There are at least 65 million people the main island of Britain: At least 52 million of them concentrated in England. The real figure may be as much as 5 million higher. Yet the Optimum Population Trust (now called Population Matters) warned in 2008 that under the most favorable circumstances, Britain can only grow enough food to feed 17 million people.
Once Britain pulls out of the European Union reducing it to “only” 27 countries, how is it going to pay for the food for the remaining “surplus” 48 million people?
Prime Minister Theresa May after two years in office has managed to make even Neville Chamberlain and Herbert Henry Asquith – the hapless prime ministers who led Britain into catastrophe at the beginning of both world wars – look positively Churchillian by contrast.
May’s political masterstroke on taking office two years ago was to appoint the three great demagogues of her ruling Conservative Party, Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox as the ministers charged with negotiating the terms of Brexit – British withdrawal from the EU. It is now clear that none of these clowns – of whom only Fox remains in office – has had the slightest clue what to do.
Britain has not concluded a single trade deal with any other major nation. Fox has talked airily of concluding 40 or more. Yet there has been no discernable progress made towards achieving a single one.
There is no doubt that US President Donald Trump, whom May has recklessly and relentlessly alienated will make his priority resolving trade differences with the EU to improve the US annual trade balance. Britain will be left out in the cold.
Far from improving relations with both Moscow and Washington – the great achievements of both World War II leader Winston Churchill and of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, May has gone out of her way to enrage the leaders of both superpowers. Relations with Russia under May’s hapless leadership are even worse than they are with the EU.
Talks with the EU over Brexit are deadlocked. The British government is now making urgent plans to stockpile medicines and emergency supplies and have the miniscule Royal Air Force fly them to beleaguered parts of the kingdom if May goes ahead with her bombastic claim to implement a “hard’ Brexit if necessary after producing a more sensible plan to seek a “soft” and mutually negotiated divorce from Brussels.
The Brexiteers really do not have a clue what they will do. Their mad Americanophilia and obsession with lecturing the rest of the world guarantees that China and Russia will not rescue them and India, just acceded to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and mindful of its sufferings, racist oppression and relentless looting under the British Empire, certainly won’t.
The hard, unrelenting truth is that the Brexiteers continue to live in a deluded image of a long-dead past. They have no real policies and no practical plans. They walk and talk in a fugue state. The fate of 65 million people has fallen into the hands of cowardly nonentities and literal madmen.
The British Empire that covered one quarter of the territory and population of the entire human race has been totally dismantled for more than half a century. Britain’s legendary industrial base was crumbling and disintegrating for a full century before Britain even joined the European Community in 1973.
Since then Britain has survived, and at least partially prospered primarily by being the financial directing investment center for the EU. The money managers of the City of London easily beat off the challenges of Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt to win this role in the 1980s under the hardheaded leadership of Mrs. Thatcher.
Thatcher, for all her talk of British nationalism was, like her great friend, counterpart and partner, US President Ronald Reagan a lot more sensible and cautious in her real policies than the rhetoric in which she publicly indulged. Johnson, Fox and Davis mindlessly swallowed Thatcher’s slogans and ignored her successful and hardheaded policies. Their idea of a State Paper on policy is reading the Daily Mail, Britain’s most influential tabloid every morning.
What industry Britain still has is in large part the product of international, mainly US, Japanese and Chinese investment or is fully integrated with the major industries and combines of the EU. Brexit – as Britain’s business leaders have always recognized and repeatedly warned in vain – will inevitably dismantle all of those relationships.
Britain simply does not have the industrial base, the entrepreneurial culture, tax system and legal system, the technically trained population or the 21st century research and development resources to Go It Alone.
Hard Brexit therefore will inevitably mean the worst economic crisis in British history, a collapse of even basic food imports and the rapid departure of Scotland and Northern Ireland from the irreparably Dis-United Kingdom.
Brexit dooms Britain to disintegration, crisis and ruin. The British people should avoid it at all costs.
Any Conservative Members of Parliament who are still capable of intelligent thought, independent action and who have any sense of patriotism or public responsibility at all now have only one real course of action left to them. As Matthew Jamison has written in these columns, they need to join forces with the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn and set up an emergency national government that can then order a second referendum on Brexit immediately.
Instead, in the short term we may see the delusional Conservatives doubling up on denying reality and electing Boris Johnson as their next leader: If that happens, he is likely to be Britain’s last.