HACKNEY HAS FOUND a way to give its residents easy access to the European Union. No more need to find Irish or continental ancestors, Hackneyites may soon have an advantage over people in the rest of the UK.
In negotiations over the last year the councillor it secretly appointed Most High Commissioner to the EU has been commuting by Eurostar and InterCity trains. With a tight-lipped cabal of council officers (they are merely High Commissioners) she has been in talks for a Zone of Special Status Agreement for the NE London borough.
Two town hall executives who were not given the titles, and seemed eager to talk (once promised anonymity), said the agreement would be “Brussels without the bills”.
They then pointed Loving Dalston to evidence. I showed their claims, an EU discussion document and other items, to Hackney’s mayor. Philip Glanville dismissed the material as “piffling”. Invoices from the luxury Hotel Eden Palace by Lake Geneva (le Léman) “proved nothing”.
Asked, however, whether the borough could benefit from getting the exclusive right in the UK to free movement of EU citizens, he said: “Speaking only theoretically, yes.” He was “neither confirming nor denying the story”, but his understanding was that the issue was far less complex than “an incompetent Tory government’s shambolic Northern Ireland border talks” had indicated.
These are topics Loving Dalston believes have been considered:
* the borough to be renamed HacknEU, an idea of European Commission President Jean-Paul Juncker;
* Hackney could import ex-Stasi secret service officers banned from police jobs in Germany, and Saecuritate secret police similarly restricted in Romania to fill gaps in Hackney council’s force of civil enforcement officers;
* just as the UK government used to charge Chinese and Russian multimillionaires £100,000 for a fast-track UK passport, Hackney could attract the brightest millennials from other parts of Britain for a fee. Acquiring EU access along with residency in a district next to the City of London would surely be worth a few thousand pounds to them, the Mayor commented, adding: “We’d be better than Tony Blair’s Cool Britannia — we’d be Hip Hackney.”
It would be useful to have a supply of experienced enforcers who could work as a backup to Hackney police. Glanville continued: “What about the continentals who have been staffing our coffee shops? If other parts of the UK had to send theirs packing, Hackney would have a barista bonus”.
He emphasised, however, that though the Labour majority on the council meant “anything is achievable”, he was merely speculating in response to this site’s revelations (which Loving Dalston stands by).
He denied that a council-tax rise was necessary to fund payments to Brussels. “Ha-ha,” he said, “We could easily afford that: the money we make from parking charges and our property portfolio would easily cover any EU bills.”
He quickly added: “Just joking.”
“Of course,” Glanville insisted, “there is, anyway, no truth at all in your so-called leak that Hackney will introduce a Swiss-style deal on 1 April 2020. And I can assure you that even if it were, it would not be known as the April Fool’s Agreement.”
Did I detect a wink in his eye?
David Altheer 010419
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