A not entirely accurate map Credit - Wik

We all knew this sort of demand was going to be made of course and we all know what the correct response is – go boil your heads. But the background to the demand is interesting to the point of amusing. For it’s an admission that the European Union system itself makes us all in Europe poorer. Further, that the aim and purpose of the European Union is to impose this poverty upon us all and then that we must have barriers against reality to stop this impoverishment being undermined.

This probably isn’t the right way to run a continent. For here’s Barnier’s demands about the regulatory structure post Brexit:

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has warned that Brussels will not rely on Michael Gove’s pledges over the environment but instead insist on a “non-regression” clause in any future deal after Brexit to tie the UK to the bloc’s high standards.

Barnier said he welcomed a 25-year plan published in January by the environment secretary, a fervent Brexiter during the referendum campaign, under which the UK vowed to be a “global champion” of greener policies after 29 March 2019.

But Barnier said in a debate in the European parliament on Tuesday that the 27 member states would be “extremely vigilant” in blocking any attempt by the British government to undercut current regulations to gain a competitive advantage.

The future partnership with the UK “should include a non-regression clause and prevent the reduction of pre-Brexit standards”, the former French minister said. “If we make sure our partnership is based on a level playing field … then we should have strongly mitigated the threat of Brexit to EU environmental policy,” he told MEPs. “There will be no ambitions partnership without guarantees on fair competition, social standards, tax dumping and not least environmental standards.”

Take, just as an example you understand, landfill. There are EU regulations about what portion of waste is recycled and what is landfilled, or what can be allowed to be landfilled. The initial justification for these was that low lying and muddy places like Holland don’t have any places where they can landfill, thus using this cheaper method in those places which did was unfair competition. A lousy justification all would agree.

Here in the UK as Raedwald has repeatedly pointed out we’ve plenty of holes. We dig up more gravel and sand each year than we have rubbish to dispose of. We’ve not a shortage of landfill sites, we’ve a shortage of permits for landfill sites. That shortage driven by these EU rules about percentages of waste to be recycled.

The insistence is that as we leave we must sign up to continuing these standards. That is, to continuing to make ourselves poorer by following these economically silly ideas. The same is then true of tax rates, social standards (by which is meant unemployment, maternity, paternity, pay etc) and so on and on.

But why is there this insistence? Because the EU itself recognises that these things make everyone poorer. By not having to follow these standards a country – more accurately, the people within one – will gain an unfair advantage. They’ll not have to carry the costs of these unsensible economic policies. That is indeed an insistence that these standards make all poorer – otherwise, why the need for protection against people who don’t follow them?

That insistence and admission then reveals the true meaning of the EU itself. It’s a zollverein, as we know. That is, it has high barriers to those outside it who do not follow the desired policies. The high barriers existing exactly so that the competition cannot impinge upon the imposition of those poverty producing standards.

Which is exactly why we’re leaving of course, because we’d prefer not to be poor just because Holland is flat and muddy.

All of which leads to the correct Brexit stance to be taking. No deal. We’ll go to unilateral free trade and the rest of you can go boil your heads. We’ll give it a couple of decades and we’ll see who is richer, OK? The very thing the Barnier’s insisting upon of course, that such a direct comparison cannot be allowed as that would reveal the impoverishment caused by the EU itself, wouldn’t it?