The Remoaners would have us return to the EU humiliated and on the periphery

The Remoaners would have us return to the EU humiliated and on the periphery

Comic as it is to see those who opposed a referendum now demanding another to reverse the first, it’s right to wonder why they want to go back to an EU which is so weighted against us. It drains Britain to finance Germany’s greedy surpluses. It hinders negotiations with other countries by dragging French agricultural protection into them. Then it makes us pay higher contributions than are justified by our relative GDP to belong.

Why are Remoaners so keen on such a bum deal which is so biased to the self-interests of France and Germany? And why do they devote such efforts to attacking Britain’s case rather than urging the EU to reform itself by ending the cruel deflation imposed on weaker competitors, redistributing to boost laggards, stopping the migration mess and ending the ability of France and Germany to play fast and loose with rules which Britain gold plates?

Greater love hath no man than he sacrifice his national interest for such a phoney deal. Yet since Remoaners want to undermine our negotiating position, we should ask: what would happen if they won and we went back?

We’d go humiliated and unenthusiastic. Having proved incapable of negotiating, we’d not return to a position of strength, or a warm welcome for a sinner who’s caused trouble. We wouldn’t be in a leadership position. Macron and Merkel would continue to dominate. We’d be on the periphery, half-hearted members put on the naughty stool.

Nor would we go back to an institution which is modernising itself. The EU is incapable of doing that. The only prospect of change is Macron’s desire to make the euro work by developing institutions to manage it – which Germany doesn’t want – and to develop a European military capability, which NATO doesn’t want either.

We’d be trussed, bound and humbled into a subordinate role in a system our people don’t like and our government is incapable of influencing. We might even have to accept humiliating terms to return, losing more of our rebate, losing our Schengen opt-outs or being required, like a new entrant, to adopt the euro. It all depends how kind they’d want to be to repentant lame dogs.

What would be the effect on our politics? No joy from seeing that our system is so feeble that it couldn’t negotiate out of a paper bag. No liking for an EU which has so obstinately refused to negotiate.

People wouldn’t enjoy being told that they’re too stupid to get what they want, and can’t be allowed to have it. Apathy and alienation would grow, though when it comes to party choice, people may well prefer a government which tried and failed to an opposition which moaned and wailed.

Theresa May has tried to be nice, but it’s only thrown her into a cage. If she’s not to be locked in, this nightmare vision of the alternative should tell her it’s time to be tough. Remember what happened in 2011 when David Cameron stood up to the EU: he lost, but the Conservatives went up in the polls. It’s time his successor realised that, if you’ll excuse my French, it’s now shit or bust.