“But Brexit ISN’T ‘The Will of the People’!” #Brexit #BRINO #WillOfThePeople @Anna_Soubry @StevenEdginton @WestmonsterUK

Anna Soubry, the Conservative MP who stood for election on a 2017 Manifesto which committed to delivering Brexit and who herself in 2017 said “you can’t vote for a Referendum & then renege on delivering the result because you don’t like the result”, has famously reneged. She has done nothing in the last year but attempt to overturn the decision to leave the European Union, most recently voting against her own Government’s position on the recent Customs and Trade Bills by trying to tie the UK into a Customs Union with the EU.

How times change…

But by now, all politics junkies know she’s unprincipled (although I’m not sure to what extent the general public is aware of the extent of her unprincipledness). What has piqued my interest, however, is that now she’s talking absolute rubbish on Twitter, again. Specifically, she’s parroting the oft-repeated, in-vogue line that, actually, the vote to leave the EU wasn’t the will of the people after all! Why? Because whilst it is true that more than half of those who voted did indeed vote to Leave, many people did not vote at all. Some 27.79% of the eligible electorate didn’t bother to vote, in fact. This means that, of the total electorate eligible to vote in the EU Referendum, 34.74% voted for Remain, and only 37.47% voted for Leave — considerably less than 50%!!

Soubry fails logic

However, this is a completely bogus argument. There is always a huge percentage of the electorate who don’t vote. Indeed, as one Twitter user (@AlastairJT) has helpfully pointed out to Ms. Soubry, she herself was elected in 2017 on less than 50% of the electorate; the turn out in her constituency of Broxtowe was 75.0%, of which she achieved 46.8%, giving her a grand total of 35.1% of the electorate — a lower percentage than voted for Brexit.

But actually, the issue is even larger than that. More people voted for Brexit (17.4 million) than for anything else in British history. Moreover, and this is the master stroke I feel, you have to go back to the General Election of 1959 to see the winning party earn a higher percentage of the total electorate than the 37.5% who voted for Brexit. 1959! When Britain was a virtual two party state. And indeed, you have to go back to the 1931 General Election before a party achieved a higher percentage of the turn out than Leave achieved — and that was because the Liberal Party had imploded and split four ways.

If the vote to leave the EU wasn’t “the will of the people”, then nothing is…

As they say in football, “you can only beat the teams that are put in front of you”. That more than a quarter of the population stayed at home does in no way invalidate the result of the EU referendum. If the benchmark for a vote to qualify as the “will of the people” and be so enacted is more than half of the total electorate voting one way, then no General Election since 1959 has been “the will of the people”, and nor was the election of Anna Soubry herself. If the vote to leave the EU wasn’t “the will of the people”, then nothing is.

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Brexit Betrayal: Back From The Brink? #Brexit #BrexitBetrayal #MayMustGo #BRINO

Theresa May’s Chequers plan has been thoroughly amended by Parliament and has been firmly rejected by the EU. Although it’s likely the unamended version would also have been rejected as the Chequers plan tries to separate the four EU freedoms: the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people. This is a red line for the EU and they have consistently opposed any such cherry-picking from day one.

On one hand, you have to admire the EU negotiators; from the very beginning, they knew what they wanted, they knew what their red lines were, and they’ve stuck to this. Unlike our lily-livered Prime Minister who herself admits her position has “evolved”, the EU have stuck firmly to their principles. On the other hand, it is increasingly clear to everybody that the EU are simply unwilling to negotiate anything other than continued British membership of the EU in all but name only. Therefore, it is clear that there is literally now no point continuing the negotiations as they are. To think otherwise is to be delusional.

Therefore, we have to reset our minds and pursue one of two options.

One, lay down an offer and tell the EU to take it or we walk without a deal and go to WTO terms.

Two, we take the offer that the EU already made us in March: a regular EU-UK trade deal. Donald Tusk, the EU Council head, said that a free trade deal is the only possible model for EU-UK relations, that we cannot have a “pick and mix” approach to the European single market, and that we could continue to cooperate on security amongst a slew of other issues. Japan just signed a trade deal with the EU itself, and with no loss of sovereignty. Let’s chuck May’s Brexit In Name Only (“BRINO”) con job, and have a free trade deal with the EU. And if the EU aren’t willing to offer us a trade deal which we view as acceptable by the 29th March 2019, it is already clear that negotiating with them is a waste of time: WTO here we come! But this wouldn’t be a “cliff edge” or “crashing out”, as most mainstream news outlets and pro-Remain politicians style it; it would be complete freedom and independence — the very things we voted for on the 23rd June 2016.

