Norman Lamont on attitudes to Brexit
Earlier tonight I listened to Norman, Lord Lamont, John Bruton and others on BBC News discussing the Brexit process, and I was struck by a comment from Lord Lamont, responding to the point that the if UK was to get what it wanted in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations it should expect to have to make concessions in turn.
BBC News, The Brexit Effect, 20th Oct 2016 approx. 52 minutes in.
I understand part of what John Bruton says. But you know, looking at this discussion more broadly I contrast the tone of all this stuff about we must have a price, we must punish Britain, there must be conditions.
I contrast that with 1922 when the Free State was established, and Lloyd George took the view that there would be a common travel area between the Irish republic and the UK, and that was done as he said at the time on the
basis of the everlasting friendship between the peoples of Ireland and the people of the UK.
Lord Lamont appeared to want (or was it hark back to) a gentler world in which we were all friends and would all do what is best.
He seemed unaware of the irony of the situation, that we were setting the tone, that we were telling the EU that we didn’t want the common travel area (aka free movement of people) between the EU and the UK any more, and that in a reversal of the relationship between the UK and the Irish Free State, this inevitably signalled our desire for a lessening of the friendship between the UK and the EU.
So, we have rejected the EU; we should not be surprised if the EU feels rejected. And if they feel rejected, the best we can hope for in return is rational self-interest.