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Saturday, September 12, 2020

EU Withdrawal Agreement? It's a gas!

I've read that you can't reason someone out of a position that reason didn't get them into; but I submit that at least you can annoy the heck out of them with your own sweet reasonableness.

So: the British proposal to renege on that part of the Withdrawal Agreement that applies to Northern Ireland has galvanised the complacent EU negotiators, not to mention the treacherous element among Tory grandees; rather like the gas that finally forced the Alien from his hiding-place in Sigourney Weaver's escape capsule.

There's spluttering about international law and the implications for the Good Friday Peace Agreement, and Nancy Pelosi is bloviating about endangering a future US-UK trade agreement. I wish that America had been similarly concerned about its threats to peace in the Middle East, its waging of aggressive wars that should have resulted in trials at The Hague, and the destabilising of the Arab Street that has pushed millions of refugees in Europe's direction. So much for international law. However, I note that President Trump has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; this must bring him into additional conflict with the Bomb Party that thinks it has a divine right to rule America in its own interest.

I would also note that the proposed WA alteration is not to an existing state of affairs, but to one that was going to apply after the Withdrawal Agreement was finalised. As a groundling, it seems to me that the EU used Northern Ireland to create as much inconvenience as possible and that modern technology is perfectly capable of sorting out customs and excise issues without the need for Checkpoint Charlie.

Further, to the extent that the agreement hastily and foolishly entered into by our bluff, attention-limited PM qualifies our complete break with the power of the European Union, I would argue that it is ultra vires in the context of the people's decision - the binding plebiscite - of 2016. Parliament does not have the competence to surrender our country's sovereignty, as such eminent people as Lord Justice Laws and the late Tony Benn MP have observed.

M. Barnier has spent much of the last four years pushing at an open door, so it is no surprise that his negotiating muscles have atrophied; but he must now wake up to the reality of a Government that, if it does not mean what it says, may soon fall at the foot of the Northern Red Wall that to the surprise of the commentariat temporarily loaned the Conservatives a crucial margin of political legitimation.

Finally, for those who babble about Little England (not knowing the original meaning of that term), a medicinal spoonful of fact to break their delirium: I give below a list of sovereign countries that are not EU member states and have smaller populations than ours. Is it proposed that some competing empires should gobble up all of them?