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/1/590x/Theresa-May-and-money-around-city-of-London-721875.jpg

Brexit Betrayal: On The Brink #Brexit #BrexitBetrayal #MayMustGo #BRINO

We are on the brink of the greatest exercise of democracy in the history of our nation, the vote to leave the European Union taken on 23rd June 2016, being overturned. More people voted for Brexit than for anything in British history ever. Yet Prime Minister Theresa May has set forth proposals in her White Paper which experts agree will make Brexit happen in name only; indeed, we will have to follow almost all of the same rules as being in the EU forevermore with no real ability to take back control of our laws, our money, our bordersthe very basis of the campaign to leave. To make this worse, her proposals go against all the red lines which she has repeatedly and so eloquently argued for in her landmark speeches.

The extent of May’s treachery and scheming is quite breath-taking and extensive, but here is a very brief summary: she secretly planned for this Brexit In Name Only (BRINO) for a year working to undermine her own publicly stated policy and red lines; she has determinedly undermined her colleagues especially the (now former) Brexit Secretary David Davis; she has threatened her MPs and the public with no Brexit at all if her new plans aren’t followed; she has conceded everything to the EU at all stages with nothing in return; she cleared her new plan with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before showing it to her Cabinet and has subsequently said that the plan cannot be changed as Merkel has already approved it.

Even staunchly loyal MPs, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, are now openly in revolt. It is clear that May has doubled down on her new plan and will not yield. Therefore, the only solution is to remove her as Conservative Party leader. But how would this work?

  1. First, 15% of the Parliamentary Party (that’s 48 Tory MPs) would have to submit a letter of no confidence to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady.
  2. If this occurs, a secret ballot will take place where Tory MPs will either support or oppose Theresa May’s leadership; she only needs to get a simple majority of MPs voting in support. This would be 159 MPs (if all Tory MPs vote).
  3. If she wins, she is untouchable for a year, and Brexit is finished.
  4. If she loses, a new leadership election is held in which she cannot stand.
  5. All candidates are voted on by the Tory MPs, the lowest ranked candidate being eliminated round-by-round until only two candidates remain; these two candidates will be put to the party membership to determine who will be next Conservative Party leader.

However, the quandary that pro-Brexit Tory MPs, and pro-Remain Tories who realise that May is electoral poison, find themselves in is this: do they really have the support the oust May? Very possibly, but perhaps probably not; after all, only a minority of Tory MPs are pro-Brexit, and pro-Remain Tories are likelier to wait until after this Remain-in-all-but-name deal is signed off on and then stick the knife in. In which case, all is lost. Therefore, some Tories wish to wait until after the Parliamentary Summer recess as they feel a vote against May is more likely to succeed then. Why? Because the EU will by then have, so it is claimed, rejected May’s proposals, thereby strengthening resolve against her.

For those who want Brexit to happen, indeed, for those who care about democracy at all (the idea that the people have power, a vote is held, and then the outcome of the vote is carried out), it is imperative that the intransigent May is removed from office. However, short of her death, the only way for this to happen is in a vote of no confidence, a vote she is perhaps likely to win. Our only hope is that a peculiar alliance of Tory careerism, principled Brexiteers, and Labour MPs helping to vote down May’s proposals, will effectively combine to save Brexit. That would be an occurrence as rare and miraculous as the vote to leave the European Union itself.

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/1/590x/Theresa-May-and-money-around-city-of-London-721875.jpg

Brexit Voters Are ****ing Stupid! #Brexit

This post is inspired by a Tweet I saw and the countless times I’ve been slagged off by people who voted Remain in the EU Membership Referendum.

I have a Bachelor of Arts with Honours with an award of First Class, two Master of Arts, not to mention my professional qualifications, all from world leading institutions. IQ tests rank me as 98-99 percentile — that qualifies me for Mensa. Oh yeah, and my wife is foreign.

Yep, no doubt about it; I’m a typical stupid, ignorant, racist, thicky dum-dum Brexit voter. Cos only imbecilic racist scumbags voted Brexit, amirite?

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://i.pinimg.com/736x/eb/8c/37/eb8c37e0ae5b5627d8ca68fda0bb92df.jpg

Brexit Momentum Dwindling? #FlorenceSpeech #Brexit #VoteLeave #TakeBackControl #ChangeBritain

“Brexit” means Britain’s Exit from the European Union, which is not due to happen until March 2019. Sorry to explain that, but my recent conversations with people show that many think “Brexit has already happened” and can’t understand why more money isn’t being spent on the NHS yet. So, just to be clear: Brexit is in process, but has not yet happened.

