At last, the Empire strikes back with a warning for Europe.
For too long the UK has been seen to tremble at the behest of Europe. Mrs May, whilst saying that as she has been considered as being ‘bloody difficult‘ (by at least one person in the Conservative Party), and that our Prime Minister can give an example of why she earned that title, especially when in talks with Mr Juncker and 27 EU Constituent Countries, she still hopes to be able to agree matters in respect of Nationals – EU living in the UK, and vice versa.
Originally it was thought it would be an issue which could be settled or agreed quite quickly once formal talks commenced, a few commentators are now wondering though if the strategy should be revisited.
It was pronounced that the EU would determine divorce proceedings first, then any agreements, once ‘progress’ had commenced by satisfaction of the EU, could then follow.
Some are now doubtful about this order of play, so to speak, in that rather than these collective people being considered ‘bargaining chips’ it is more a case of playing a game of poker by dividing one’s hand into two halves – totally impossible.
It is far more honourable, perhaps, to put all matters on the table right from the start. In a real divorce it works that way. Houses are often sold and value shared (more usually at least). Alternately, one spouse or partner can buy out the other person, if finances or mortgage permits, based on the value of the property at the current time.
Where children are involved, of course, there are so many variables of outcome it is even more sad trying to determine what is best for them primarily. Then the car(s), special household furniture, other items. Bank Accounts of course, shared income and/or debts. School fees if relevant for the children. Maintenance for all so legally protected in that regard. Any other items of value, boats, share time properties, holiday commitments, music lessons, etc. Then those special sentimental items – favourite paintings, items of jewellery, cash if a safe is in situ. The pets of course. Mustn’t forget those.
Once everything is on the table, metaphorically or literally, it is when one views from the overall perspective that real value is ascertained. OK, so it may be the case that both parties want to have the house, and custody of the children, the dog and the car. Only in conjunction can a true settlement be reached however, i.e. the car may be a vital requirement either to enable one spouse to get to a work environment not catered for by public transport. The partner, however, may require the car at certain times during the day to take a child for medical therapy because they have a disability.
Paraphrasing the example – the EU want 3 million people to have rights to reside in the UK permanently, with access to all benefits (including NHS and Carers’ Benefits, which some already are claiming whilst indigenous Carers’ have been denied because they were born in the 1950s), many other privileges which normally are required to be earned.
Do they all become British Citizens overnight or ever in a formal way, other than by years of residency by default or immediately on request. Their families have to be given the same rights according to demands made by the EU (though I stand corrected if they have been misrepresented).
Where will they all live when housing is so limited as it is, and NHS waiting lists are already a burden with long waiting lists of people in serious pain requiring serious operations? Who comes first in the queue, and how many millions of immigrants/migrants are we talking about, without end?
Although the EU (and a number of UK politicians), prefer not to consider or discuss UK citizens residing in Europe, at least they are said to be less than a million people, so there is a discrepancy in reference right there. Also there are so many EU countries they can live in, that not all will reside in the same area, whereas England, as an example of one UK Constituent Country, is stretched to its limits now regarding social issues and basic benefit systems.
So this is a subject to be looked at, not as people who are bargaining chips, (clichéd manipulative slogan), but perhaps restrictions of rights is the issue here and capacity of social and basic inclusions throughout so many limited systems.
Some politicians are saying EU Nationals should be given all these rights now, then we have to ‘fight’ thereafter for the same rights in respect of UK Nationals in the EU. That is a bit rich to neglect our own indigenous Brits, discarded out of hand. Unbelievable that is even being considered. It would be easier all round to compel the UK Nationals living in the EU to return to the UK or take out foreign (dual) citizenship and/or relinquish their British one.
After all of the above the EU want money for the privilege, without referring to monies owed to the UK, if indeed there are any owed by either side to the other in the first place. Has any breakdown been given from the EU? So far, not one person has clarified why Britain owes the EU monies.
Mrs May should act firmly over Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland and Wales. France’s Mr Macron has recently stated that the EU should be reformed or there may be a Frexit! How many other EU Countries are just waiting to see what will happen in France and the penalty, if any, Great Britain will have to pay?
No deal still really is better than a bad deal, as nobody wants to relinquish what really is important when everything is on the table. So whoever ends up being elected as Prime Minister, we must trust them, if Mrs May is not permitted to enter into full formal talks unless, or until she is re-elected.
It doesn’t hurt, meanwhile, for Europe to hear her ‘bloody difficult’ patriotic growl…Snarl of British Bull Dog and all that!
Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine