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Well, that didn’t take long!
Boris Johnson has been UK Prime Minister for 85-days and suddenly the UK and the EU seem to be getting along better, and a new and apparently worthwhile Brexit deal is agreed between the parties.
Of course, there’s no pleasing every side. Such agreements are enormously complex and there will always be concerns and doubts in various quarters.
But, the ‘devil is in the details’ as they say. But with sufficient goodwill on both sides, the UK and the EU are from this moment moving forward on a better and more holistic path.
Quotes from the Brussels Summit as the New Brexit Deal was Announced
- EC President Donald Tusk: “A deal is always preferable to No Deal.”
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “the UK and EU have agreed a great new deal” and “the UK is leaving the EU as one United Kingdom.”
- Jean-Claude Juncker said the deal is “fair and balanced” and that, “there is no need for a further extension.”
- And the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier said, “the new deal should provide legal certainty in every area.”
- The DUP’s Arlene Foster said her party “cannot support the deal” although DUP support is crucial to passing this deal in Parliament. Interesting times, indeed.
Finally a Deal Worth Signing!
This isn’t Theresa May’s Brexit deal warmed-over. The Northern Ireland backstop for example, isn’t part of this agreement.
Also, Northern Ireland remains within the UK and in the UK Customs Union.
However, unlike England, Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland remains within the EU Customs Union AND the EU Single Market which is ultra-important for the Northern Ireland economy and much more convenient for the Republic of Ireland — thereby negating any need for a hard border between the two Irelands.
Further, Northern Ireland’s seat of government (Stormont) has the opportunity to opt out of this arrangement every four years.
As regards the rest of the deal, this new agreement allows the entire UK to leave the EU at the end of 2020 as one United Kingdom (the same way it joined). And the leisurely schedule allows UK and EU businesses sufficient time to make preparations for a new regulatory environment beginning January 1, 2021.
All-in-all, quite impressive.
I must reiterate that no one side was ever going to get everything they wanted out of a Brexit Deal, but that really isn’t the point.
What is the point is that the present era of economic uncertainty is ending. And that’s good for the UK, good for the EU, and it’s an agreement that’s respectful of Northern Ireland’s unique position in all of this.
A hearty, Well Done! to leaders and negotiators on all sides of the Brexit paradox.
Every day we teach others how to treat us.
And the European Union has taught us that it’s fine with the UK breaking the rules of its own constitution in order to join the European Union; That it’s fine with the UK contributing hundreds of billions more to the EU budget than it got in return; That it’s fine that the UK has been allowed only a tiny say in the EU Parliament comparable to the influence that Sweden or Hungary have in the EU Parliament; And the EU has taught us that the UK can leave the bloc but that the EU will make all the rules about Brexit; And that Brexit must cost the UK taxpayer £40 billion for some unfathomable reason.
That’s it. That’s the entire point of my blog post today.
Suffice to say that the EU has had their way with the UK since 1998, and UK supplicants (oops, I meant to say UK Parliamentarians) have taught the EU that they were fine with that arrangement.
But since Britons showed some spine, voting to leave the EU in 2016, the UK supplication squad were forced to stand-up for UK interests, and EU heads don’t like that a bit.
And that’s why we’re where we are today in regards to the UK-EU relationship.
Angela Merkel, Germany’s formidable and long-serving Chancellor, said it all in today’s phone call to Boris Johnson, basically telling the UK Prime Minister that the EU already has the Withdrawal Agreement of their dreams (supplied by former UK PM Theresa May) and there’s no way that they’re willing to settle for anything less than that perfect (for the EU) deal.
And why would they?
Theresa May’s deal (with the Irish backstop) represents a complete and utter win for the EU side and the European Union heads would be stupid in the extreme to vote against her overly generous gift. I get that.
Imagine… Theresa May OFFERING to pay £39 billion TO LEAVE A BLOC (with basically zero chance of scoring a free trade deal) AND allowing THE BACKSTOP TO BE IMPOSED on some UK territory, AND allowing the UK constitution to continue to be contravened by virtue of continued EU control over various UK law, trade, and other governance.
I don’t blame the EU for wanting the best deal in history, nor do I blame them for wanting £40 billion for nothing (who wouldn’t want £40 billion for nothing?) and I don’t blame the EU for attempting to retain control of certain parts of UK sovereignty.
What I do blame the EU for, is that it refuses to accept anything other than a deal so biased in the European Union’s favour and so unrealistic that it failed to pass in the UK House of Commons, three times!
Instead of holding-on to an unrealistic deal that has absolutely no chance of passing the UK citizen ‘smell test’ nor of passing in the UK House of Supplication, EU heads should take their own advice and offer some compromise themselves — instead of continually telling the UK side that it’s the party that must make all the compromises.
Only then will the EU side be seen to be working in good faith towards an agreement. And until that happens, the EU will remain part of the problem instead of part of the solution in the UK-EU relationship.
The time for bluffing is over, dear Angela. Now is the time to work in good faith to get a deal that Europeans on both sides of the English Channel can feel good about!
- Brexit: Deal ‘essentially impossible’ after PM-Merkel call – No 10 (BBC)
In an article penned by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and posted at The Sun website on October 5th, the Prime Minister invited EU leaders to sign-on to his Brexit deal that would allow all parties to move past the economic uncertainty plaguing Europe for the past 3.5-years.
Obviously, the Prime Minister is compelled to try to reach a deal with the EU because it’s in the interests of the UK, it’s economy, it’s people, and those UK businesses that depend on the EU market.
Not that the EU is the only game in town, mind you. There are other countries and blocs that want to trade with the UK in a post-Brexit world, but continental Europe happens to be conveniently located for the UK business community, and there will always be longstanding links between the UK and the continent. (Deal or No Deal)
Signing even a minimal Brexit deal would signify success for both sides which could help redeem those UK and EU politicians needing redemption after dragging 514-million Europeans through the (economic) mud over the past 3.5-years.
Boris’ plan is as good as any that would ever be proposed, so the logical thing for both sides to do is to sign and ratify the deal in their respective Parliaments so that millions of Europeans can get on with their lives.
But no matter how reasonable the Boris Brexit Plan is, my guess is that it won’t be signed — and even if it is, all it would take to tank the deal is for one of the EU27 Parliaments or the UK Parliament to fail to ratify the deal.
Which leaves a successful Boris Brexit Plan signing and ratification at 1-in-28 (that’s a 3.57% chance of a signed and ratified Brexit deal). Yikes.
So don’t get your hopes up. After all, these are the people who’ve done everything to deny the democratic will of the UK people, dithering and delaying Brexit since 2016 and thereby costing the UK economy £69.5 billion alone due to the accompanying economic uncertainty during that time.
FYI: Today marks 1200-days since the June 23, 2016 EU referendum
Let’s hope that EU27 leaders and UK Parliamentarians decide to grab the ring of destiny and end the present economic uncertainty for the benefit of 514-million Europeans.