Exiting the EU is supposed to be a two-year process. But now Prime Minister Theresa May has set out her plans for a two-year transition deal which is, by any other name, extended temporary membership of the EU. Certainly, it would extend the lifeline for us to backpeddle into the EU. Indeed, the day after the referendum I was already saying that I doubt Brexit will ever even happen. History shows that the EU Fanatics just will not accept “non” for an answer. And that incorrigible EU-phile Lord Heseltine has today, I think rather accurately, said that he not only foresees us not leaving the EU, but actually joining the Euro, too. Indeed, now that we’ve decided to leave, should we change our minds we will have lost all of our opt-outs, including on not joining the Euro; oh yes, the French and Germans will exact a pound of flesh and be out to humble us and lock us in forevermore.

So has the Brexit momentum critically dwindled?

Corbyn has forsaken his principles and Labour have reneged on their Referendum pledge to back Brexit. The Tories are weakened since losing their majority in the General Election. The party which single-handedly got us the referendum (whether you love them or loathe them), UKIP, seems to have had its moment and looks a spent force. The momentum for Brexit, which was the culmination of years of hard, focused pressure, is rapidly fizzling out. Just look at the polling data: the margin of support for Brexit is shrinking.

So, as someone who has spent half my life fighting for Brexit, I am extremely worried by the warning signs of interim deals and such. And with oppression of the Catalans by the Spanish state, and the election of anti-democratic EU fanatic Macron, I fear the future is bleak for European liberal democracy.

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2016-10-05-1475670108-7560650-brexit1.jpg

Hard, Soft, and CLEAN Brexit #Brexit

A brilliant article here which completely sums up my view on the Brexit process. There is no such thing as “hard” and “soft” Brexit in reality. The Leave campaign was based on “taking back control”, and making our own trade deals with the rest of the world, and making the British parliament the ultimate source of power in this land again, and making British law and British judges in British courts being the supreme arbiter of British matters. People complain that nobody knew what they were voting for, but on these points alone it was abundantly clear what people were voting for. And they voted. Yet if we do not leave the single market, the customs union, and the EU’s main legal constructs, then we will not achieve these ends that we voted for. And so, this “soft” Brexit would be no Brexit at all. We need to sink or swim on our own merits as a fully freed nation. And so the only true Brexit is, as the article points out, a “clean” Brexit. That is, a clean break from the EU instruments. Anything else would not achieve the openly stated goals of the leave campaign and would not fulfil the referendum result. Indeed, I could even see us officially rejoining the EU from such a Norway-like model several years down the line — but without our current opt-outs, such as from the Euro. The lie we’d be sold is, ‘Oh, well, the leaving experiment didn’t work out for us, did it?’ when in reality we would only have left in name, not substance, and thus would have been set-up to fail. Leave Euratom or not, perhaps there is a debate to be had there. But there is no debate that Brexit needs to be clean and requires us to leave the single marker, the customs union, and the EU’s main legal constructs.

For what it is worth, in the short run, there may be some instability, and I am sure that in the future there will be times when the UK is relatively stronger and other times when the EU is doing relatively better. But I have no doubt that over the long run, Brexit will be a resounding success which will not only arouse the jealousy and anger of high European Unionistas, but will also be to their eventual benefit — should they let it, and should we give Brexit that fair chance by opting for a “clean” Brexit.

Here’s the article in full in case the website takes it down at some point.

text above this point only © 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2016-10-05-1475670108-7560650-brexit1.jpg

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https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/biggest-problem-soft-brexit-apos-164052679.html

The biggest problem with Soft Brexit is that it’s not attainable

Liam Halligan

The Telegraph16 September 2017

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<img alt=”The Union flag and the EU flag flying from the same mast above the Summerhall building in Edinburgh – PA” class=”Maw(100%)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/bQOs1eLsDW69F1id95sxyA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-GB/homerun/the_telegraph_818/122ba6583b8d3c46f34cfdb745c3acb5” itemprop=”url”/>

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The Union flag and the EU flag flying from the same mast above the Summerhall building in Edinburgh – PA

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In the first of two extracts from their new book, Liam Halligan and Gerard Lyons say the commonly held belief that Britain would be better off inside the single market and customs union is misconceived

There has been much talk of “Hard Brexit” versus “Soft Brexit”. Such labels are ubiquitous during these Article 50 negotiations – used freely by the broadcast media – yet they are partisan and deeply misleading. Hard Brexit makes leaving the European Union sound extreme and damaging, suggesting isola­tion and a bleak economic future. Soft Brexit, conversely, conveys a comfortable, ongoing relationship with the EU, with Britain still “part of the club”.

