things up to such an extent that orders were only placed in November of 2020, months after other countries had signed contracts for the vaccine. All this means that the European Commission managed to ensure that Europe secured a delivery date at the bottom of the list. There are God knows how many people ahead of us in the queue: this is what the European Commission is capable of, and everyone should take note.
When the British finally split from the EU, certain prominent figures within the EU having rather perversely taken offence at the mere idea, handed out insults like they were going out of style, smugly informing the British that, having left the protective shelter of the EU, they could expect nothing but doom and gloom. That scenario doesn’t seem to have come to pass. A few niggles aside, the trucks are now flowing as fast as they used to over the channel, Britain is no more separated from the continent than it always was. And, freed of the obligation of subjugating their nation-state to the Eurocracy of Brussels, Britain nipped nimbly along and ordered the vaccines whilst the EC were deciding on when they could meet to plan a zoom meeting to discuss at what time they might be able to decide upon something.
It certainly appears that the British made the right decision back in 2016. By removing themselves from the virtual straightjacket that the EU likes to secure on all member states, the British are able to rely on their own ingenuity. This is something that the Hungarians are well-acquainted with: even if we are restricted by EU membership in some respects, our policies of opening towards the East have brought massive investments to our country. The British have now secured the same freedom for themselves.
Time will tell as regards other issues, but seeing the pig’s breakfast that the EU, through its unbending dedication to being nothing less than the heaviest, least-flexible, least-manoeuvrable behemoth around, has made reveals that they have missed the mark, once again.
This isn’t good for the populations of Europe, and as the fiasco blossoms into Euroscepticism in Germany, of all places, it isn’t good for the EU, either.