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“The Brexit Committee has warned that even under the most optimistic scenario, there may not be enough time to complete all necessary work before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU. The Brexit Committee report also calls for an extension to the exit timetable if a deal has not been finalised.” — The Express
What *Have* They Been Doing?
Two years on from the June 2016 Brexit referendum and with almost one more year to go before the stated target date of March 29, 2019 and the Brexit Committee says that “even under the most optimistic scenario, there may not be enough time to complete all the necessary work before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.”
That’s the definition of ‘Low Ambition‘ right there.
Whether the fault lies in Brussels or at 10 Downing, or even because of the infighting that happens within the Conservative Party itself, governments need to remember that the people have spoken (and quite apart from that) sentiment continues to grow among the UK voting public for the government to ‘just get on with it’.
Even people who voted Remain now think the best thing for the country is for a quick and streamlined Brexit agreement — one that is fair to citizens and industry on both sides of the English Channel.
If two years and nine months isn’t enough time to get it done, what is?
Do the politicians in London and Brussels think they have carte blanche to spend the rest of the decade and part of the next to arrange a suitable Brexit deal? If so, that’s very telling… and not in a good way.
Citizens on both sides of Brexit need to know and industry needs to know what to expect so they can prepare for life after Brexit. And they needed to know a year ago.
How Hard Can it Be?
Most of the existing EU laws will simply continue unchanged following Brexit, therefore, more will stay the same than will change.
It was originally thought that the UK would be leaving The Common Fisheries Agreement by March 29, 2019, or at the latest, by July 2019.
Therefore the UK had been negotiating with the EU in good faith so they could make some basic decisions about how to manage UK fisheries after Brexit. Micheal Gove is surely an able enough minister to easily handle it, yet, the EU indicated that the Common Fisheries Agreement will remain in place until 2020 and there will be no negotiation about it. And that was the end of that.
Read this important article about UK fisheries policy between March 29, 2019 and January 1, 2021: Brexit: Michael Gove shares fishing industry ‘disappointment’
Actually, the EU might’ve done the UK a favour by sidelining fisheries policy until after Brexit. Imagine that!
As off-putting as that sounds, it dramatically lightens the load of UK government negotiators because it’s one less sector that needs to be debated with EU negotiating teams. All of which should have conspired to put both the UK and EU six months *ahead* of schedule on the Brexit negotiation timeline!
So we can’t blame Brexit delays on Micheal Gove, the Common Fisheries agreement, or the EU for delays to that timeline.
Both the UK and EU will remain members of NATO post-Brexit and as the UK already operates its own defence infrastructure there isn’t much change expected there.
Apart from arranging the return of any non-NATO-dedicated Royal Air Force jets presently in EU countries, or removing Royal Navy ships from EU waters (unless there by invitation of an EU country or while taking part in a NATO exercise) there isn’t much for Gavin Williamson the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom to handle for this part of Brexit. A few phone calls before the Brexit date should cover it.
So we can’t blame the lack of progress on Gavin Williamson or his EU defence counterparts for agreements not reached in time for Brexit.
CUSTOMS and SINGLE MARKET
Thus far, the EU seemed to be in denial that the UK was actually leaving the bloc, so quite logically from their point of view; Why would they want to entertain UK negotiations allowing the UK to leave the customs agreement and the EU’s single market architectures?
But now that the UK Parliament have voted in favour of the EU Withdrawal Bill you’d think the EU would accept the UK is leaving the bloc and that it is time to begin crafting an agreement setting the dates and terms to allow Britain to leave both the Customs Union and the Single Market.
But since the Withdrawal Bill passed last week, some in the EU suddenly began saying that negotiations with the UK can’t continue because the UK’s ruling Conservative party is ‘deeply divided’ and that ‘the EU can’t be certain who it is dealing with’ — yet, the UK government easily passed the EU Withdrawal Bill which it said it would do all along.
Full marks here to Prime Minister Theresa May for shepherding this bill through and making it look easy. Brilliant!