Leaving the single market and the customs union isn’t Hard Brexit – even if the name is deliberately coined to sound painful. It is simply Brexit. Staying inside the EU’s two main legal constructs, meanwhile, isn’t a harmonious Soft Brexit. It amounts, instead, to a deliberate and cynical failure to implement the 2016 referendum result.

A political narrative has developed that Britain would clearly be far better off staying inside the single market and customs union. As such, anyone wanting to actually implement Brexit, by leaving both, is seen to be obsessed only with sovereignty and immigration – and prepared for the economy to suffer, as long as they get their way.

Remaining a member of the single market and/or the customs union, in contrast, is presented as an enlightened “Soft Brexit” compromise, a balance between the Leave side’s “hard” ide­ology and Remain campaigners’ common sense. These are the terms of the UK’s Brexit debate, as viewed by much of our political and media class as we enter the autumn of 2017 and these EU negotiations heat up. Yet they are wrong on every level.

Soft-headed

Many Parliamentarians say they “respect the referendum result” but want “Soft Brexit”. Attempting to negotiate such an outcome, though, would seriously damage the UK, the EU and the vital ongoing relationship between them.

Soft Brexit would leave Britain in a dangerous halfway house. Inside the single market, the UK would become a “rule-taker” – still subject to rulings of the highly politicised European Court of Justice. We would be bound by huge restrictions on our economic and political freedom, but no longer able to vote on or influence those rules, even if they were changed to Britain’s disadvantage.

And, of course, single market membership would mean continued multi-billion pound annual payments to Brussels and “freedom of movement”. This isn’t Brexit ­­– and would be viewed by millions of voters as an affront to the referendum result.

The economic benefits of single market “membership” are, anyway, wildly overstated and may even be negative. Membership means all UK firms – including the 95pc that don’t export to the EU – must comply with often unnecessary and expensive EU rules. Also, the single market in services barely exists, despite much rhetoric to the contrary. Many EU nations refuse to drop barriers to imports of certain services – which severely penalises the UK, the world’s second-largest services exporter.

<img alt=”Prime Minister Theresa May – Credit: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth” class=”Maw(100%)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/eRwJzIyOMXGlA5R.SS9QNQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-GB/homerun/the_telegraph_818/b4abf67a9cafdc8e344f742f012a3ec2” itemprop=”url”/>

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Prime Minister Theresa May Credit: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

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We don’t need to be “in” the single market to trade with the EU. The US conducted almost a quarter of a trillion dollars of EU trade in 2016 from outside – without accepting ECJ jurisdiction, freedom of movement or making large annual payments. The UK can do the same. If Britain cuts an EU free-trade agreement, tariff-free trade can continue.

If not, we can trade with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules, paying relatively low tariffs – as does the US, China, Japan and every other major non-EU economy.

Since 1999, the share of UK trade with the EU has fallen from 61pc to just over 40pc. If the single market is so good for the UK, why do we trade less with the EU than with the rest of the world? Why is our EU trade shrinking and our non-EU trade expanding? Why do we have a large deficit on our EU trade, but a sizeable surplus on our trade outside the EU?

Being inside the EU’s customs union is also wrongly presented as economic nirvana. Membership means the UK must charge tariffs on non-EU goods. So British shoppers are paying more for a range of imports, including food, often to shield uncompetitive producers in other EU states from cheaper global prices.

And because 80pc of these tariffs are sent to Brussels, and the UK does more non-EU trade than any other EU member, Britain accounts for an unfairly high share of the EU’s combined tariff revenues. Again, this burden is shouldered by consumers.

<img alt=”The UK does more non-EU trade than any other EU member – Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images” class=”Maw(100%)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/sVSy5ZFk8B5sO9N4ERPCkw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-GB/homerun/the_telegraph_818/138cbbe115793d4a93b8e5d8c2765155” itemprop=”url”/>

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The UK does more non-EU trade than any other EU member Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

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Customs union membership also prevents Britain from striking trade deals with nations outside the EU – countries accounting for four-fifths of the global economy. This is a serious disadvantage for the UK, given our deep cultural and historic links with a wide variety of nations. As the global centre of economy gravity shifts decisively east, it is vital for the our future prosperity that Britain engages more with the world’s fastest-growing and most populous markets.

Outside the customs union, the UK is no longer part of the EU’s trade deals with various nations – often presented as a huge sacrifice. Over the 60 years since the EU was founded, though, Brussels has failed to cut a deal with any of the world’s top economies. The EU has no trade agreement with the US, China, India or Japan. (The recent, very preliminary agreement with Tokyo was little more than a press release). The EU’s 50 or so trade deals cover less than 10pc of the global economy, being mostly with tiny countries.

