A Sarcastic Letter to Boris Johnson
To the former Foreign Secretary,
Following your recent article in The Daily Telegraph, I could not help but issue some form of rebuttal to the ‘incomplete’ information you provided to readers which has, unsurprisingly, been welcomed by your ERG flag-bearers. As a student of politics, as a self-imposed rule, I have always taken what politicians state with profound scepticism and, therefore, seek to delve beneath the surface of your rhetoric in order to understand the points that have been made.
I have, therefore, concluded that your article is nothing more than a point-the-finger blame game in order to put some distance between your obvious failings as a senior member of the May Cabinet. After all, you were the Foreign Secretary and you were in one of the most senior roles in the cabinet so, fundamentally, any failings that have occurred are down to your own doing and, also, because you are, clearly, unable to put forward any arguments coherently without saying something offensive or going off track. An intellectual only needs to watch your performance in Foreign Office questions or your dismal attempts at providing coherent answers when quizzed by Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee to conclude the same answer as myself. Furthermore, one only needs to look at the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratclife in order to realise that you completely failed in your role as Foreign Secretary. However, I shall not delve into that too much as I want to delve into this article which offers your version of Brexit.
One of the first things the article mentions is that the public had a clear insight into the way that the European Union works and its manifest flaws. I really would like to see the evidence that proves this because, as I am aware, there was increased google searches about the European Union after the referendum. Now, I have no doubt that the majority of these searches were by you and your team but I believe that Wikipedia did not fully educate you on how the European Union works. So, here are a few questions which I am sure the public could answer.
Do they know how the legislative process works within the European Parliament?
Are they aware that it was the United Kingdom who pushed for the creation of the single market and has been at the forefront in the creation of the European digital market?
Are they aware that it was due to the European Union that we have mandatory maternity leave for women?
Are they aware that the North West and Wales are net beneficiaries when it comes EU funding?
The list of questions could go on, but you understand my point.
The next point you stated was that the Euro has consigned millions of young people to the misery of unemployment across the Mediterranean. Now, in some ways, this could be seen as inherently true because after all the states tied to the Euro cannot devalue the currency amongst other things. However, as a Conservative, I am very surprised that you didn’t look at the finer detail when it comes to states like Italy and Greece. Italy and Greece are not known for ‘strong and stable’ Governments and the domestic agenda they have pushed for in consecutive years has, ultimately, fuelled the fire of youth unemployment. However, you would ignore these finer details as they do not sit well with your Eurosceptic tendencies.
You then discussed Immigration. I shall not discuss this in a lot of detail besides the fact that you deliberately type cast our European friends and do not discuss the advantages and the billions of pounds in revenue they have contributed to the UK economy. Also, may I add, that we do control immigration outside the European Union so if we are not letting people who you think we need into the country then you only need to point the finger at successive Conservative Governments since 2010. However, that is another bit of information you seemed to have omitted, accidentally I am sure.
The article then went on to discuss the failure of the negotiations so far. We are consistently told that 80% of the Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed and there are two major issues that remain. The ‘future partnership’ and Northern Ireland. Now, one thing that strikes me as odd is your desire to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement because you are unhappy with it. You were a Member of the Cabinet for most of the formulation of the Withdrawal Agreement and, also, your ally David Davis was in one of the key driving seats of that agreement. You had many chances to object to it before and did not do so. Also, if you were so unhappy with the agreement before the joint report in December was published then why did you not resign then and there?
Were you disgruntled in secret or was it only when the European Research Group started to bare their teeth that you decided to give up your post?
As a key member of the Cabinet (one of the big three), you had many attempts to argue your case coherently but, as far as I am aware, you seemed to do this through publishing newspaper articles which consistently undermined the Prime Minister and made your voice of dissent seem comical, just like it is now. The Withdrawal agreement is where the member states are most united in their determination. I would wish you the best of luck if you manage to convince the MPs who are not in the ERG to support your leadership call.
When it comes to the question of the Northern Irish Back-stop proposals you seem to forget that the European Union has unequivocally backed the Irish Government. You say that the British Constitution should not be held to ransom but then completely disregard what is enshrined in the European Treaties and wish to do exactly the same to them. This is not just about the United Kingdom but it is, also, about the other member states who have placed more focus upon the European Union that you have ever done. Should they throw away their principles because of you and your bright ideas?
Furthermore, you state in your article that there are other ways to solve the Irish border with trusted trader schemes and having checks away from the border. Although this is very good on paper, you neglect to mention that the issue the European Union has is with regards to regulatory standards. As it stands now, the high standards we adhere to are regulated by the European Union. Once we leave, we no longer have to abide by the standards laid down in the acquis and, fundamentally, if we stray from those standards and deregulate to trade with, I don’t know, the United States then checks will be needed to ensure that none of those goods pass through the new border between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Basically, unless it is enshrined in a legal context that we will not lower standards then the European Union will never trust our standards regime and insist on checks. So, if through some horrific nightmare you become Prime Minister then I am sure you will take this on the chin and ensure that I am not eating chlorinated chicken and hormone infected beef for the rest of my days.
Lastly, I simply say this. 17,410,742 voted to leave the European Union and 16,141,241 voted to remain. Your version of Brexit is not what I voted for and, possibly, not what 16,141,240 other individuals voted for. I respect the democracy of this country and I am aware that we are leaving the European Union. But, what needs to be realised is that the other 48% have an opinion and, in all honesty, we really don’t think yours is worthy.
Stuart Collier-Daintith, CEO of The Front Bench