Post-Brexit Britain: Friend or thug?

Amber Rudd, the new Home Secretary, meeting her French counterpart yesterday. Ms. Rudd slapped down any suggestion of moving Calais’ ‘Jungle’ migrant camp to Britain.

Thanks to the referendum result, Britain is to become a country that would prefer the citizens of its allies be murdered rather than deal with the consequences of our choice.

It was reported in The Times yesterday that if Nicolas Sarkozy or any other opportunistic French leader revoked the Le Touquet accord and encouraged all the migrants in Calais to move to Dover, then Theresa May’s government would ‘review security co-operation with France’. Just let that sink in. France, one of our closest allies, has suffered three major terrorist attacks in the last year and a half. In November 2015, 130 people were murdered in Paris, including one British citizen; last month, 84 were murdered in Nice, including ten children. Someone is coming at our friend with a baseball bat, but rather than help them we’re preparing to shake them down as if we were running a protection racket.

Now, Outers will reply that we need to make Brexit a success, and this veiled threat is all part of the dance. It is unlikely to be successful, however, if we are going to be such Pound Shop realists.

As I warned earlier this month, for all the talk of being good Europeans and playing by the rules, our exit will be negotiated by chauvinists who think Britain is great because we just are, and who get angry when others don’t submit to our will. When he was told that we can’t make other trade deals while we are still in the EU, David Davis asked: ‘What are they going to do?’ Similarly, when a couple of French politicians float the idea of taking control of their country’s borders and causing us a minor headache, ‘senior government sources’ toy with endangering their people’s lives. This chauvinism will, slowly but surely, corrode the ties that bind together the Western alliance — when Russia is threatening Eastern Europe and Islamic State are attacking French and German cities.

Brexit offers us the opportunity to recreate everything about Britain, but do we really want to be the thug depicted in The Times?

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