A reported interview with former prime minister Boris Johnson coincided with a poll commissioned by a newspaper.
Both were, frankly, badly structured and presented. Boris Johnson was quoted at length berating the Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and forecasting in an accusatory tone that he would allow Britain to be “gravitationally sucked back into the orbit of the EU” should he become Prime Minister at the next election. The comments coincided with reported remarks from Business Secretary Grant Shapps that Sir Keir Starmer wants to drag the UK into the “nightmare” world of the EU.
What none of the political comments, and more importantly none of the media reports and commentary even mention is the attitude of the EU or it’s member states. Even more significantly there appears to be no mention anywhere of what rejoining the EU would cost the UK.
Can you believe the results of a poll that does not even mention having to abandon the pound sterling and adopt the euro? A point that has been made by EU sources on multiple occasions. Is it right to conduct a significantly influential poll without mentioning that the EU will REQUIRE full membership of the free movement treaty Schengen with a resultant impact on immigration?
Then there is the vexed question of language. Would the French acquiesce to reintroducing English as the leading European language? One has to suspect that whoever might be in charge in Paris we would be looking again at the Charles De Gaulle scenario summed up in the media at the time as “non, non, non”.
If this issue is to become a major political debate in the run up to the next UK General Election in a year’s time shouldn’t politicians and especially the newspapers and media delve a bit deeper and analyse correctly for the largely ill-informed electorate how both France and Germany subsidised and promoted their industry at Britain’s expense over the past 50 years?
This is not the place, or the time, to provide detailed analysis, suffice to say that when the UK joined the European Economic area it was a major industrial country. Just look up how few cars are now built in Britain compared with those that were once British now built in the EU, particularly in former Eastern bloc countries with lower overheads. The same applies to ship building with the question that once dominated the news as to how France could build Royal Navy ships more cheaply.
- Do They Deserve a Second Chance? asks Chris White.
- “There’ll Always be an England… but England is not free…” writes Chris White
Voters and those taking part in polls see things as they are at the time. Will the UK recover economically and take its place in the world? Who can say? But one thing is certain, EU states – particularly Spain – are shifting towards encouraging Britons to return. Spain is working on a special arrangement covering driving licences and is asking to be allowed to change the 90 day limit for visitors from Britain. Perhaps this is a signal that relations with the EU will improve.
That Brexit has had a detrimental effect in the UK is without question but everyone needs to look at the similar impact it has had on a number of EU states. It might be a touch supercilious at this time to mention driving on the right but that is an issue that should not be forgotten in any future debate.
I have long argued that newspapers, magazines and the media (forgive the old fashioned grammatical differentiation) have lost the plot. That politicians have also done so has long been generally accepted. This amounts, ultimately, to a serious problem for democracy.
There are political and democratic problems across the EU, not least questions about longer term support for Ukraine. The same applies to the UK whose challenges reflect those of the EU but with the added dimension of business lost to EU countries during fifty plus years of membership.
Can the British rebuild their economic fortunes and stand side by side with the EU as trusted allies? Not if the British media have their way. Politicians need to focus and stop giving divisive interviews to ragged outlets – and citizens need to be properly informed!