.. this veto will be exercised unless Britain accepts EU governance over everything from tax policy to competition, regulatory standards, and environmental rules, and accepts the sweeping extra-territorial reach of the European Court (ECJ). “Nobody should underestimate the risks,” he said. Indeed not. The withdrawal treaty itself could be blocked at the last moment by the European Parliament or by challenges from any quarter at the ECJ. What is clear is that Brussels is exploiting this latent threat, hoping to pressure Britain into staying in the customs union and remaining subject to the core legal machinery of the EU.....
AEP also gives us the first explicit broadsheet reference to the potential for civil war. It's been some 380 years since this spectre first haunted our lands; brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour, a dreadful savage bloodletting born of intractable beliefs. I thought the potential was long behind us, long behind Europe - until Yugoslavia. Then people with the same cars and fridges as you and I, watching the same US TV imports, genocidally slaughtered, starved, bombed and terrorised each other. So I guess we have to accept it here as a possible, though God hopes still distant, outcome.... A double retreat on both the single market and the customs union – clearly the objective of EU-ultras in the Lords, and Tory rebels in the Commons – would leave Britain a position that is self-evidently preposterous. This country would be emasculated, with no council veto, with half its laws passed by an alien legislature, effectively subject to a foreign supreme court – and reduced to a cuckold Parliament.
How can any British parliamentarian support such a formula? It cannot plausibly lead to a settled outcome. It must chafe so badly that passions erupt with volcanic fury within five years or sooner, further poisoning British relations with Europe, and nurturing a lethal sentiment in much of British society that this ancient island democracy has been subverted by a self-interested elite, if not betrayed by an outrageous ‘trahison des clercs’.
How will the government be wargaming this? The police, armed forces, security services must surely be doing so. Will the army stay loyal to a government imposing a reversal of Brexit and a surrender of our nation as a slave state to Brussels? Will the security service? The targets for the insurgents that must be defended will remain as always - fuel, power, communications, nuclear and defence installations, transport - but with a few twists that will make the wargames different from those played in the '50s, '60s and '70s.
First, our armed forces are simply not adequate if mobilised to guard civil installations. So PCSOs carrying SA80s, perhaps. Then there are the political divisions; if the insurgents target a Remoaner London, they only need to cut off food trucks for 48 hours to tip 70m people into anarchy. If they succeed in disrupting power, internet and water as well the whole country's resources will be committed to sorting the London mess.
If the army refuses to play, stays in barracks and locks the armouries then the Brexit counties hold most of the offensive assets. East coast sailors will know how easy the unguarded seaward approach to a huge small arms ammo depot, and I suspect most of such assets are outside the M25.
It's a ghastly topic to contemplate, I know. But I'm getting a feeling for the first time that actual plans are in preparation, old scenarios are being dusted down and decisions being made as to what to do with the Queen if it all goes tits-up.