The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been published and as many predicted, including Nigel Farage, the document is leading to the collapse of Theresa May’s government.
BREXIT WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT: https://t.co/CEyIPuhtFA
— James Rothwell (@JamesERothwell) November 14, 2018
During an interview with iTV’s Piers Morgan, remain’s Alistair Campell and leave’s Nigel Farage, were calling May’s Brexit deal a complete disaster.
Alastair Campbell: “This doesn’t do remotely what was offered…what is the point”
“Parliament is at an impasse”
“We have to go back to the people” …”remain has to be on the ballot paper”
“This is the worst deal in history. We are giving away in excess of 40B pounds in return for precisely nothing. Trapped still inside the European Union’s rulebook.
“Nothing has been achieved.”
“In any negotiation in life…the other side need to know that you are serious about walking away.”
“What monsieur Barnier knew from day one, is that at no point did Theresa May intend to walk away.”
“Fundamental matter of trust to the electors of our country and those who govern us.”
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and why the deal is a full on victory for the European Union and a document of subjugation for the United Kingdom.
Coming in at 585 pages, the draft agreement will be closely scrutinized over the coming days but here are some of the highlights as outlined by Zerohedge…
- UK and EU to use the best endeavours to supersede Ireland protocol by 2020
- UK can request extension of the transition period any time before July 1st, 2020
- EU, UK See Level-Playing Field Measures in Future Relationship
- Transition period may be extended once up to date yet to be specified in the text
- EU and UK shall establish single customs territory and Northern Ireland is in same customs territory as Great Britain
The future relationship document is less than seven pages long. It says the U.K. and EU are seeking a free-trade area with cooperation on customs and rules: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free trade area combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”
The wording might raise concerns among Brexiters who don’t want regulatory cooperation and the measures on fair competition could amount to shackling the U.K. to EU rules.
As Bloomberg’s Emma Ross-Thomas writes, “There’s a clear sense in the documents that we’re heading for a customs union in all but name. Firstly via the Irish backstop, and then via the future relationship.”
Separately, a government summary of the draft agreement suggests role for parliament in deciding whether to extend the transition or to move in to the backstop.
But perhaps most importantly, regarding the controversial issue of the Irish border, the future relationship document says both sides aim to replace the so-called backstop – the thorniest issue in the negotiations – with a “subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”
On this topic, recall that the U.K.’s fear was of being locked into the backstop arrangement indefinitely in the absence of a broader trade deal. The draft agreement includes a review process to try to give reassurance that the backstop would never be needed. Basically, the U.K. could choose to seek an extension to the transition period – where rules stay the same as they are currently – or opt to trigger the backstop conditions. In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the word “backstop,” which has been a sticking point over the Irish border for weeks, is mentioned only once in the text.
As Bloomberg further adds, the withdrawal agreement makes clear that the U.K. will remain in a single customs area with the EU until there’s a solution reached on the Irish border. It’s what Brexiteers hate, because it makes it more difficult for the U.K. to sign its own free-trade deals, which they regard as a key prize of Brexit.
Predictably, EU Commission President Juncker said decisive progress has been made in negotiations.
I have just sent a letter to @eucopresident recommending to the #EUCO #Article50 to find that decisive progress has been made in the negotiations on the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. #Brexit pic.twitter.com/7twf2adwkO
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) November 14, 2018
Meanwhile, as analysts comb over the documents, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, has already written to Conservative lawmakers urging them to vote against the deal. He says:
- May is handing over money for “little or nothing in return”
- The agreement treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the U.K.
- It will “lock” the U.K. into a customs union with the EU
- It breaks the Tory election manifesto of 2017
The full document…