Remains. Do you remember it? They are the ones who in some cases tried to thwart Britain’s withdrawal from the EU despite a democratic vote.
Well, not all of the Remainers are gone. Some of them are having fun. There is a great deal of jubilation in Parliament and in the press. Most of it is completely out of place and completely wrong.
Gloat One comes from empty shelves in some supermarkets, which ardent anti-Brexiteers attribute to a shortage of foreign truck drivers which they say was caused by our departure from the EU.
Gloat Two is about what the Remainers see as the humiliation of global Britain as we are ignored by President Joe Biden over Afghanistan. They claim that, separated as we are from our former EU partners, and abandoned by the United States, we are in fact all alone in the big, bad world.
The Remainers aren’t all gone. Some of them are having fun. Gloat One comes from empty shelves in some supermarkets, which ardent anti-Brexiteers attribute to a shortage of foreign truck drivers which they say was caused by our departure from the EU.
Let me come back to the empty shelves later and focus on our so-called isolation and humiliation first.
It is true that we got fooled by Mr. Biden. He ended a war in which the lives of 457 British servicemen were lost and billions of pounds of taxpayer money were spent, without consulting us. As I wrote last week, the United States has proven to be an authoritarian and unreliable ally.
But where the Remainers go wrong is assuming our situation is unique. This is not the case. France, Germany, Italy and Canada have also lost lives and spent billions in Afghanistan, albeit on a smaller scale than Britain. And Sleepy Joe dumped them in exactly the same way.
They are certainly not happy with it. Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron had a tense telephone conversation with Mr Biden in which he stressed that the West has a “moral responsibility” to evacuate Afghan allies and not to “abandon” them. .
In its subsequent account of the phone call, the White House deleted Mr Macron’s more colorful language. And in a Zoom meeting of G7 leaders on Tuesday, President Biden rejected calls by Britain, France and Germany to extend the deadline so more Afghan lives can be saved.
Gloat Two is about what the Remainers see as the humiliation of global Britain as we are ignored by President Joe Biden (pictured) on Afghanistan. They claim that, separated as we are from our former EU partners, and abandoned by the US, we are in fact on our own.
In Germany, much criticism has been leveled at Mr Biden. Markus Soder, Governor of Bavaria and ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the United States should provide funding and shelter to those fleeing Afghanistan as it bears “primary responsibility” for what happened.
The point is, most of America’s allies are angered by Biden’s blunder and they have to wonder, just as we wonder, whether it is reasonable to rely so much on Washington again.
Instead of cheering for Britain’s supposed isolation, the Patriots Remainers should question whether Boris Johnson is not in an ideal position to save something from Afghanistan’s shameful debacle – and, in so doing , mend some of the bitter wounds left by Brexit.
For if the United States is an inconstant friend with the intention of partially withdrawing from the world, it follows that second-tier powers such as Britain, France and Germany – which have relied so heavily on Uncle Sam since WWII – should look to one another more in the future.
First military power in Europe, with a short nose in front of France, Great Britain would be essential to any rebalancing of old alliances. To be frank, France and Germany and the others cannot do without us in a world where America is less proactive.
Here I hear a one-word objection: Macron. This rowdy Napoleonic retread and diehard Brexit critic misses no opportunity to throw ball bearings under Boris Johnson’s hooves. Many would argue that it is ridiculous to imagine forming an alliance with this infuriating popinjay.
My answer is that Macron is not France, and he will not be there forever. It is even possible that he will be dismissed by French voters in the presidential elections next April. Let’s hope so.
Few people are serious about Macron’s notion of a European army. Angela Merkel said it lip service, but nothing is ever done, not least because the Germans have no desire to pay for it.
It is true that we got fooled by Mr. Biden. But where the Remainers go wrong is assuming our situation is unique. This is not the case. France, Germany, Italy and Canada have also lost lives and spent billions in Afghanistan (pictured, Kabul airport on August 16)
In contrast – and despite Mr. Macron’s relentless anti-British tirades – Anglo-French military cooperation is a successful reality. The Franco-British rapid reaction force is capable of deploying 10,000 men and women on land, sea and air. It is more formidable than the so-called Franco-German brigade.
I’m not suggesting for a moment that a more introverted America will cease to be Britain’s most important ally. Its military resources are far superior to those of any other Western country. Despite everything, there are strong ties of friendship and history between our two nations.
But a gradual change is taking place. It was President Trump who envisioned the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from Afghanistan, and President Biden who gleefully executed it. They are two authoritarian and isolationist presidents of opposing parties who follow one another. Only a fool would ignore the lesson.
At that G7 meeting on Tuesday, we saw Britain, France and Germany act together, but failed to get Mr. Biden to understand the meaning. This rapprochement of fundamentally like-minded countries with many common interests should be seen as a harbinger of things to come.
Far from being the reverse of global Britain that some suggest, this is Boris Johnson’s opportunity to put Brexit divisions behind us by reaching out to allies in similar need.
By the way, I guess no Western alliance will find it easy to do business with the narrow-minded and fanatical Taliban. Afghanistan is a disaster area, but it offers the possibility of enhanced cooperation with old friends in other areas. Better things can await us.
The same can be said of those empty shelves that brought so much joy to the stubborn Remnants. While there may be shortages caused by a lack of truck drivers – no milkshakes at McDonald’s or chicken at Nando – these are likely temporary.
The Covid is one of the factors of the shortage of drivers. Brexit is another as several thousand of them have returned to the EU and have not yet returned.
But isn’t that a reason for celebration? The low wages of truck drivers were kept low by the plenitude of East Europeans willing to work for mediocre pay. The same effect has been felt across UK industry. This is one of the reasons many people voted for the break.
Having fewer East European drivers will lead to shortages in the short term. This in turn will lead employers (who have benefited greatly from cheap labor) to raise rates of pay. And that will eventually attract more locals to truck driving.
Instead of cheering on empty shelves and seeing them as one more horrific manifestation of Brexit, Remainers should rejoice that the wages of truck drivers, so long depressed by cheap labor, are finally rising.
Likewise, the Remainers should rejoice that Britain and its former EU partners find themselves in the same boat adrift by Sleepy Joe, and be able to find a common cause if they have. only the imagination.