Read this important article about: How MP’s voted on the EU withdrawal bill amendments
Until the Withdrawal Bill was signed into law, any Brexit timeline delays were the fault of UK Conservative Party MP’s and the EU bore no particular blame for its lack of enthusiasm regarding the furtherance of Brexit negotiations.
However, now that the bill has been made into law, negotiations must begin in earnest.
FREE TRADE BETWEEN THE UK and THE EU POST-BREXIT
Almost everything that applies to the delays in the customs and single market negotiations (see above) applies here too.
To reiterate: Until the Withdrawal Bill was signed into UK law, delays to the negotiation timeline are to be blamed on the UK side and not on the EU side for the simple reason that until the UK side got serious about Brexit, why would the EU get serious about it?
Fortunately, and better late than never, PM Theresa May got the job done and now things must advance in the interests of industry and citizens on both sides of the Channel.
Not that the UK can suddenly afford to make Brexit ‘the EU’s emergency’ as the UK pursued the Withdrawal Bill in a most leisurely fashion over the past 32 months.
“A lack of planning on your part doesn’t necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.”
Yet because trading arrangements will benefit business on both sides of the Channel things must now move smartly along or delays will hurt business on both sides.
I wouldn’t want to be the German Chancellor or the British Prime Minister (for example) who failed to get a trade agreement ready in time for Brexit, or the leader who failed to make the necessary modifications to their respective departments to allow trade to continue uninterrupted.
IMMIGRATION and FREE MOVEMENT
It looks like this is a non-negotiable for the UK government. Too many British citizens spoke too loudly and too clearly for any UK Prime Minister to dare overrule their wishes.
Each EU citizen wishing to remain in the UK after Brexit will pay a nominal annual fee (about the price of a passport) and will be required to provide an up-to-date address and telephone number for the Home Office. Simple enough.
EU citizens wanting to move to the UK after Brexit will face the same requirements as EU citizens who’ve elected to stay on in Britain.
Non-EU citizens can probably expect about the same, although emigrating to the UK *after* Brexit will be much easier if you’re an EU citizen or Commonwealth citizen.
Now that the EU Withdrawal Bill Has Finally Passed It’s Time to Lift Those Anchors!
For industry, change is always negative but still doable. But late changes are lethal to business on both sides.
And UK leaders and EU27 leaders must remember that!
Industry needs clear and timely regulations (with a long lead time) that must rank higher than the ideological differences between the heads of European states (including the UK) higher than the (occasional) personality conflicts between politicians, and must always rank above the partisan politics within a country.
From the day the Withdrawal Bill was finally signed into law, every day must now count, be counted, and be accountable — or the UK and the EU27 will be racing with ‘their anchors still in the water’ against every other ‘ship of state’ in the world.
And that’s not how you win races, whether nautical or economic.
The People of the United Kingdom voted in the June 23, 2016 Brexit referendum to decide whether to continue their country’s EU membership — a vote won by the Leave campaign with a 52-48 per cent margin of victory.
This was followed by a General Election on June 8, 2017 — a vote on the confidence that UK voters felt in Theresa May’s new-ish government — but it also verified that voters still believed in a government that campaigned on Brexit.
Therefore, under no circumstances should Brexit referendum do-overs be entertained.
Whether Theresa May agrees with Brexit or not (apparently she’s a closet Remainer) the fact is that over 17 million Britons voted to Leave the European Union and their wishes need to be honoured. Nothing else is important here except for the will of the majority.
Some (like UKIP’s Nigel Farage) worry that the longer Brexit drags on, the more opportunities for the well-organized and well-funded (globalist) Remainers to slow and obfuscate the divorce process — to the point that even if the UK does secure a ‘Brexit’ it may be in name only; e.g.: a ‘Soft Brexit’. For that reason it’s too risky to go one more day than necessary to arrive at the Brexit finish-line.
And let’s not forget, large amounts of money are flying out the window every day into EU coffers at £8.6 billion (net) per year — and every additional delay costs UK taxpayers an additional £717,000,000 (net) per month!
What’s to be gained by additional delay? The People voted for Brexit. It’s time to get on with the job and for Remainers to stop having fantasies about referendum-after-referendum until they get the result they want.
