A “mistake” not a “disaster”

By | 25th January 2018

It is becoming apparent to a great number of people in the UK that the referendum of 23rd June 2016, in which a simple majority of 51.9% of people voted in favour of leaving the EU, is being thwarted. The UK has been offered a transition deal by the EU, laid out in the document…

Brussels, 20.12.2017, COM(2017) 830 final, ANNEX 1 – ANNEX to the Recommendation for a COUNCIL DECISION supplementing the Council Decision of 22 May 2017 authorising the opening of negotiations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for an agreement setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal from the European Union.

This document states very clearly that…

– any agreement will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations, and ensure a level playing field;
– preserving the integrity of the Single Market excludes participation based on a sector-by-sector approach;
– a non-member of the Union, that does not live up to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member;
– the four freedoms of the Single Market are indivisible and there can be no “cherry picking”;
– the Union will preserve its autonomy as regards its decision-making as well as the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union. According to the European Council guidelines of 15 December 2017, this refers notably to the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In other words, if you want a transition period, you will have to accept all the rules of the EU, Free Movement of People, ECJ jurisdiction, no negotiation of trade deals, Implementation of new rules, no say in decision making, and payment of a membership fee (with no rebate).

David Cameron was overheard saying that the Leave vote was a “mistake” not a “disaster” and that it has “turned out less badly than we first thought”. I think he is referring to the UK Governments acceptance of the EU demands for a transition period. We will essentially have two years of no change whatsoever. We won’t be able to sign trade deals or change any rules currently imposed upon us by the EU. I think that in 2021, the call will be for us to accept the status quo and carry on with our Norway style agreement (however, we won’t be able to negotiate trade deals like Norway). The remainers will have won and the referendum will have been negated.

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