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The European Union Brexit negotiating team said many times in recent months that there’s nothing to negotiate in regards to Brexit and consider the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by former UK Prime Minister Theresa May to be the ultimate Brexit agreement — although it didn’t pass in the UK Parliament and therefore isn’t a valid agreement.
In fact, saying Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement didn’t pass in the UK Parliament is a bit of an understatement as it failed badly each time she presented the bill in the House of Commons.
Here’s what The Guardian wrote about the former PM’s first attempt to get the bill through Parliament: “Theresa May has sustained the heaviest parliamentary defeat of any British prime minister in the democratic era after MPs rejected her Brexit deal by a resounding majority of 230.” — Heather Stewart, writing in The Guardian
In the 2nd attempt to get the bill passed in the House of Commons, the BBC posted this summary on its website: “Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal has been rejected by MPs by an overwhelming majority for a second time, with just 17 days to go to Brexit. MPs voted down the prime minister’s deal by a margin of 149.” — BBC
And in the 3rd try, which was also defeated, the (by-then) hated withdrawal deal went down in flames with the EU’s vox.com writing, “The British Parliament has rejected the Brexit deal for a third time, intensifying the UK’s political chaos just two weeks before the country breaks up with the European Union. Members of Parliament (MPs) defeated the deal, 286 to 344 — a much closer margin than the previous two votes in March and January, but still short of a majority. It has dealt another deep blow to the already flailing authority of Prime Minister Theresa May.” — Jen Kirby at vox.com
And that 58-vote loss was obtained only after Theresa May offered to resign if the bill passed Parliament.
So, the Withdrawal Bill is dead, dead, dead, and won’t be returning no matter how much the EU miss it. And it’s no wonder they miss it, for it was practically written by them, for them.
In short; A completely one-sided deal that never had a chance to pass.
It’s Clear That UK MP’s Wanted Brexit and Wanted a Deal. But What Deal?
UK House of Commons MP’s voted enthusiastically to follow the instructions of UK voters way back in February of 2017 though, voting 498 to 114 to pass the European Union Bill by a healthy margin of 384 votes to get Brexit negotiations underway.
But Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement just didn’t cut it.
Since then, there’s been a lot of chatter in the UK about gaining a new deal, one that might actually work for the UK instead of the European Union alone.
But as EU leaders have said many times, there’s nothing to negotiate. The now-defunct Withdrawal Agreement is the only deal they would’ve considered and they continue to maintain that position.
One wonders if they’re 100% serious about that position as the EU (and especially German car manufacturers) might see falling sales should trade between the UK and the EU revert to WTO terms, and I think that’s what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is banking-on to get them back to the negotiating table to obtain a workable and fair Brexit agreement — one that works for both sides.
Yet, if you know continental Europeans like I know continental Europeans you’d know they always bluff to the last second.
And the EU does have a track record of last-minute deals that were preceded by years of excruciating trade negotiations.
In the case of the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) it took the two countries 8-years of on-again, off-again negotiations to reach a deal — which the Canadian Parliament ratified within weeks, while not one EU27 country has ratified it. Indeed, the EU has chosen to ignore the parts of the CETA deal they don’t like which makes them guilty of ‘cherry-picking’ the (signed and ratified by Canada-only) CETA deal.
Is that the kind of compliance we can expect if the EU were to sign a political agreement with the UK? And is that the kind of compliance the UK can expect if the EU sign a free trade agreement with the UK?
If so, why waste a minute on it?
Boris Johnson Wants a Brexit Deal – But the EU Doesn’t
Who will win that round?
Easy; The EU.
But UK Parliamentarians can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that the EU… doesn’t want a deal.
And of course they’re right because the EU does want a deal — it wants the one-sided Withdrawal Agreement that was ‘negotiated’ during Theresa May’s time in office — and if that doesn’t work it wants the UK to give-up and stay in the EU. Which from their point of view is an even better deal.
If the EU can’t have either of those two choices, it doesn’t want any deal.
But within weeks of a No Deal Brexit, EU27 car manufacturers will have unsold cars piling-up outside their factories and will begin to pressure their governments for a trade deal (by that time a Brexit agreement won’t be needed as Brexit will have already occurred) and such a trade agreement could be in place by January 1, 2020 (about 115-days from now) and a cavalcade of sector-by-sector (or even segment-by-segment) trade deals would be signed and ratified by both countries in short order.
And, in the face of the thrice-failed Withdrawal Agreement, that might be the option the EU27 prefer. I know I prefer it!
So, Knowing All That: What‘s the Point of a Brexit Extension?
The EU said many times that they’re not interested in negotiating any more. They wanted the original Withdrawal Agreement and they didn’t get it, so now they want to bluff until the very last minute in a game of brinkmanship hoping against hope that the UK Parliament or the British people will lose the plot and just give up on Brexit.
There is therefore, nothing to negotiate.
So why are some British MP’s trying to get an extension of the Brexit date?
- Because they think the EU is lying and will negotiate a new Brexit agreement?
- Because they hope to overthrow Brexit altogether by using endless delay tactics?
- Because they were at first, brave and wanted to fulfil the democratic will of Britons, but have since gotten ‘cold feet’?
If they think #1 is correct, I have to say they’re incredibly naive.
If they think #2 is correct, I have to say they’re wrong. More and more Britons (even former Remainers) just want Brexit done, allowing the economic uncertainty to go away.
