BORIS Johnson saved the Conservative Party with his landslide ‘Get Brexit Done’ election victory. We forget that he could well have stopped Theresa May from becoming PM had not Michael Gove sabotaged his candidature. When Mrs May cleverly promoted him to her Cabinet he was possibly for a while the greatest enthusiast for her desperately bad attempt not to implement the referendum result but to change it into a recipe for making the UK a ‘trade colony’ of the EU.
Later Mr Gove was generously forgiven by Johnson, yet the PM shunned many of the Spartans, the MPs who alone were responsible for saving Brexit and defeating Brino – Brexit in name only.
Today, six months later, our Brexit Watch focus falls on the revival of the ‘May cell’ among Tory MPs and in the Cabinet who appear to be working to stop no deal and to secure Brino by keeping the UK tied in to EU regulation.
The signing by May officials of the UK into a subservient relationship giving command and control of defence and security to the EU’s PESCO army was well documented (and criticised) last year, notably in this article by Professor Gwythian Prins. Last week Lt Gen Jonathon Riley, senior military authority, reminded us again of the weakening our defences and the dangers still extant in the Political Declaration and of this pathway to our military self-abasement to Brussels.
So the national self-harming plan continues.
‘MoD insider’ Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the Defence Select Committee, has come out for scrapping the UK’s plan for its own satellite navigation system to rival the EU Galileo -eu-tobias-ellwood-defence-trade-negotiations-spt as it would be a ‘waste of money’ and also would split the European defence capability, therefore the UK must get a deal with the EU on December 31 or an extension. But such ‘reasoning’ turns the truth on its head: the EU has blocked the UK from Galileo as yet another threat, yet Ellwood is saying we should cave in, gain access to Galileo at great expense, and be tied to EU regulation – a remainer-led security disaster.
Yet should the UK give away its command and control to PESCO, David Frost’s Brexit plan delivered to the EU will be vitiated. Its fisheries section speaks of the Royal Navy being prepared to fend off foreign boats illegally fishing UK waters. If the RN is to become the EU’s to use as it wishes, how can it?
Last week the announcement in Parliament by the Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis, that the UK would put EU food law into UK law and under EU regulation met with no challenge.
There also seems to be remarkably little awareness that VAT on the City’s derivatives markets could blow the Withdrawal Treaty sky high, explained here by Caroline Bell.
https://briefingsforbritain.co.uk/derivatives-markets-withdrawal-treaty/ The UK has disputed this application of VAT over the years, but now the ECJ is suing the UK for failing to impose it dating back years. If they win, it will cripple the City.
Yet had the UK left the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement, as it should have done, on March 29, 2019, the matter would have ended there. Instead proceedings began in the European Court of Justice on 1 April 2019, just two days into the first extension to Article 50. Bell ends her analysis by suggesting that the ECJ attack rocket C-276/19, could, if well handled by the government, blow the WA up: ‘The Withdrawal Treaty is an international agreement, and international agreements – as President Trump likes to demonstrate – can be torn up by a sovereign state.’ Let the EU seek remedies under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties at the International Court, under international law, she advises. The cost of giving in, when we have to reboot our own economy from the coronavirus pandemic, would be too great, both economically and politically. Mr Johnson, here is your excuse if you need one to get out now and repudiate the WA!
Nigel Farage has announced he will ‘take action’ if the UK does not leave on December 31. But he needs to take urgent action now if he really wants to avert a Brino on December 31, not least with
Northern Ireland emerging once more as a means to trap the UK into a Brino, Michael Gove apparently as the organising genius. Farage should note that Gove may have rejected a mini EU embassy in NI but he is still pushing ahead with physical checks on goods from the mainland to NI at Ulster ports, with checkpoints, as if a foreign country – something Prime Minister Johnson promised several times would not happen. As David Scullion so chillingly asks in the Critic, ‘Is Ulster how May’s sometime ministers will still get BRINO for Great Britain too?’
Michael Gove’s confirmation that all agri-foods will be checked means a Tesco lasagne, for example, would also be caught in the regulatory net, and indicates just how vast the new infringements on supposedly British domestic business will be. Other unanswered questions include what happens to digital sales from GB to Northern Ireland, or what happens to a lorry that departs from Glasgow and partially unloads in Belfast before moving on to Dublin? Why, if there are no checks needed between goods from Northern Ireland moving into Great Britain, are checks needed from Great Britain into Northern Ireland?
And why – since the Free Trade Agreement does not seem to be aimed at superseding the backstop and the UK would be bound by the backstop if there is no deal – is there seemingly no plan to keep the UK from being divided? Where is the effort in the negotiations by the UK side to hold the EU to account for their bad faith as regards the Protocol deal itself? Which in theory at least requires best endeavours by the EU to do away with the UK-dividing policy. Many are wondering why hasn’t Michael Gove made this a negotiating ask of Michel Barnier.
PM Johnson is in trouble over his shambolic Covid-19 policy, senior Tory MPs reportedly briefing against him as having ‘lost his edge’ after his own illness, implying that he cannot cope. He urgently needs to get a grip and to ‘Get Brexit Done’ by repudiating the WA as a document hatched in bad faith, and making it clear now there will be no extension on December 31.