Being part of the EU is more likely to solve Brexiteer Priti Patel’s problems than being out of it.
Some of your readers will remember the Small Faces’ Whatcha Gonna Do About It – if you don’t, have a listen. So Priti Patel, what are you going to do about it, ‘it’ being the ‘invasion’ of people from Iraq and Syria amongst others who have the temerity to seek a better life in the UK, risking their lives in the process?
You would do well to recall how the UK played a fundamental role during the so-called peace process after the First World War in carving up the Middle East. We totally ignored the clear religious and sectarian divisions of the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, deprived the latter of the homeland they desperately sought (as they still do) and split them between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. It was a British-born disaster waiting to happen.
Just as the Treaty of Versailles was the base cause of the Second World War, so the British and French carve-up of the Ottoman states was the underlying reason for the current cauldron in the Middle East. Lining up the UK Border Force and the navy to swamp migrants’ dinghies before they can sully our shores is a very bleak metaphor for what the UK has become – an isolated and much-derided nonentity off the coast of Europe with a few bully boats but no real levers or allies to call upon to help solve this supposedly existential threat to our sovereignty.
Go back to the lyrics, Priti: ‘I’m so happy when you’re around me, but I’m sad when you’re not there’. Would managing the migrant invasion not be much easier if we could work with our ‘friends and partners’ (Boris’s words, not mine) as a member of the EU to solve this and other pressing problems? Do you really believe that in the aftermath of Brexit, the French and Belgians really care?
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The referendum’s mantra was ‘take back control’, widely interpreted by many voters as a desire to keep ‘undesirable’ foreigners out. We jeopardised our economic future, deprived ourselves and our youngsters of EU citizenship, spent huge sums of money on contingency arrangements, all in the name of control.
And here we are, free from the EU, and laughably unable to control our borders, with the prime minister blustering about changing the law. It’s not only the government of Lebanon that should think of resigning.
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