There’s a great scene in the 2009 Clint Eastwood film ‘The Changeling’, where Jeffrey Donovan’s character is arguing with a junior detective desperately attempting to quote departmental policy to him. Donovan condescendingly replies: ‘Departmental policy is whatever I say it is.’
Remember those words as the Brexit negotiations continue at their snail’s pace. For those minority Brits in thrall to the EU and its expansionism react to any frustration felt by those of us on the Leave side with the predictable line that the EU is a club, whereby all rules must be followed. We must therefore obey every edict and policy pronouncement they make. The UK stepping outside the rules of the club is non-negotiable, either for the EU or its pom pom girl army of devotees in Britain.
Strange then how Germany, the nation very much the motor of European unity, can flagrantly disregard EU rules at will. So much so it is now the single biggest flouter of those very same rules. The Independent reports:
‘Numbers provided to German newspaper Handelsblatt by the country’s economics ministry show the country’s government is subject to 74 infringement proceedings by the European Commission for failing to implement EU regulations properly in German law.’
We see the same staggering hypocrisy in the proposals by the EU to unilaterally suspend UK access to the Single Market during the proposed transition period if it perceives rules governing the transition are not being adhered to in London. There is absolutely nothing in EU law that provides for such an action. Thus, when it comes to the application of EU law in its biggest member state, or the ability of the EU to conjure up rules with breathtaking spontaneity to suit itself, ardent Remainers in Britain are puzzlingly silent. However, posit the argument the UK should do the same during and after Brexit and you’re met with cries of ‘Britain can’t have its cake and eat it’.
Why can’t we? Others across the continent have been doing so for years.