Last week at the British Prime Minister’s country retreat, Theresa May and her cabinet thrashed out a deal which they say will take the United Kingdom out of the European Union. The reality though is that the deal falls well short of what was voted for in the referendum of 2016. Indeed the Brexit Secretary David Davis, a committed Brexiteer, resigned in protest, with Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, resigning shortly after. The latter’s departure is probably more to do with his own political ambitions more than anything else, but it is still significant nonetheless.
The first major point to mention in regards to the deal is the prospect of the UK paying into the EU’s budget after it formally leaves the bloc. The deal leaves room for Britain to contribute to Science and Technology projects under the jurisdiction of Brussels, and on top of this the ridiculous £39 billion divorce bill already agreed by Theresa May still stands.
One of the most prominent reasons for leaving the EU during the Brexit campaign was British antipathy to the liberal, cultural Marxist European Courts system. Although Theresa May had previously stated that leaving the EU courts was a ‘red line’, she has backtracked significantly. Now, as things currently stand, British Courts will still have to take ECJ (European Courts of Justice) rulings into account when making decisions. British Judges will also have to follow EU rules regarding goods, the environment and social policy when making decisions involving these topics.
If broad opinion polls are to be believed the most popular justification for leaving the EU was immigration control; and I’m afraid that Brexiteers will be disappointed with Theresa May on this crucial topic also. The deal mentions a ‘mobility framework’ where British and EU citizens will be allowed to travel freely for work and education. This is essentially ‘freedom of movement 2.0’ and I am sure that there is no way this will lead to a fall in immigration. Even more worryingly, the text of the deal also admits that countries outside of the EU may also have a ‘mobility framework’ arrangement, meaning there could be freedom of movement to some degree from countries like India.
The debate centered on the Customs Union, specifically regarding the Irish border, has been raging for months now. It seems the deal will allow a soft border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and technology will be developed to track goods – although the details are very murky.
One thing we know for certain is that goods imported to Britain will be charged a UK-set tariff, unless those goods are to be passed on to an EU state. So if a computer company imported computers into the UK, it would pay a UK-set tariff. Whilst if that same computer company imported computers into the UK that were bound for France, it wouldn’t have to pay a UK-set tariff. As we have reported before, the tech industry in the UK is booming even after the Brexit vote, which leads one to consider that May has been blindsided by her handlers in Brussels once more.
With regards to the City of London’s financial services sector, it looks like they will not have full access to the EU’s markets; something which from an economic perspective is not advantageous. However, the City’s financial services will be granted ‘regulatory flexibility’, which will essentially free them from Eurocentric boundaries imposed by Brussels, and allow them to strike deals with major companies all around the world.
Now we come to the rather annoying ‘common rulebook’ first mentioned by Theresa May back in late 2016. The ‘common rulebook’ is essentially the name of a system that will take effect in the UK after Brexit, in which Britain makes sure all EU law is turned into British law. But now this ‘common rulebook’ goes further, and expects Britain to adopt its own version of new EU laws that are created well after Brexit. So for example, if in 2028 the EU passed new legislation banning a certain type of fuel, Westminster would be expected under the deal to copy this legislation and pass it as well. If the UK is tied to EU legislation indefinitely, this would probably stop the UK signing a trade deal with the US.
The single market, which essentially is the free movement of goods, services and people, will be replaced with a free trade area. So in other words, the single market will end and then be reintroduced under a different name. It is amazing that such a fraud can be committed by a government which relies on a pro-Brexit party for its majority, yet this is exactly what is happening.
So is there any good news?
Well it does look like the UK will be able to forge its own path with regards to farming and fisheries, which is good news because Britain’s fishermen are currently being ripped off. The Farm subsidies system will probably continue just in a British form with some alterations, although this will take a long time to sort out. I cannot understate how much the survival of Britain’s farms depends on subsidies. Farmers currently receive a majority of their income from subsidies, and without this money the UK’s farming sector would crash. The reason for this is a combination of fuel costs, taxation, strangling regulation and supermarket price control.
So in conclusion, as things currently stand, Brexit will happen in name only, and Britain will essentially be a vassal state of Brussels in future decades. Any hope that Brexiteers had of leaving the control of Brussels has been ended by Theresa May’s deal, at least for now. Whether the Conservative Party will survive this unpopular deal remains to be seen, as the party remains in turmoil and rumours of a leadership contest continue to spread.