If they think #3 is correct, I would have to agree. And that means the UK needs a strong and dynamic Prime Minister to help them stay on-course and facilitate a resurgence of confidence in Britain’s future to get them past the present moment.
And guess what? That’s exactly the kind of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is. Thankfully.
What Kind of Brexit Deal do I Favour?
I prefer a No Deal Brexit — but only because I’ve seen close-up how the EU doesn’t keep its end of the bargain in Canada (at least in the CETA context) and I see that only two of the EU27 countries have ever met their NATO spending commitments.
That’s why ‘deals’ with the EU don’t excite me too much as they seem to consider trade ‘deals’ as mere ‘guidance’ more than they consider them ‘regulations’ or ‘laws’ that must be ‘followed’ to the letter.
Calling the EU’s bluff by Brexiting on October 31, 2019 as Britons were promised by this government, followed by a flurry of international trade deals signed between Britain and her other trading partners should put the EU in its place and make it realize that it isn’t the centre of the universe (not even in the UK’s myopic worldview universe) and help to repair the mindset of those Britons for whom the EU seems to have an outsized importance — far beyond what is healthy and good for the United Kingdom.
Not that I wish one bad thing for the EU. I wish every single member country of the EU27 well. In fact, I wish them very well.
Eventually the UK will get around to signing a free trade deal with the EU. After America. After China. After the CPTPP countries. After The Commonwealth of Nations. You know, all the nations that don’t ‘cherry-pick’ their deals.
It’s just that this part of our relationship is over EU, and now, I just want to be ‘friends’.
Hey! We’ll do lunch!
It’s 1169-days since the British people voted to leave the European Union:
Let’s take a look at how it’s going, shall we?
Unbelievably, the European Union is now fully in charge of what happens next on Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn (who serves as the official opposition leader in the House of Commons) is now fully in charge of when the next UK General Election is held.
Honestly folks, you couldn’t make this stuff up.
It represents a failure of the UK Parliament by any standard. It’s a disaster of epic proportions and only in Britain could such a thing come to pass.
Every single MP in the House of Commons must hang their heads in shame for this utter failure to accommodate the wishes of the British people in a timely and responsible fashion.
And it’s completely beyond me (and beyond thinking people everywhere!) how every British MP hasn’t shamefacedly handed-in their resignation today (with the notable exception of Jeremy Corbyn who has played a bad poker hand better than anyone in history!) and moved-on to something more appropriate for them.
Some other career where things can be dragged-out over 3-years and where it would be acceptable to wind up with a worse deal than the existing deal.
Some other career where things like accountability to constituents, responsibility to act in the national interest, timeliness of service to citizens, a cost of tens of billions of pounds sterling to the economy, and national sovereignty aren’t at stake!
Let’s See How This Particular Disaster Evolved
As you may know, the term UK Parliament refers to the UK House of Commons where British MP’s along with the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and the Prime Minister, write, debate, and then pass legislation in the House of Commons that is sent to the House of Lords (a.k.a. ‘the upper house’) to be further debated (and sometimes amended) and then officially approved by the Lords. After passing both the Commons and the Lords, that piece of legislation is sent to the UK Head of State (a.k.a. ‘the Queen’) for Royal Assent (a simple signature acknowledging that to the best of the Head of State’s knowledge, due process in Parliament has been observed in regard to that piece of legislation).
This time-honoured process of drafting, debating and passing legislation in the UK is a tradition that began in the year 1215 when the first UK Parliament convened.
What I’m trying to impress on you, dear reader, is that we are where we are on Brexit only because of the UK Parliament — as there is no other person or institution responsible for the passing of legislation on behalf of all Britons.
The UK Parliament ‘owns’ this particular disaster and no amount of political spin is going to cover their Brexit errors. It is a failure of governance of epic proportions that will go down in history as one of the worst political debacles ever.
- June 23, 2016: The UK people vote to leave the EU (BBC)
- July 13, 2016: Theresa May becomes UK Prime Minister (CNN)
- February 1, 2017: British MP’s overwhelmingly back Article 50 bill (BBC)
- June 8, 2017: Theresa May Loses Majority in UK General Election (NYT)
- January 15, 2019: Theresa May’s Brexit deal suffers worst-ever defeat (Guardian)
- March 13, 2019: Theresa May’s Brexit deal fails a 2nd time (BBC)
- March 29, 2019: Theresa May’s Brexit deal fails a 3rd time (VOX)
- March 31, 2019: The agreed Brexit date (& law of the land) is missed (CNN)
- April 12, 2019: The EU says Brexit delayed until October 31, 2019 (BBC)
- July 24, 2019: The UK gets a new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (CNN)
- August 27, 2019: UK opposition MPs agree strategy to block No Deal (BBC)
- August 29, 2019: UK Prime Minister Johnson prorogues Parliament (BBC)
- September 4, 2019: Bill designed to stop No Deal Brexit ‘will clear Lords’ (BBC)
So there it is!
It’s the shameful story of how an astonishingly simple order from the British people to the UK Parliament turned into £69.5 billion in losses over the past 3-years (so far!) and how EU negotiators easily beat the UK Parliament by merely getting out of the way to allow the UK Parliament to destroy the dream of Britons who simply wanted to restore British dignity and sovereignty, and how the panegyrists of the UK Parliament are on-track to beg for a worse deal from the EU than the UK already has.
Unless corrected soon, the present Brexit debacle will turn out to be the worst political disaster on planet Earth since the UK Parliament of a previous era sold the then-colony of America (to traitors, privateers & colonists) for 60-pieces of silver.