Monday 3 April 2017

Threatening Spain is the wrong tactic for Article 50 negotiation

Here I am, away for a week in France, no discussion in my world of Article 50 and I return to Michael Howard making some rather inept threats of war over Gibraltar.

The thing is, I am not really sure this works. First of all, taking a strictly neocon view of the situation, Gibraltar is not really worth that much tot he UK anymore. Perhaps it gives us access to the Mediterranean but as it is now fairly undefended I am not sure that this is worth as much as it was in World War 2.

Really our American friends will be more concerned.

Anyway, if we are to seek pariah status in Europe then surely the best answer is to invade France.

The bets bits of Spain are already under the colonial control of ex-pat Brits.

However, the old possessions in France are of more use to us geo-politically and economically going forward.

An re-taking of Calais would allow more direct control over immigration to the UK.

Re-conquest of Normandy is more optional these days although Rouen is one of France's more successful industrial centres. Clearly Brittany and Aquitaine should be the aim to give the UK better European port facilities and nicer holiday destinations (occupation would certainly improve the service levels and imposition of capitalist policies might even improve the food offering over time).

Given France currently is ruled by then inept Hollande, a surprise attack would possibly even be welcomed by the local populations, keen to avoid both Macron or Le Pen in the elections later this year. Boris would make a terrific leader of these areas of Greater Britain.

Domestically, invading France has been a populist and popular gambit for nearly 1000 years and the Tories would romp home to multiple election victories. On the downside, the invasion may re-awaken the auld alliance, but Scotland does not even have an army to fight and as ever the English only need to control the lowlands which would be a relatively easy land grab.

So anyway, we should forget these pointless threats to Spain and work on making demands in the negotiations to return to the borders of Treaty of Troyes. Refusal and the preparations for a new D-Day should be begun.


DJK said...

Pushing the UK frontier forward into France would make the asylum problem worse not better. Those migrant camps would be on British soil, not French.

Anonymous said...

Gibraltar has been so symbolic of British strength that I can't see how even a nominally Conservative government could give it away(I know Straw tried it some years back).
As for the Spaniards, according to the Telegraph they were also floating the idea that they might after all have no objection to Scotland joining the EU.
Could it possibly be that there is a link between these issues to fishing and the opportunity for the UK to recover it's full territorial waters by scrapping the London Convention.
By doing so now, HMG would secure all access to our waters and obtain the strongest possible diplomatic hand.
This Convention gives historic rights for European vessels to fish in UK waters but only between 6 and 12 nautical miles from our shores.
Failing to scrap this Convention would allow the EU ‘back door’ access to this narrow strip as the convention will still apply to the UK upon withdrawal.
As the Convention requires two years notice it must be denounced immediately, and before Article 50 is triggered, to avoid an overlap allowing EU access to UK waters.
I understand a decision is due but no doubt the EU are lobbying hard for HMG to back off.

CityUnslicker said...

not with a proper hard border as the EU are getting keen on. No Schengen agreement for us...

dearieme said...

I repeat: sell Gibraltar to Russia. Win win win win win.

Lord Blagger said...

Threatening the UK and Gibralter is the wrong tactic.

What's your point?

Lord Blagger said...

1. 200 mile fishing zone.

2. All licenses to UK trawlers.

3. All fish to be landed in the UK.

Blue Eyes said...

CU I agree on your main point. The optics were in the UK's favour until Howard got his scabre out.

Could the UK police the Anglo-Norman border with rFrance? Probably not. For any of it to be worthwhile we would need Burgundy and Champagne, but we'd also need to re-think our taxation for it to make a real difference.

No, a bolder strategy would be for us to re-integrate the Atlantic colonies and then use our clear economic dominance to obtain favourable trade terms from the French and satellites.

Lord Blagger said...

re-think our taxation for it to make a real difference.


Banking Secrecy and tax haven status for EU customers will do it.

Blue Eyes said...

PS Theresa needs to get a grip on her weirdo "grandees". Heseltine looks "old" and Howard has not softened with the passage of time.

Blue Eyes said...


Steven_L said...

Unfortunately I reckon France would probably kick our arse these days. For a start their air force and navy are both fully operational aren't they?

And doesn't our most effective conventional weapons system (Tomahawk) rely on foreign ICT support? You reckon the Donald would go for it?

tolkein said...

Brittany ? Give them Home Rule and language protection like Wales.

Gascony would give us Toulouse (Airbus), decent wine.

I'd go for the borders agreed in the Treaty of Bretigny (secured after defeat and capture of French king John at battle of Poitiers).

Y Ddraig Goch said...


"until Howard got his scabre out."

I realise it was a typo, but scabre ought to be a real word - it sounds like a seriously useful weapon.

Anonymous said...

Why does nobody ever bring up Ceuta and Melilla when Spain grumbles about Gibraltar?

andrew said...

I have the feeling that if you asked, the ceutan and melilla citizens want to be Spanish for the same reasons the Gibson want to be uk

Blue Eyes said...

Scabre - yes, good typo as it turned out.

Penseivat said...

Tell the Spanish Government the future of Gibraltar will be discussed only after Spain has handed back it's 2 North African enclaves to Morocco. Then see what happens.

dearieme said...

"Ceuta and Melilla when Spain grumbles about Gibraltar": somewhere I have a newspaper cutting about an even more interesting spot - a little part of Portugal that is forever under Spanish occupation.

Anyway why don't thy pick on someone else: how about Andorra?

Anonymous said...

"Scotland does not even have an army to fight"

Has the Tartan Army been disbanded, after years of failure on the soccer field?