Friday, 18 Jun 2021

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement will poison UK-EU relations for years – it must be scrapped

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The Withdrawal Agreement is a treaty between the European Union, Euratom, and the United Kingdom that outlines the terms of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and Euratom. The treaty was published on October 17 2019 after an earlier version of the withdrawal agreement was rejected by the House of Commons on three occasions.

The Withdrawal Agreement outlines a transition period set to last until at least December, 31 2020.

During that period, the UK will remain in the single market, in order to ensure unproblematic trade until a long-term relationship is agreed.

Writing for POLITICO, John Longworth, who is director general of pro-Brexit think tank the Centre for Brexit Policy, said: “The referendum campaign was fought by Leavers above all else on the issue of sovereignty.

“Taking control of our laws, borders and money was central to why the people of Britain voted to leave the EU. Nothing could be clearer.”

He added: “It is therefore a major scandal that the Remain establishment and the UK parliament did everything possible to undermine the will of the people and to make leaving as painful as could be.

“The Remainers will always be shamed for shackling the country to a poison pill: the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

“Alongside the declaration on a future relationship, the Withdrawal Agreement remains to contaminate our opportunities and our relations with the EU for decades to come — our future as a nation.

“So toxic is the agreement that it would be quite legitimate in international law to repudiate the treaty, and that is exactly what the UK government should do if the EU refuses to adjust its implications.”

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But according to new analysis from the Centre for Brexit Policy, the UK’s could incur £180 billion in payments to the EU in the coming years.

Mr Longworth wrote: “Part of that is because the Germans have for the first time agreed to major contributions to support Club Med countries through the coronavirus crisis using EU cohesion funds and via the European Investment Bank while Britain is still very much on the hook for the bill.

“It is outrageous that Germany — a country that had its national debt written off after World War II, was given free money to regenerate and paid limited reparations for the most savage war it could wage — should now seek what amounts to reparations from the UK for having the audacity to want to break free of the Teutonic chains.

“Would France secede Corsica to Italy? Would Germany give back the Pomerania region to Sweden?”

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The former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce added: “And the poison goes further than money.

“The price we must pay for retaining Northern Ireland is the continuation of EU control over Britain’s tax, regional and industrial policy through the mechanism of so-called state aid rules.

“Furthermore, we forego jurisdiction as this continues to be the domain of the European Court of Justice.”

And the analysis also reveals how the EU will influence the Withdrawal Agreement.

Mr Longworth wrote: “Even with a trade border down the Irish Sea, our analysis shows how the EU will leverage the Withdrawal Agreement to maintain power and control over our future prosperity. It must not be so.

“What is most frightening is that this remains the status quo even if we leave with an Australia-style deal on World Trade Organisation terms.

“The May administration were either fools or knaves to agree to this, and the Johnson government must repudiate it or be forever the government who left the troops on the beaches at Dunkirk.

“Johnson is a scholar of Winston Churchill, but the rational choice in the summer of 1940 would have been to seek terms to end the war as Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax wanted rather than fight on for liberty.

“The battle to leave the EU is coming to an end. The battle for Britain is just beginning — and we are about to find out if Johnson is more Churchill or Halifax.”

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