I’m a genius. There. I’ve said it. I have suspected as much for a while, but, so far, my natural humility … Well, you know how that goes. The reason I’m a genius is that I’ve found the perfect way to satisfy both Remain and Leave Brexit voters in the upcoming referendum:
We quietly repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which puts EU law above UK law, and that’s the sole basis of our EU membership, but we don’t tell the EU we’ve done so.
Take a moment or two to let that sink in.
What this means is that every interaction we have with the EU subsequent to repeal would be entirely voluntary on our part, leaving us free to cherry pick the best and the worst EU membership has to offer. So, in effect, we can Remain inside the EU, but on a Leave basis. Starting to come into focus?
Ah, I hear you say, won’t the EU notice that, for instance, we’re no longer paying EU workers the same in-work benefits as UK workers? Well, of course they’ll notice. But I have a work-around for that eventuality, too. Whenever we receive a question or complaint from the EU commission that we are violating EU law, we respond thus:
No explanation. No argument. No hand wringing and self flagellation. Just a written or verbal “Bien”.
Think about it.
“You’ve illegally given state aid to your steel industry!”
“Bien!? Bien, we’re going to fine you!”
“Bien, you’ll have to pay us money”
And so on.
Of course, we’ll know we’ve broken no EU law because we’ll know that we’ve already abolished the European Communities Act.
Now, I appreciate that, while withholding an unenforceable fine is one thing, withholding EU membership fees is quite another. There’s no way that EU Commission president Juncker is going to simply ignore seeing his Go Go dancer budget and his schnapps supply dwindling with no UK-funded top-up in sight.
Fortunately, I have a solution to that problem, as well: We tell the EU that We already paid our year’s membership fee to Greece‘s anti-austerity bad boy Yanis Varoufakis, who stopped by yesterday and said he would pass the money on to you lot.
Okay. So this sounds a little thin. But, again, think about it. If we give the EU Commission the choice between arguing with us, an historically ornery EU half-member state who appears to be becoming increasingly irrational, potentially violent, even, or taking the opportunity to ramp up its water boarding of the Greek people, well, frankly, Juncker and Merkel would consider it money well lost.
By following my plan, we’d all be in a position to really enjoy our EU “membership” for once, with Remains and Leaves getting from it exactly what they want.
For example, how much fun would it be for our MEPs to be expounding on all manner of EU policy in Brussels or Strasbourg, knowing all along that they are gatecrashers who can do and say whatever they want, who can slurp as much EU expenses gravy as they like, and who do not have to worry about cleaning up the mess they leave in someone else’s house? The Remain MEPs wouldn’t spill the beans about our ruse, because, if they did, they’d be ripped cruelly from their mother’s teat. And the Leave MEPs would be laughing too hard to notice anything very much.
One fly in the ointment might be “our” EU Commissioner, who has sworn to NOT represent the UK in the EU. He could remain a commissioner, even if the UK were to leave the EU, so his gravy train runs on a different track to the MEPs’. The obvious question in this case is: Should we trust him to join in our ruse, or should we tie him up, gag him and leave him in the shed at the bottom of David Cameron’s back garden? And, if we go for my choice, and the EU Commission complains that they’ve lost track of their man from the UK, we simply reply “Bien”.
The final objection to what, I will admit, is a pretty deceptive, though totally brilliant and highly satisfying, solution to the Brexit dilemma is moral. Surely, people will say, it’s wrong to deceive and leave an organization that we have given 85% of our sovereignty to without telling them we’re leaving. That’s a good point, until you realize that we’d only be leaving the EU via the same means that we were shoved into it: in secrecy, and with malicious, willful deceit.
After all, doesn’t it make sense to leave a place through the same door you came into it through?