Lousy_Pint wrote: Exactly how I see it Mike. One reason I have always wanted to remain in Europe is too keep the US at arms length (irrespective of whether Trump or anyone else is Pres). But I fear your 51st state prediction is looming ever closer. Disastrous times!!
This is exactly the strategic problem with Brexit.
Can we have any real influence in the world as an unaligned country of 65 million ? Can we really enter trade negotiations with the likes of the USA, China, Japan or indeed the EU on an equal footing or are we inevitably going to viewed very much as the junior partner and therefore immediately be at a massive disadvantage. Then what do we do about the disputes between the big boys? The EU and US have very different views on things like food safety, product standards, environmental regulations etc. But they will cut a deal with each other and reluctantly work around their profound differences because they have to, whilst maintaining an uneasy stand-off as equals. But we will have to choose. The US will demand we adopt their standards and the EU will do likewise. Neither will have to let us work around it because they have more clout than us. Which ever way we jump it will seriously damages any deal with the other. That’s true not just of the US and EU but China, Japan or even the emerging blocs in South America, Asia & Africa.
Now call me an unpatriotic surrender monkey if you like but that is why I just cannot see how we stand alone trying to be everyone’s mate without an inevitable steady downward decline. If you accept that premise then we have to choose a premier economic & political partner to align ourselves with.
The EU is a world power by virtue of its economic clout – but that power is distributed amongst its members more or less in proportion to their populations and GDPs. So Germany is the biggest then a bit behind them come the UK & France joint second/ third then a bit behind us come Italy & Spain then the rest of the smaller nations ……. It means we are (or were) one of the big three hitters that could leverage the combined weight of the 28 members. Despite all the anti-EU nonsense spouted by the Daily Mail the vast majority of the time we got what we wanted because our interests were aligned – sure there were squabbles and occasional show-downs that made the headlines but mostly it was boring agreement. We are or were one of the main drivers of this world power and as such carried individual clout even with the likes of the USA, China, Russia by virtue of that fact.
But if we leave the EU in the end we may have to jump into the arms of the US – or rather we’ll slip bit by bit into their arms. We will be very much the junior partner and have virtually no real influence – not unless we literally become the 51st state and get to vote in their elections. All of the friendly noises from Trump is simply a short term strategy to use Brexit as a way to attack the EU….which he despises simply because he and the neo-Cons like him would obviously prefer to bully smaller countries individually rather than face an organised alliance. We live in the 21st century - not the nineteenth ....whatever the ERG seem to think.