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Now We’re Getting Somewhere! Brexit is as Easy as Motions; A, B, or H

British MP’s will vote this week on an array of MP’s private member bills to help funnel Parliament toward some kind of Brexit harmony.

In the next few days British MP’s will be asked to vote on a number of motions to help the UK government gauge the level of support for each potential pathway forward and perhaps begin to align their policies with the winning motions.

The government isn’t obligated to act on winning or losing motions, but it does give them some indication as to where policy advisors and policymakers on the government side might concentrate their efforts.


The following three excerpts from a BBC website article published April 1, 2019 seem to make the best sense, which is why I’ve posted them for your convenience.

A link to the full BBC.com article from which these excerpts were taken can be found at the bottom of this page.


Motion A: Unilateral right of exit from backstop

Proposer: John Baron, Conservative

This proposal aims to commit the UK to leave the EU on 22 May with an amendment to Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. That would allow the UK to exit the so-called Irish backstop whenever it wants, without the EU’s permission.

The backstop is an insurance policy designed to keep an open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic “under all circumstances”, if the UK and EU do not manage to agree a permanent trade relationship in time.

Many MPs fear that it could mean the UK is tied to EU rules for years, while the Democratic Unionist Party has voted against it because it would mean Northern Ireland was treated differently from the rest of the UK.

This is a new motion, which was not considered by MPs on 27 March. But the EU has said that the backstop is not up for renegotiation.


Motion B: No deal in the absence of a withdrawal agreement

Proposer: John Baron, Conservative

This motion asks MPs to support the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 12 April, if they have not agreed to support the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement by then.

If the UK did leave the EU with no deal, it would mean initially trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, which could mean tariffs on certain goods and extra checks on UK goods entering the EU.

On 27 March, a similar motion was backed by 160 MPs, but opposed by 400.


Motion H: EFTA and EEA

Proposer: George Eustice, Conservative

This motion proposes that the UK rejoins the European Free Trade Association as soon as possible, meaning the UK stays in the single market.

It also requires negotiations with the EU over “additional protocols” to resolve the issue of the Irish border and agri-food trade.


All excerpts courtesy of BBC.com Brexit: What are MPs voting on?
Published April 1, 2019.

Thumbnail image courtesy of: AP Photo/Matt Dunham


A Zero Tariff Trading Relationship Removes the Need for ‘the Irish Backstop’

by John Brian Shannon

Q: Why do EU negotiators feel the need to have an Irish Backstop?

A: The simple answer is that the EU has one set of tariffs (a tariff regime that’s part of the EU’s Single Market) and it’s expected that the UK would enact their own tariff structure after Brexit (as part of the UK’s modern industrial strategy) that might conflict with the EU’s tariff structure.


In Business for the EU or the UK?

European Union leaders feel the UK should remain in the Single Market to make life easier for the EU by ensuring that all tariffs are duly collected and remitted to the proper EU department and once you consider the serious budgetary pressures of Brussels-based politicians it’s understandable why they feel that way.

The question though is; Should the UK give up some amount of sovereignty (the ability to sign its own trade deals) so that another country or bloc can ease their budgetary pressures? What kind of logic is that?

Keep in mind that the day after Brexit, the EU becomes a competitor trade bloc and why should the UK help their competitors? Do other countries do that for the EU? (No) For that matter, do other countries do that for the UK? (Also; No)

The simple answer, of course, is that no countries do that. Ever.

The exception is where countries have reciprocal free trade deals with each other.

In the NAFTA countries (NAFTA remains in force until USMCA supersedes it) those countries collect and remit tariffs, levies, and fees on behalf of the others all the time, and nobody thinks a thing about it because it’s just normal business. That’s what valued trading partners do for each other.

See the problem here? The UK and the EU need a reciprocal free trade deal to solve any remaining Brexit issues — and more importantly — to prevent future problems in the relationship.

The UK and the EU have taken each other for granted for so long, that both sides think that taking each other for granted should remain the default mode even after Brexit.

Which is completely unreasonable — and such liberty-taking will eventually result in messy, unpredictable, and ultimately, disastrous results for business on both sides.

Living in each other’s back pocket since 1973 has been fun, hasn’t it? (Depends upon whom you ask, but for a time there were benefits for both sides) But that part of the relationship has ended and it’s time to create an honest relationship, one based on mutual respect, formal lines of communication, and healthy self-interest.


A Zero Tariff Free Trade Agreement with Equivalence Standards Solves All Remaining Brexit & Future Relationship Issues

So get on it!

Waiting and hoping isn’t going to get the job done, nor is each side trying to out-bluff the other going to get the job done, as we’ve seen over the past 2 1/2 years. Someone needs to grab the bull by the horns now before the official Brexit date of March 29, 2019 and do what needs to be done.

Playing the eternal political blame game as each side waits for political support in the other country to collapse isn’t what clear vision and leadership excellence is all about.

So, instead of defaulting to the failed Us vs. Them problem solving modality of the 20th-century, today’s leaders must move boldly towards a Win-Win problem solving modality, especially between Europeans sharing a hemisphere and as fellow NATO allies. And there’s no excuse good enough to do otherwise.

When you begin with a clear vision and add great leadership to carry out that vision, the results can only be good. Europe’s people on both sides of the English Channel deserve that good/better/best future!