Jean-Claude Junker is right…words I never thought I’d type


So, we’ve voted to leave and the markets are going a bit wobbly.  That in itself is unsurprising as speculators unwind positions and then the long term investors look to see what would happen.  Instead of seeing UK pull out our application to leave, along with a (short) list of key terms we get Cameron’s resignation and a delay in the invocation of Article 50.  This in turn adds uncertainty and the markets get worse.

And then history is made as Junker makes the sensible point that we need to get on with it and he is right.

Leaving the EU is not hard.  We go, and offer to continue tariff free trade both ways.  If they say yes then fine.  If not, also fine.  We spend a net £8 billion (ish) to save £3.5 billion (ish) of tariff.  Leaving the single market saves us money (and of course generates us about another £4 billion per year if we apply reciprocal tariffs).

Expat residents?  Simple.  Those already here can stay as long as they like.  If they leave and then want to come back they’ll have to apply for visas, just like the rest of the world.  Not here yet? Here’s a form, get busy.  We expect the same for our nationals.

Fisheries?  Here’s the map of our territorial waters pre accession to the EEC.  It’s reinstated now.

Anything else? Fine.  Obviously we’re happy to participate in security information sharing (with some of you, at least), and probably most of the joint R&D programmes that we’re in.  But we can decide all that case by case.  European Army? No thanks, but feel free to buy our weapons and use our training areas.  We need a good laugh.

Need money (and we know you do)? Here’s London, global financial centre. You’re all welcome.  Can’t stay longer – got to go and sort trade deals with India and beyond.

During the campaign, last week I think, Cameron promised to initiate the process of leaving.  He has now reneged on that promise for reasons that can only be related to succession planning.  He says that he is not the man to do it because his heart is not in it. Well, he must have considered the possibility of a Leave vote (he’s no fool).  He is paid a lot of money to do his job.  He needs to man up, step up to the plate and start the Article 50 process.

I hope that Junkers, Tusk and the rest will bludgeon him into doing the right thing for the economy, the country, Europe and – in the final analysis – his reputation.