Rank           Country                                                             Population
                      United Kingdom                                           66,796,807
1                    Thailand                                                           66,550,992
2                    South Africa                                                   59,622,350
3                    Tanzania                                                          57,637,628
4                    Myanmar                                                        54,817,919
5                    South Korea                                                   51,780,579
6                    Colombia                                                         50,372,424
7                    Kenya                                                               47,564,296
8                    Argentina                                                        45,376,763
9                    Algeria                                                              43,900,000
10                  Sudan                                                               42,817,375
11                  Ukraine                                                            41,762,138
12                  Uganda                                                            41,583,600
13                  Iraq                                                                    40,150,200
14                  Canada                                                             38,167,415
15                  Morocco                                                          36,011,955
16                  Uzbekistan                                                     34,403,054
17                  Saudi Arabia                                                   34,218,169
18                  Afghanistan                                                    32,890,171
19                  Malaysia                                                          32,683,570
20                  Peru                                                                  32,625,948
21                  Angola                                                              31,127,674
22                  Ghana                                                               30,955,202
23                  Mozambique                                                 30,066,648
24                  Nepal                                                                29,996,478
25                  Yemen                                                              29,825,968
26                  Venezuela                                                      28,435,943
27                  Ivory Coast                                                      26,453,542
28                  Madagascar                                                    26,251,309
29                  Australia                                                          25,661,448
30                  North Korea                                                   25,550,000
31                  Cameroon                                                       24,348,251
32                  Niger                                                                 23,196,002
33                  Sri Lanka                                                          21,803,000
34                  Burkina Faso                                                  21,510,181
35                  Mali                                                                   20,250,833
36                  Chile                                                                  19,458,310
37                  Malawi                                                             19,129,952
38                  Kazakhstan                                                     18,773,648
39                  Zambia                                                             17,885,422
40                  Ecuador                                                            17,565,560
41                  Syria                                                                  17,500,657
42                  Guatemala                                                      16,858,333
43                  Senegal                                                            16,705,608
44                  Chad                                                                  16,244,513
45                  Somalia                                                            15,893,219
46                  Zimbabwe                                                       15,473,818
47                  Cambodia                                                        15,288,489
48                  South Sudan                                                  13,249,924
49                  Rwanda                                                            12,663,116
50                  Guinea                                                             12,559,623
51                  Benin                                                                12,114,193
52                  Haiti                                                                   11,743,017
53                  Tunisia                                                              11,708,370
54                  Bolivia                                                               11,633,371
55                  Burundi                                                            11,215,578
56                  Cuba                                                                  11,193,470
57                  Jordan                                                              10,765,960
58                  Dominican Republic                                    10,448,499
59                  Azerbaijan                                                      10,095,900
60                  United Arab Emirates                                 9,890,400
61                  Belarus                                                             9,408,400
62                  Tajikistan                                                         9,313,800
63                  Honduras                                                        9,304,380
64                  Israel                                                                 9,249,225
65                  Papua New Guinea                                     8,935,000
66                  Switzerland                                                    8,619,259
67                  Sierra Leone                                                   8,100,318
68                  Togo                                                                  7,706,000
69                  Paraguay                                                         7,252,672
70                  Laos                                                                   7,231,210
71                  Serbia                                                               6,926,705
72                  Libya                                                                  6,871,287
73                  Lebanon                                                          6,825,442
74                  El Salvador                                                      6,765,753
75                  Kyrgyzstan                                                      6,578,400
76                  Nicaragua                                                        6,527,691
77                  Turkmenistan                                                6,031,187
78                  Singapore                                                        5,703,600
79                  Central African Republic                            5,633,412
80                  Congo                                                               5,518,092
81                  Norway                                                            5,374,807
82                  Costa Rica                                                        5,111,238
83                  Palestine                                                         5,101,152
84                  New Zealand                                                  5,030,847
85                  Liberia                                                               4,568,298
86                  Oman                                                                4,527,934
87                  Kuwait                                                              4,464,521
88                  Panama                                                            4,278,500
89                  Mauritania                                                      4,173,077
90                  Georgia                                                            3,716,858
91                  Eritrea                                                               3,546,000
92                  Uruguay                                                           3,530,912
93                  Mongolia                                                         3,336,978
94                  Bosnia and Herzegovina                            3,281,000
95                  Armenia                                                           2,963,000
96                  Albania                                                             2,845,955
97                  Qatar                                                                 2,749,215
98                  Jamaica                                                            2,726,667
99                  Moldova[s]                                                     2,640,438
100               Namibia                                                           2,504,498
101               Gambia                                                            2,417,000
102               Botswana                                                        2,374,698
103               Gabon                                                              2,226,000
104               North Macedonia                                        2,076,255
105               Lesotho                                                            2,007,201
106               Guinea-Bissau                                               1,624,945
107               Bahrain                                                             1,592,000
108               Equatorial Guinea                                        1,454,789
109               Trinidad and Tobago                                   1,363,985
110               East Timor                                                       1,299,412
111               Mauritius                                                         1,265,475
112               Djibouti                                                            1,108,567
113               Eswatini                                                           1,093,238
114               Fiji                                                                      889,327
115               Guyana                                                            787,000
116               Comoros                                                          758,316
117               Bhutan                                                             748,931
118               Solomon Islands                                           694,619
119               Montenegro                                                  621,873
120               Suriname                                                         587,000
121               Cape Verde                                                    556,857
122               Brunei                                                               459,500
123               Belize                                                                419,199
124               Bahamas                                                          389,410
125               Maldives                                                          383,135
126               Iceland                                                             366,700
127               Vanuatu                                                           304,500
128               Barbados                                                         287,025
129               São Tomé and Príncipe                              210,240
130               Samoa                                                              202,506
131               Saint Lucia                                                       178,696
132               Kiribati                                                              120,100
133               Grenada                                                          112,003
134               Saint Vincent and the Grenadines        110,696
135               F.S. Micronesia                                             104,650
136               Tonga                                                                100,651
137               Seychelles                                                       98,055
138               Antigua and Barbuda                                  97,895
139               Andorra                                                           77,543
140               Dominica                                                         71,808
141               Marshall Islands                                           55,500
142               Saint Kitts and Nevis                                   52,823
143               Liechtenstein                                                 38,749
144               Monaco                                                           38,100
145               San Marino                                                     33,607
146               Palau                                                                 17,900
147               Nauru                                                               11,000
148               Tuvalu                                                               10,200
149               Vatican City                                                    825

2 comments:

James Higham said...

“Parliament does not have the competence to surrender our country's sovereignty, as such eminent people as Lord Justice Laws and the late Tony Benn MP have observed.”

Precisely, so where do these people get off?

Sackerson said...

At the next stop.