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Westminstenders: Break it or make it.(972 Posts)
We have a deal on the table. In reality it does not answer the question the result of the referendum posed: what type of deal do we want? The progress we have actually made in 2 years is to say, 'we want to leave' but nothing more. Or as its been termed: 'Blind Brexit' in which we exit but without knowing what comes next.
Even this is controversial. There are apparently some 88 Conservative back bench MPs (or half the Conservative back bench MPs) who are intending to vote against approving the deal. Some are remainers and some are hard leavers. Each side believing there is still everything to play for; whether that be no deal or no brexit. We are still as divided as ever.
The stumbling block, as ever, is largely the NI backstop. With many still arguing that it should be time limited. This fails to understand that the backstop is the GFA to all intents and purposes. And this is why Ireland and the EU will never agree to have a time limited backstop.
And once again we have this fundamental misunderstanding that the withdrawal agreement is anything more than merely the mechanism to leave, not the final deal, which is hampering all discussion of the subject.
There is talk that May will try to push the deal through and if she fails she will try for a second time. This might work, if this wasn't being anticipated. The trouble is the element of surprise is gone. This has now been denied by a No10 spokesperson. And has the possibility of a second referendum. Though the door on that, seems to be more open than less, with May's official declaration of a Blind Brexit. The whole effectiveness of a TARP style situation and a second vote on the deal in the HoC is the guilotine effect, where MPs look over the cliff and go 'shiiiiiitttt'. If the hope is alive for another way out for either the ERG or Remainers, then the plan is dead anyway. The a50 ECJ case is also still on; the latest government appeal to kill it was blocked.
Not only this, but there is the first tangable rumblings of discontent within the EU towards the deal. Spain has talked about voting the deal down. Whether this is anymore than talk, remains to be seen. Spain can not veto the deal at this stage anyway - but it might be able to cause trouble further down the line and thats the danger.
Meanwhile Labour are still promising unicorns and a total renegotition of the deal. This still focuses on the backstop.
Sunday's EU summit does still seem to be on though, despite Merkel suggesting that she wouldn't turn up.
And remember, as it stands, on 29th March we will leave the EU without a deal. The power to stop this lies with the Government and EU as far as we know at present, pending the outcome of the ECJ case.
May still has everything to do to make a deal happen and there are so many forces and people working to break it. We have still not made any real progress to Brexit, apart from get closer to it, through the mere ticking of the clock.
Round 75 of 'Here we go around the Maybury bush' to a catchy but irritating tune.
Thanks guys for all the info and updates.
Long time lurker on these threads. Thanks for the update and summary.
Place mat king.
I have an advert at the bottom if the thread for some immigration solicitors. How fitting
Inserting placemat here.
A very long time lurker on these threads just saying thank you to RTB and all the contributors for the well informed discussion.
I just saw this article by Ian Dunt on Politico, it's very good on the details of the WA, and why people might object to it: www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2018/11/23/may-s-brexit-deal-is-a-humiliation-for-britain
It doesn't matter how you look at it. You can squint with one eye, or stand upside down, or peer at it askew. You can be as sympathetic or stern as you like. It makes no difference. From every angle, on every basis, Theresa May's deal is horrific.
It is intolerable on a democratic, political, economic and logical basis. It takes one of the world's leading powers and puts it in a diplomatic and trading stranglehold. It undermines Britain's economic status, demolishes its political status, severs its territorial integrity and imposes a dangerous and unacceptable governance structure on Northern Ireland.
The deal offers a transition to the end of 2020. This can be extended once, but this must be done by July 2020. This is, to all intents and purposes, the new cliff edge. Without an extension, we will fall into the backstop. And no matter what wasteful lies May tells now, Britain will never pick the backstop, because it is appalling.
So in July 2020 the UK will inevitably ask for an extension of transition. The EU will give it to us, but first they'll ask for money. And we will pay. We'll pay them anything they ask for, because the entire structure of the deal gives the EU negotiating advantage.
If 2022 ends with no deal in place, which by any realistic assessment it will, we fall into the backstop. And then the real horror story starts. Overnight we lose services access to the continent. Our customs arrangements shrivel up into a little ball. There are no transport agreements, so permits for UK hauliers will be limited to five per cent of existing traffic. There are no veterinary or phytosanitary agreements, so agricultural products will be stopped and checked at the border, causing huge disruption. There is no common regulatory regime on goods, so they will also be checked and tested.
