Hold on to your hats!

The terms proposed by the EU for a transitional deal, even if this had only lasted for 21 months, are totally unacceptable, as we have pointed out. Our fishing industry would be decimated. However, it seems that the government is now talking about this arrangement lasting more than 21 months.

Opposition  to any transitional agreement on these terms in growing. Mrs May recently received a letter signed by 62 Tory MPs reminding her of the “red lines” in her own Lancaster House speech. These include:-

  • Take full control of UK tariff schedules at the WTO with the power to change them without sign-off from the EU27
  • Enjoy “full regulatory autonomy” with the ability to change British laws and rules unilaterally
  • Be free to start trade negotiations immediately after leaving the EU, which may involve ensuring the UK has the power to discuss the division of the EU’s Tariff Rate Quotas with non-EU trading partners bilaterally
  • Have the freedom to negotiate and sign other trade agreements during the implementation period in line with WTO principles

There has been a much greater level of disquiet about the EU’s terms among backbenchers, as these four points (and other vital issues, such as the end of any role for the ECJ) would not be permitted, but some other MPs were bought off by the assurance that it wold only be for 21 months and then all would be well. The Cabinet meeting at Chequers today could be rather turbulent.

Now this is looking less likely, we could be entering a period of far greater political turmoil. It is hard ot predict what will happen next. Although the majority of Tory MPs supported remain, real headbangers like Anna Soubry are a small minority and most Tories know that they will face electoral oblivion if the government botches Brexit. The stakes are clearly getting higher. However, it may require some senior heads to roll if the transitional blind alley is to be averted. It is a case of holding on to your hats.

Perhaps rather ironically, the combination of the narrow margin of victory in last June’s general election and the remainer-inspired initiative to give Parliament a vote on the final deal may work in our favour. Mrs May dare not force through the transitional deal relying on Labour votes, but she looks unlikely to get it through otherwise. Hopefully, a discreet change of tack will take place to avoid what would be an unmitigated disaster for the PM.

Meanwhile, Anti-Brexit campaigners are planning a six-week blitz in the Midlands and North of England, according  to the Financial Times.  Predictably, George Soros who was neither born in this country nor lives here, is involved.  If anyone comes across such groups canvassing,   we would ask them to be polite, even though it is very tempting to behave otherwise! Thankfully, although remainiacs have been trying to subvert democracy for over 18 months now, there is little evidence of any significant shift in public opinion. As one London street newspaper vendor said recently, most people are sick of Brexit.

In these troubled times, it is encouraging that a group of pro-Brexit academics have come together. We would commend their website Briefings for Brexit to your attention and you may, in particular, enjoy reading this piece by Professor Robert Tombs of Cambridge, which points out how ill-advised the remainers are and that far from being a position of stability, EU membership exposes us to considerable uncertainty. Perhaps one should add that the uncertainty may have increased still further next week with next Sunday’s Italian General Election unlikely to usher in a government with much sympathy for the federalist vision of France’s Emmanuel Macron

Going back to the academics, these people are brave individuals, who have had to take far more flak that most of use here. They will need thick skins, says Dominic Lawson. He mentions one academic who said,  ‘I can’t come out as pro-Brexit, it would make my life impossible here.’
How sad that in many of our once great universities, the very sensible and rational idea that we should once again be self-governing seems to engender such hostility.
But then this reminds us of one important reason why many of us voted to leave the EU. If successful, it could and hopefully will be the start of a massive and long overdue shake-up  of our society, including politics, the media and our entire educational system. The latter will be a particular challenge, but it is encouraging to know that there are a few sane voices out there.

Photo by ™ Pacheco

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6 comments

  1. Simon BlanchardReply

    Will the “transition” period TREATY be signed in an old railway carriage from 1918 somewhere near a forest in Compiegne, France? This third time with German EU Bureaucrats pointing a loaded quill pen at Theresa May MP and French Vichy witnessing and gloating at the spectacle..

    If the UK agree to this “transition” deal, which is a treaty with no end, it’s as good as a surrender note agreeing to be a vassal colony of the EU, with reparation payments into the billions.

  2. Adam HileyReply

    now We have Comrade Corbyn trying to keep us in the EU’s overrated customs union if this useless Government was not bad enough the Labour party would be even worse get rid of these parties now and the House of Lords

  3. Phil JonesReply

    The problem with any type of ‘transition period’ is that it would never end. Big Business would make no adjustments in such period, knowing that if it made enough noise toward the period’s end it could get the British Government to go begging to the EU for another extension. And another, and another. Right now the EU is the adult in the room, saying to May that things would have to end by 31 December 2020. But I wonder how long that would last — given that the EU would love to keep the UK as an EU province in perpetuity. I can see the EU being very easily persuaded to change 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2022 if the UK came begging and was willing to keep paying the 13B/year, stay in the CU and SM and accept ECJ law. Then of course an election would intervene, with Comrade Corbyn doing all in his power to keep the UK as a full EU province. I wish May would just act like a leader and bite the bullet but she seems too lacking in backbone for that. If she did tell UK businesses now that the UK would be fully leaving on 29 March 2019 without any transition period, businesses could and would adjust in 13 months. They had to adjust in a much shorter time when the OPEC oil prices went sky high overnight in the 1970s. A bit of uncertainty (a doorstep rather than a cliff edge) and Bob’s Your Uncle. Unfortunately, the lady just does not have the backbone.

  4. Pingback: The great Brexit fisheries betrayal - it gets worse - Campaign for an Independent BritainCampaign for an Independent Britain

  5. Pingback: Is the Customs Union (or Partnership) option about to be shunted into the siding? - Campaign for an Independent BritainCampaign for an Independent Britain

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