Monday, November 30, 2020
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Reader’s comment: An unprecedented surrender

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In response to Laura Perrins: What a difference a week makes, Robert wrote:
More good analysis of this draft agreement is here from Martin Howe QC.

The following quote highlights the sheer stupidity of Theresa May’s charade of appearing to ‘negotiate’ the best agreement on trade for Britain. She is actually surrendering all power – now and at any time in the future – to EU bureaucrats. Her draft (‘daft’ would be more appropriate!) agreement will keep us under the EU’s thumb and subject to their rules for as long as the EU bureaucratic empire exists. Worse, we won’t have any say in how their rules are made and implemented and, crucially, it entails ditching Northern Ireland as an integral part of the UK:

‘I think that the incredulity in some quarters about it being possible for a treaty like this to bind a country indefinitely is because trade treaties never do bind their participants indefinitely. In practice they all routinely contain termination clauses giving each party the right to withdraw on notice – commonly one year. This is only common sense. All sorts of conditions may change over time and countries do not want to be bound without their consent into trade relationships which become inappropriate or burdensome over time.

‘Therefore this Protocol in locking in the UK without a right to leave is quite unique and unprecedented. I am not aware of any trade agreement between the EU and a non-Member state which does not contain a right for that state to withdraw from the agreement. Even the humiliating and degrading Association Agreement between the EU and Moldova which I discuss in my note on ECJ jurisdiction (shortly to be published) contains in Art.460 a normal each-party termination clause on 6 months notice.’

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