Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed

Before readers start getting too angry about the agreement between David Davis and Michel Barnier over the terms for an interim relationship with the EU, it must be pointed out that the handshake between the two men does not mean that everything is done and dusted.

The transitional arrangements are only part of an overall deal which have to be approved by the European institutions and national parliaments, including our own. We are still a long way from reaching this point.

On this website, we have already explained why the transitional terms on offer from the EU are unacceptable. It will be very hard to follow it with a truly clean break. We most certainly don’t need to be shackled to the EU’s customs union and any ongoing participation in the Common Fisheries policy would be the ruination of our fishing industry. Fishing for Leave didn’t mince its words in a recent press release – it is nothing less than a capitulation by a weak government.

Just to remind readers about our fisheries:- The UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles/median line was established by a British Act of Parliament – the Fishery Limits 1976 Act – but because of our membersip  of what was then the EEC, that zone was promptly handed over to the EEC, to become EEC/EU waters, right up to the low water mark, and the resource within that zone also became EEC/EU resource, managed by them and not us.

In 1983 the EU established the quota system, shared out amongst the member states by means of what is known as “relative stability keys”. These keys do change when a new member joins or one leaves.

At 11pm, 29th March 2019 the UK’s EEZ is returned to our Westminster Parliament, who must take full responsibility under the guidelines of International Law – UNCLOS3. At that moment all EU quota ceases to exist in the UK’s EEZ.

It is then down to the UK Government with the support from a majority of the Westminster parliamentarians how much of the British peoples resource they intend to give away. There is no negotiation as such.

The EU has no legal authority to demand anything, because in just over a year’s time, the UK will become an independent coastal state under third country status. Unfortunately, it seems that our government is willing to concede to demands which the EU has no right to make.

There is hope that the deal may yet be torpedoed. The Committee for Exiting the European Union could not come to an agreement on a report not about the transitional deal per se but extending it. Jacon Rees-Mogg, in his characteristically eloquent manner,  called the majority report (which he and six colleagues refused to sign) a  “prospectus for the vassal state”.  He also called the its authors the “High priests of Remain”. Mr Rees-Mogg also fired a shot across the bows of Theresa May in an article for the Daily Telegraph. “The United Kingdom will not accept being a subservient state” he said. “In the case of tariffs, once we have left the EU, it is non-negotiable that our trade minister should be able to respond to any threat of increased tariffs from other nations as suits our national interest, not the EU’s,” He went on to add “In the words of one country’s frustrated trade negotiator, Britain has to decide if it is a serious country or a joke nation. It would be humiliating for others to have cause to think thus of us.”

Trade issues are not the only cause for concern. Since the Brexit vote, our government has signed a number of agreements with the EU on military cooperation, without consulting Parliament. The details can be found on the Veteran for Britain website, which we would thoroughly recommend to anyone wishing to follow this subject in greater detail. This article in particular warns of the potential dangers that will result from this and it seems that  ministers have indicated they intend to make the UK’s role in the agreements permanent via the exit treaty. The Government’s published negotiation aims include a proposal to stay in the European Defence Fund and defence industrial programme. This essentially means that we, as a free country, will be ceding our defence to an organisation we voted to leave.

On another key issue, the European Arrest Warrant, one concerned correspondent wrote to his MP about its dangers, which are well- reported on this website, only to be told that we were intending to stay a signatory of  the EAW and that was that.

To end where we began: nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The battle is not lost yet, but our government, whether through incompetence, deceit, spinelessness or all three, is not delivering the Brexit for which we voted. As a democracy, we are given the chance to tell our politicians what we think of them. We in CIB will ensure that they will get the message well before the next General election – indeed, well before any deal is ready for signing. Recent developments are discouraging, but for the good of the country we love, the fight must and will go on. Sadly it appears that our real enemies are not in Brussels (let alone Moscow) but in Westminster and Whitehall.

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John Petley

John Petley

John Petley is Operations Manager for Campaign for an Independent Britain

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4 comments

  1. Simon BlanchardReply

    Let’s hope the Transition treaty is well and truly rejected from the first hurdle to the last.
    We voted to leave the EU. This has to be treason to surrender the UK to vassal status and surrender control of our Armed Forces to the EU. Who exactly has all the guns? The EU or Us? May is acting like they have.

  2. Phil JonesReply

    As I see it the Transition Treaty is just that — a treaty for the transition. Nothing in it continues after 2020. As of 1 January 2021 anything related to free movement, sharing fisheries, CU, SM all come to an end. All that Davis and Barnier have agreed to is to extend 29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 to allow UK and EU businesses a greater time to adjust to the EU losing one of its provinces and the UK regaining total independence (in effect becoming a ‘third country’). If this understanding is correct, then I have no problem with the Transition Treaty. If on the other hand the TT is no more than a ploy for Remainers to buy time to stop Brexit and businesses to whine for a Further Transition Treaty, then I have huge problems with it. Which it is depends on one’s trust in May & Davis. At present, with Rees-Mogg keeping a close eye on things, I still trust May & Davis to deliver the UK completely as a ‘third country’ on 1 January 2021.

    • Simon BlanchardReply

      And it seems any “deal” will have kit-kat clauses to bind the UK into EU military union, Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence and Security (PESCO), which is the precursor to an EU Army. Just as the Exchange Rate Mechanism was a precursor to the Euro, PESCO is to EU military union is to EU Army. Bye bye UK Armed Forces. Is this the first time a country leaves behind its defence to the empire it is leaving?
      Whoever controls the Armed Forces controls the nation
      Whoever controls the armoury controls the Armed Forces

      This is what is said to be in the Kit-kat clauses being negotiated right now in any deal.
      1/ Continued adherence to the EU Common Security & Defence Policy (CSDP)
      2/ Continued application of devastating Brussels rules on defence hardware production. ie Any ships, planes, tanks ,services our government wishes to have for our own defence has to go out to EU wide competitive tendering process, under EU central control.
      3/ Continued payments into the EU military pot, instead of the MOD starving the MOD of funds.
      4/ UK Forces in EU Battlegroups, subject to EU Council control. Rigid adherence to EU foreign policy, No UK say whatsoever in their deployment anywhere in the world, potentially sucking the UK into conflicts and other crises that might be against British interests.
      5/ European Defence Agency enhanced association status (Third country observer) No say, no veto, blind obedience.

      There’s even talk of continued foreign policy alignment,; permanent EEAS “secondees” in MOD and FFCO; and co-decision making on deployment and use of military hardware.

      All of this without a single debate in parliament and none of the so called eurosceptic MP’s will touch it.

  3. Chris WatkinReply

    As acting Chairman off the Combined Armed Forces Federation UK, I have been warning about the Govn’s underhand moves to stay in the EU Defence Force – all rebutted by MPs and Civil Servants – despite the fact that we tracked our Foreign Ministers attending meetings to set this up! As you say, our biggest enemies seem to be in Westminster.

    There has been no Parliamentary debate and no Royal Assent. Our Servicemen have signed an Oath to the Queen – are they now expected to sign an Oath to a bureaucrat in the EU? Somehow, I sense insurrection in the air!

    Also I have been horrified at the way in which David Blunkett signed away a thousand years of our freedoms, under Magna Carta, when he signed agreement to the EAW on behalf of Parliament and the whole nation. Some two years later, my MP still didn’t know about it, nor the implications of Napoleonic Law which means that you are Guilty until you can prove yourself Innocent!.

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