We become little more than an addendum to the EU's trading relationships with other countries. Article 3 Part 1(a) of Annex 2 of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the withdrawal agreement states that "the United Kingdom shall align the tariffs and rules applicable in its customs territory with the [EU's] Common Customs Tariff as set out in Article 56(2) of Regulation (EU) 952/2013."
That means we've harmonised our tariffs with those of the EU and have to apply the same duty rate to whichever country they do a deal with. But there is no reciprocal duty for those countries to open up their markets to us, because the deal is for EU member states - not countries in bespoke backstop agreements which have been devised to stop them imploding.
May's deal, written by the EU with the intention of making us worse off than we were as members to punish us for daring to ask to leave, is a disaster which would not only put us at the mercy of the EU for as long as they wanted to play with us but undermine, possibly fatally, the concept of democracy in the UK. There are plenty of articles out there explaining why it is so awful: Ruth Lea here, Robert Tombs here and Martin Howe QC here.
May has betrayed all of us, lying through her teeth ever since the referendum campaign, deceiving the cabinet and the media. She has to be sacked, replaced by a Brexiteer who respects democracy, her 'deal' scrapped and work preparing for WTO pushed ahead. Ignore the Project Fear lies about WTO, it will be fine, as well as saving the country £39bn whch we do not owe the EU regardless of what they claim. There is already widespread rejection of May's deal in the country.
There is no Irish border problem and never was. This was cooked up between the EU and Leo Varadkar in a deliberate attempt to thwart Brexit. Customs problems? I don't think so, and nor does the head of UK customs Jon Thompson. Thus, no need for any 'backstop' at all.
And Spain cannot block the EU's acceptance of their own deal because voting will be on QMV, where the support of only 20 of the 27 remaining members will be enough, and you can guarantee the Germans will have no trouble strong-arming enough little or poor countries into line.
That is what you call negotiation.
I would expect nothing less from the EU really. They are negotiating on behalf of the other EU members and it it was a different country trying to leave and not the UK we would expect nothing less.
The fact that the UK has spent over 2 years without deep and meaningful discussions of things that were possible (as opposed to the unicorns) is a rightful slapdown of UK politicians. I would have hoped that the senior members of the Civil Service who actually know about these matters would have been listened to, but no, soundbites R us. In the way that you might tell your child not to do something, or warn them that it will hurt or whatever, if they persist and it goes wrong, you will be tempted to say 'told you so'.
Since it has been so obvious for many years that the UK (at political level) is not willing to share rights and responsibilities with Europe I think the WA is a polite message to 'go away', although leaving it possible for the UK to actually function (for now) and it it really asks properly could stay.
Depending when the UK leaves, the amount to be paid will vary. Up until March 2019 it is around £20 Billion, £39 Billion if the UK gets a transition period. It is for current projects, pensions etc and the principle has been agreed.
My previous post says the 'deal' is bad but since the UK gov, with all it's advisors have refused to come up with another plan that was even remotely possible in 2 1/2 years it is obvious the EU had to come up with something. When leaving, WTO rules say that there must be border checks and customs, so that is not a 'get out' for the NI border. Although draconian in other ways, the EU is honouring the commitment to having no border. To achieve this involves pain by the UK, but you can say 'they started it' so it is for the UK to resolve it.
The WA is as you say by QMV and as far as I am aware the Spanish objection was that it might have closed the discussion about the 'ownership' of Gibraltar. They want that question open to be 'resolved' in negotiations separate to Brexit. It should also act as an indication that negotiations are going to get a darn sight tougher from here on in so maybe the UK should find a good negotiating team.
If there is any indication that the UK won't pay the £20/39/?? Billion then it will severely hamper the chances of deals with other countries who will see the UK as untrustworthy. It would be 'cash only' or horrendous obligations.
@WhollyFather the real question is "why would May do all this?" its a hardly remainer style deal.
The answer is that her goal is to keep the party together and in power.
A brexitier PM would also fail, the Parliamentary math for what you or i want, do not exist, so she is driving down through the middle!