Features Australia

Well out of it

24 February 2018

9:00 AM

24 February 2018

9:00 AM

Of all the absurd things that have been said about Brexit, Chris Patten’s comment in his Spectator Australia interview with Troy Bramston (3 February) must be among the absurdest. ‘I think,’ he said, ‘my children’s generation will spend the next twenty-five years trying to re-establish our relationship with Europe.’

No they won’t. They will spend the next twenty-five years feeling grateful to those farsighted souls who in the teeth of constant patronising ridicule from the likes of Lord Patten got the United Kingdom out of its entanglement with the European Union just in time. Instead of seeing Brexit as Lord Patten does – ‘the most depressing thing, politically, to happen in my lifetime’ – they will see it as liberation from the millstone that Europe seems doomed to become. They mightn’t all realise it yet, but Lord Patten’s children’s generation will not be sorry when, in a little over a year, Britain is running its own affairs again. Not for the first time will the British be glad they’re an island.

The problem is not so much that the EU’s junta of power maniacs who have transformed what was allegedly a ‘common market’ into a supranational state is unaccountable and undemocratic; it is that their immigration policy is de-europeanising Europe. Flooded with Muslim immigrants while its native populations contraceive and abort themselves into a minority in their own countries, the nations of the EU will in the next twenty-five years become semi-sharia states, where racial tensions constantly flare into conflict or civil war. As the philoprogenitive progeny of today’s migrants and the many more to come gain political weight in one place after another they will seek to enforce their religion’s prejudices. Under internal Islamic pressure EU governments will backtrack not only from the West’s moral self-indulgence – its feminism, its kaleidoscopic sexuality and its obsession with ‘celebrating’ minorities who will never ensure the continuance of the human race (an obsession common, as Camille Paglia points out, to declining civilisations) – but what really matters, from what’s left of more basic liberties. Restrictions on ‘Islamophobic’ free speech are but the start. Liberty will be further eroded as public authorities cave in to the fear – hardly groundless – of Islamic violence. We saw it happen even in Australia with the ban on building a synagogue in Bondi.

Lord Patten is a liberal conservative of the Malcolm Turnbull type. Why these people don’t go and park themselves on the right wing of Labor (or Labour) is an eternal mystery. He is also the quintessential British Establishment figure – a cabinet minister under Mrs Thatcher, Chairman of the BBC, Chancellor of Oxford University and the last Governor of Hong Kong – his eyes, says Bramston, were ‘moist’ as the Union Jack came down, although surely to a left-leaner like him the extinction of yet another manifestation of ‘colonialism’ was some consolation. Central Casting couldn’t have come up with a better example of the europhile we-know-better establishmentarian who detests Brexit because it’s ‘populist’, i.e. the result of ordinary people having their say. Don’t ordinary people know it’s their place to listen to the Pattens of this world and do as they’re told?

British europhiles who oppose Brexit like to picture Europe, in contrast to dreary old Britain, as a changeless bastion of high civilisation – all truffles and beaujolais, Mozart and Dante, Salzburg and Chartres. They are wrong. That Europe is being buried under a new demographic. In the new changed Europe, ‘indigenous’ inhabitants who refuse to ‘convert’ or adapt themselves to Islamic rules about segregated classrooms and swimming pools will have a hard time of it. What’s left of the Christianity Europeans are abandoning will be persecuted. Chartres  Cathedral could become a mosque; the beaujolais banned. Muslim majorities will have no wish to continue the multiculturalism that got them in in the first place and Europe will not be an agreeable place for the infidel. Jews are discovering this already. The one bright spot is that leftists who cynically made common cause with Islam will be rounded on.

True, Britain will still have its own problems brought about by the mass immigration imposed in its EU years, but they will be nothing as to Europe’s and, in any case, Britain will be able to control its own borders, something it cannot now do, nor would ever be able to do if Lord Patten and those who think like him had their way.

As for the economic argument for staying in the EU, forget it. EU countries, selling Britain about £80 billion more in goods and services each year than Britain sells them, need Britain more than Britain needs the EU. European productivity is declining, and it is unlikely that all those welfare-claiming extra migrants are going to revive it. Muslim economies do best when they have oil under them.

That the EU commissars see the writing on the wall is demonstrated by their efforts to claw as much money out of Britain as they can, while they can. They know they’re going to need it. Their Brexit negotiators are playing on the British government’s fear, daily reinforced by people like Lord Patten, that unless satisfactory trading arrangements are agreed with the EU, destitution stares Britain in the face. (Fifteen years ago the same ‘experts’ were predicting destitution if Britain didn’t adopt the euro.) Yet less than half of Britain’s trade is with Europe (43 per cent and falling), and once freed of the present restriction of having to make trade deals with non-EU countries through the EU, Britain will be able to ‘go it alone’ – as once in the past it had to do, when Adolf Hitler sought to impose his own prototype of the EU with himself as a one-man Brussels – though this time to its own economic advantage.

The Brexit negotiations are themselves becoming farcical, with the EU always demanding something more. Britain’s most successful industrialist, Sir James Dyson, thinks they’re a waste of time and that Britain should just leave the EU without a trade agreement. Dyson, whose vacuum cleaners are a world success, knows about trade; he knows that manufacturers, in and out of the EU, the people who actually produce things, will still want to do business with each other, whatever obstacles non-productive bureaucrats put in their way.

One mustn’t expect miracles, but as the Islamic shadow again hovers over Europe, and as what the Ottomans were stopped from doing at Vienna and Lepanto is done for their spiritual successors by Frau Merkel and the EU, perhaps even Lord Patten, safe in post-Brexit Britain, will feel less depressed.

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