Brexiteers (and other Britons who believe in real democracy) want no more delays, no more BS — they want their Brexit now, and if it takes longer on account of delays by a minority of citizens and by those serving in the House of Commons who care more about the EU than they do about the UK, the pressure from Brexiteers to seek an instant WTO-style Brexit will increase accordingly. And I will be with them on that.
The UK is either a democratic country or it isn’t. We’ll soon know, because if another referendum is held to appease Remainers it will prove to Brexiteers that the hard-won and venerable UK democracy model is broken. Any scenario that involves having referendum-after-referendum until the losing side obtains the result it wants isn’t a working democracy!
And a society where more than 52% of the population believes that democracy in the country no longer functions will create a bigger headache for the government than whether to Leave the EU. Civil wars have started over less.
“No Taxation Without Representation!” was a term coined by Reverend Jonathan Mayhew in a sermon in Boston in 1750.
By 1761 the terminology was changed by James Otis who said; “Taxation without representation is tyranny!” referring to the level of resentment felt by American colonists at being taxed by a British Parliament where the colonists elected no representatives and received no tangible benefit.
It became an anti-British slogan in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Eventually Britain lost control of its colony, and after a dreadful war that colony became known as the United States of America.
They say the only two certainties in life are Death and Taxes. But surely not far behind is the Negative Fallout of taxation without representation.
And in the 1700’s Britain made a costly error. After all, how many can say they once owned the territory we now call North America and lost it?
Some 250 years later, the EU Parliament having failed to learn one of the most important lessons of modern history, is now doing a similar thing.
The EU Parliament wants to tax Britons, but not allow them representation in the European Union Parliament from March 29, 2017 through March 29, 2019 — even though Britain will remain a dues-paying European Union member during that time.
The un-democrats in Brussels think it’s fine to continue taxing Britons £30 million (net) per day but won’t allow them a seat at the table! That totals £22 billion from March 2017 to March 2019, in exchange for exactly zero decision-making ability during that time.
British MEP’s (Member of the European Parliament) can make statements, answer questions and challenge EU MEP’s on their assertions, but they can’t enter any room where actual EU decisions are made, nor will they be allowed to vote on legislation in the EU Parliament.
Which isn’t democratic! No public relations agency on Earth could spin that situation into an example of democracy.
When British taxpayers are paying £22 billion over two years with no political representation, it’s a textbook case of taxation without representation.
The question to ask yourself is; Could Britain spend that £22 billion ‘better’ than the EU?
Were I Prime Minister Theresa May, I wouldn’t unilaterally pull out of the EU via the WTO route, because this situation hasn’t begun to gather momentum!
Once British taxpayers realize that they are (and have been for a long time!) sending £30 million per day to the EU and now British MEP’s can’t vote on EU legislation, they’ll realize how badly they’ve been used.
The longer this goes on, the better for the Brexit camp as it shows what the European Union is all about. And in Britain’s case, it was always about using Britain as a cash cow to fund EU priorities while flying under the media radar.
“Fool me once, it’s your fault. Fool me twice, and it’s my fault.”
Not only does the EU Parliament want Britain to continue to subsidize the European Union to the tune of £30 million per day until March 29, 2019 — it also wants Britain to pay a £52 billion ‘divorce payment’ now and in full — before Brexit negotiations begin.
The question to ask yourself is; Could Britain spend that £52 billion ‘better’ than the EU?
Nigel Farage called it the EU ‘Mafia’ racket (which he later retracted) while others having come to the realization of what it represents to the British taxpayer will rightfully conclude it’s a case of taxation without representation via extortion — because the EU won’t allow Brexit negotiations to proceed until the payola is received.
The European Union wants 74 billion pounds (in total) before Brexit negotiations begin
The EU wants Britain to pay £74 billion before Brexit negotiations begin but won’t allow Britain a seat at the EU decision-making table even as Britain remains a dues-paying member of the European Union.
And that isn’t democracy, that’s tyranny mixed with kleptocracy.