Brexit was too polite by half, says Ross Clark in the Telegraph. The French aren’t going to sit around discussing matters in a village hall. European farmers have shown us how you actually stand up to the sclerotic EU. Here’s an excerpt.
Pity the EU’s hoi polloi. Now Britain has left they can no longer pretend that it was a case of one recalcitrant country standing in the way of their glorious project of unification. As the tractors encircle their Brussels citadel it is becoming clear that Brexit was just a harbinger of what was to come: mass dissension against an undemocratic, over-centralised bloc that is damaging the livelihoods of many of its citizens.
I can’t say I am overflowing with sympathy for French farmers. They received billions in subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy last year. They are protected against foreign competition with tariffs for meat and dairy products, and still they can’t seem to make their industry pay. Moreover, they have been behaving disgracefully towards importers for decades. But on their central complaint I certainly can see their point. As Anne-Elisabeth Moutet revealed in the Daily Telegraph last week, French farmers are drowning in red tape – some of it emanating from their own Government and its agencies, but a lot of it derived from the EU. …
You can’t build thriving businesses against this kind of regulatory overreach. But then how would the EU’s chief officials know? They are not the sort who have run businesses; rather the type who have been put through grandes ecoles, garlanded with academic awards and groomed from a young age for careers in public administration. Then they have been sent off to Brussels often because, like Ursula von der Leyen, the former German Defence Minister who sent her troops into a NATO exercise with broomsticks because they didn’t have enough guns, they have failed on the national political stage.
Brexit was too polite by half. French farmers aren’t going to sit around discussing the merits and negative aspects of the EU in village hall meetings like we did. They see themselves as the sons and daughters of the Revolution. They want total victory. Europe’s farmers may be taking over from where British Brexiteers left off in their frustration with the EU, but they are already turning out to be far more militant.
Worth reading in full.