A speech given by Sean Gabb in Bratislava, on the 15th August 2017, to the Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS). He spoke to an audience of Slovak journalists and politicians on the background to Britain’s impending departure from the European Union, and discussed what may happen next.
The video was produced and edited by Philippa Gabb.
NB – the main speech is in English, though the flattering Introduction by Richard Durana is in Slovak.
- In the 2015 general election, David Cameron needed to attract large numbers of UK Independence Party votes in order to secure an overall majority for the Conservative Party.
- British entry to the European Union (then called the European Economic Community) had split the Conservative Party. This led eventually to the emergence of the UK Independence Party, which was able to take enough votes in the 2010 general election to deny the Conservatives a majority.
- David Cameron’s strategy in 2015 was to offer a referendum on EU membership.
- He made an error in calling the referendum in June 2016, when much British attention was fixed on the migrant crisis of 2015. The result of the referendum was largely due to fears of more immigration from Europe.
- After the referendum, the Conservatives declared that Britain would leave, but had no plan for leaving. Either they were unaware of the complexities, or they were unable to agree on how to manage these complexities.
- They still have not plan. Even so, Britain is to leave in March 2019, and the process will become increasingly exciting for impartial observers.
- Dr Gabb’s own view is that the peoples of Europe are bound together by common experience and common problems, and that a close working relationship must emerge from the process of British withdrawal. His final point is that the European Union is not the best vehicle for articulating these commonalities.
“Wait for Us to Fail, Then Vote BNP!”
The Conservative Hidden Agenda?
By Sean Gabb
(28th April 2010)
Additional Comment, 13th August 2017: I have just found this while tidying up some of the older posts on my website. Except I assure you the conversation took place, and took place more or less as I describe it, the account is as bizarre and unlikely as anything I have written. I was unable to explain its meaning in my first comment, made a week before the 2010 General Election. More than a decade later, I am still scratching my head. Read more
I have been asked to write a weekly column on British politics. Since I am writing for a largely American readership, and since Americans mostly know little of what happens outside their own country, and since American politics are presently in themselves of consuming interest, I think it would be best if I were to begin with a brief overview not only of what is happening here, but also of what has been happening. Read more
The General Election: Where to Go Next
by Sean Gabb
11th June 2017
Since yesterday, I have changed my mind about the result of the General Election. Or I may have changed it. Yesterday, I was ready to suggest a National Government as the only alternative to chaos. That may still be desirable – but not yet. Because I want to go to bed, I will try to be brief. Read more
All Governments have legitimacy if they can pass a Queen’s Speech and survive votes of confidence.
In any case, ‘dealing’ with Europeans is somewhat old hat. We are leaving the EU at the end on March 2019 and the least ‘dealing’ the better. If someone has voted Leave in the hope of getting a favourable (or indeed any) deal they have been sadly misguided.
We don’t need to suspend democracy, and have all ‘party governments in order to negotiate Trade deals. If deals are mutually beneficial they will come. Read more
Taking a calm look at the result as a Brexit supporter, I have the following observations:
Yes, Teresa May has lost a lot of authority, but she should with the support of the DUP have a bit of a majority. Her main problem, assuming she doesn’t resign or get ousted, will be keeping recalcitrant Conservative Remainer MPs on side. She is the only parliamentarian with the stature and experience to lead the country on our serious security situation (after all she’s run the Home Office for 6 years) and Brexit talks and she needs to stick to a clean Brexit and not water things down. If we remain in the single currency, customs union and accept ECJ then we have not left the EU and uncontrolled immigration and all the rest will continue. The only change is that we will still be effective tied but have little or no say (less than we had before) over anything the EU proposes or does (much like Norway). Read more