Violet calls Theresa...

  • Prime Minister Leandros had just received news all the way form Europolis. The last meeting of the NESTO constituent assembly had ended badly, with the British delegation leaving while complaining about the customs union and trading bloc articles in the treaty.

    Violet knew the U.K. was a crucial member of the future treaty, and she had to secure their participation.

    She asked her private secretary, Mario, to contact 10 Downing soon as possible, as she wanted to speak personally with PM May. She could have asked Carolina to help her, as it was well known she was very fond of the English mandatary, but she wanted to handle this on her own.

    When Mario came back and told her the video-conference was ready, she tried to put the most serious, solemn and impassive face she could. This was one of the few times Violet had had to face a difficult situation, and she knew that, during her term, she'd have to face many difficulties, and that she may as well start practising for the future.

    "Hi Theresa. I'm glad you've had the time to fit me in your tight schedule. I know how hard and hectic campaigns can be. So, have you heard about the last NESTO meeting? It seems it didn't end quite well..."

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    10 Downing Street

    The Prime Minister was happy to be back at Number 10, and was quite shocked to realise that after about fifteen minutes of being in, the phone rang. Philip looked at his wife before walking out of the room. Theresa picked up the phone.

    "Hello? Oh yes, hello Violet. Yes, I did see that the meeting did not go as planned. It's a big concern for the Government to ensure that the United Kingdom would not be bound down to getting trading agreements that we sign through an entire bloc, and the people and my backbench are against the idea of placing the United Kingdom into a customs union. I wouldn't be able to guarantee that the treaty would be ratified by the Parliament, which is a must for these agreements or else I'll be dragged to the Supreme Court.

    "NESTO is something I know that the UK would benefit from, particularly from the jobs that could be created from such a big boost to trade. I do hope we can come to an agreement or reform or else the UK might not be able to participate in it."

    The Prime Minister didn't think she'd be the one sounding like a protectionist prime minister. Keir Starmer, nipping at her heels in the polls, and Nigel Farage were the isolationist, protectionist ones. Hers was the party of Margaret Thatcher, of the very idea of the capitalism that marked the modern world. How could Britain turn her back on such an endeavour?

  • "I am aware of the current political climate in Britain, and I would understand that the parliament would, at this moment, reject the ratification. However, you are the leader of your party, and, if the DUP were to be reinforced after the elections, I'm sure its MPs would be able to follow your advice in the UK's interest, right?" said Violet, trying not to say explicitly that the DUP should vote yes for NESTO, even if the current articles were to be maintained as they were.

    "If that were not the case, what about Mr. Cable? He seemed quite enthusiastic the other day about collaborating with Derecta. And he must know that a customs union would benefit our countries a lot. If the DUP didn't get a comfortable majority in Parliament, fingers crossed it does, I think I could call his office and have a chat with him."

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    The Prime Minister was taken aback at first with how direct Violet was. She clearly wanted the UK to participate.

    "If my majority is strengthened, then yes, I could go along with it. However, there's about 20 MPs and 15 Senators that would not agree with it, and I need to pass legislation with a majority. That means I have to guarantee that I would have 234 MPs at least, and a majority of Senators on my side. I'm not comfortable with justifying that yet. Isn't there a way we could find a compromise to all of this? Perhaps NESTO could trade with the United Kingdom but the UK would end up being outside of the trade bloc," Theresa said. "I would love to absolutely say that we could be on board no questions asked, but I think the most important thing is that the UK Government retain the right to set its customs duties and standards and that we were free to make our trade negotiations with the rest of Europe without having to negotiate them in conjunction with an entire trading bloc."

    She didn't want to say it like this, but her hands were pretty much tied until after the election. She would have to find a way to continue to be the pro-trade, pro-European cooperation Prime Minister but be seen as promoting British workers and British jobs first. It was that or potentially lose the election.

  • Violet started to understand Theresa would not change her mind, so she tried to use her final argument.

    "You know about Gallant Genomics, right Theresa? Its reports say that British farmers and companies are its biggest customers, but that it is a difficult market because of restrictions. The same happens the wrong way round. We buy most of our police's equipment to UK companies, and each time they send us material, they have to pay tax. Wouldn't NESTO ease commerce between our countries so much? We, the members, are strong allies, and allies need to be close and help each other."

    "I think we will have to set up the final summit between leaders sooner rather than later. These 'issues' can be discussed then. I bet the Gallambrian PM will want to have something to say about this..."

    "Anyway, I'll leave you now, I have a meeting with some industrialists and you must be really busy. It has been very nice to meet you, and I hope I haven't sounded too direct. Until the next time!"

    "Gosh, I hate delays and inconveniences" thought Violet. The call had not solved the problem and May seemed to be more worried about her second term than her country's economic future alongside NESTO. Violet knew the DUP was capitalist before anything in terms of economical policies, but protectionism was something very important for His Majesty's subjects .

    "Mario, call those businessmen. Tell them we'll have lunch tomorrow, I need a rest."

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    "We are strong friends and budding allies, and of course I see your point. However, our current trading obligations have grown the British economy, and it would be an issue for any Government, mine or someone else's, of the United Kingdom. I'm glad we're meeting to discuss reform. If I could be frank, the United Kingdom would like to see us turn into a free trade zone that cooperates together that still allows for all of the nations to trade with others freely. We would also like to see NESTO cooperate on intelligence and security, and the ability to move capital, goods, and people freely between our nations. I am afraid that the Parliament that we will be looking at for the next five years would only have the appetite for that," Theresa responded.

    She was, of course, hopeful when Violet announced that there was going to be a meeting where a final summit would take place.

    "I do hope we can all come to an agreement on participation for NESTO and get the best possible deal for all of our nations. Thank you for the phone call, it was lovely to hear from you. Ta."