A roll over

Lindsay Jenkins

The EU’s negotiators applauded Mrs May over dinner in Brussels last week. Should this be a cause for rejoicing at home?

While a negotiation is exactly that – a discussion and not of itself the end point – so far the British government has agreed to hand over a large sum of money, not linked to anything we might owe, but a number the EU conjured out of the air and double the number Mrs May offered. Brussels is clearly more anxious about getting our money, and lots of it, than free trade.

Then there is the infamous paragraph 49. That will keep our regulations aligned with EU regulations until we leave the EU. So when do we leave? The date of March 2019 has already slipped by two years, called a transition period. During that time we shall be subject to all EU laws, rules, and regulations, but without even the superficial voice and representation we have now. We will be taxed in full, our customs dues will still go to Brussels, a percentage of our VAT and so on. We voted to remove the UK from these, not to continue abiding by them.

Alas, the British Government has agreed to take the “Great” out of Britain as we effectively become a province subject to a form of direct rule by the EU.

David Davis airily claimed that the agreement so far is merely “a statement of intent”. The EU’s reaction was to call for fast codification or no more talks about trade. Codification means the agreement will be justiciable. No doubt the court the EU has in mind is the ECJ from whose clutches we wish to escape, a political court which rules in favour of “ever closer union”.

Having given so much away, surely we can now talk about trade? Why the hurry, says the EU, we might start in three months or so. A FTA with the EU was always going to take years (the Canadian FTA took 7 years), not because it is inherently difficult to do, but because the EU makes it so. We cannot sign an FTA until we are a third party country. And that will not be until 2021, or cynically at some later date that the EU judges is to its advantage – or never.

No wonder there was clapping round the Brussels’ dinner table. The UK has rolled over completely. We have agreed to give and got nothing in return. The British Government without a trace of irony calls it certainty.

We are at the point of maximum danger. We need strong leadership now. To recover our self-determination, we must leave the EU and trade on WTO terms, no more “negotiations”, no more giving in. We must turn our back on Servitude and take the road marked Freedom.