The EU is not well placed to negotiate trade agreements, comprising of numerous member states, often with conflicting objectives. The deals it has struck have also generally favoured French agricultural and German manufacturing exports, rather than UK services. Nations acting alone – such as Switzerland, Singapore and South Korea – have secured far more important trade deals, covering a much bigger share of the global economy, than has the EU.

In 2013, Switzerland struck a trade deal with China after three years of talks – the UK can do the same. Far from being “at the back of the queue”, Britain is well-placed to reach an agreement with the US. And India has shown great interest in a UK trade deal. The sizeable nations that do have EU trade agreements – including Mexico, South Africa and South Korea – have also indicated they want UK-equivalent agreements, providing an opportunity for Britain to modify existing agreements to our advantage.

While Soft Brexit is often presented as liberal and progressive, the single market promotes the interests of producers over consumers while entrenching the advantages of large corporations – which are far better able than smaller rivals to handle the complex regulation. Freedom of movement rules provide big firms with a ready stream of cheap, easily exploitable labour, while suppressing the wages of the UK’s most financially insecure workers. The single market also facilitates large-scale corporate tax avoidance.

The customs union, meanwhile, is a bad deal for UK consumers. On top of that, the EU’s tariff wall, particularly on agricultural goods, combined with the ghastly Common Agricultural Policy, severely hinders the development of many of the world’s poorest countries.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Soft Brexit is that it is unobtainable. Back in December 2016, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said: “The single market and its four freedoms are indivisible – cherry-picking is not an option.” Yet this is precisely what the Soft Brexiteers are attempting, breaching EU rules by seeking single market membership along with a special dispensation from freedom of movement that no other country has.

That’s why “Soft Brexit” will actually end up being “Messy Brexit”. Pushing for this outcome puts the UK in direct and absolute conflict with the EU’s core principles – which, if seriously breached, could tear the bloc apart, as others demand the same deal. The most likely Soft Brexit outcome would be a diplomatic stand-off, along with chronic uncertainty for citizens, investors and businesses, risking serious economic and political damage.

<img alt=”A pro-Brexit demonstration outside parliament – Credit: Charlotte Ball/PA Wire” class=”Maw(100%)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/tXQmEjm9XKb5FAHp2gsz1Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-GB/homerun/the_telegraph_818/3b2232c1c12b909a3ed3168ec2189de3” itemprop=”url”/>

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A pro-Brexit demonstration outside parliament Credit: Charlotte Ball/PA Wire

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In late July 2017, this point was made with devastating clarity by Fabian Zuleeg, a policy analyst closely linked to the European Commission.

“What is missing in these discussions is a real appreciation of the view from the other side of the Channel,” said Zuleeg. “Allowing cherry-picking of benefits would act as a signal to others that a Europe à la carte is obtainable, opening the Pandora’s box of disintegration.”

That’s why Theresa May did the right thing in her Lancaster House speech in January 2017 – confirming from the outset that Britain wants to leave both the single market and customs union. We call this approach “Clean Brexit”.

This allows the UK quickly to take control of sensitive issues relating to our borders, laws and trade – because we are not negotiating over such issues in a bid to stay inside any EU legal construct. Knowing we will be outside both the single market and customs union from the outset also gives Britain time to prepare ahead of March 2019 when we leave the EU – creating new facilities for cross-Channel customs clearance, for instance.

By avoiding cherry-picking, Clean Brexit is better for Britain, the EU and their broader relationship – with the UK not trying to upend EU rules, increasing the chances of ongoing UK-EU co-operation across a range of headings. Soft Brexit, in contrast, attempting to trade off single market membership against freedom of movement rules, would maximise “cliff-edge” dangers and business uncertainty – and could result in a disastrous diplomatic stalemate, while risking a systemic crisis.

A strong hand

Despite widespread negativity, the UK has a strong hand to play in these Article 50 negotiations. Our £69bn EU trade deficit represents profits and jobs across tens of thousands of EU firms. Germany ran a UK goods surplus of £32bn in 2016. Powerful business interests have much to lose if Britain imposes tariffs on such exports. The BDI German employers’ union says it would be “very, very foolish” for the EU to impose high trade barriers against the UK. BDI represents around 100,000 companies, employing one fifth of the workforce.

France is sometimes portrayed as wanting to “punish” the UK for leaving the EU. President Macron has described Brexit as a “crime”, vowing to take an uncompromising approach to deter other member states from “killing the European idea”. Yet, for French farmers and winemakers, the UK is a huge market. Numerous French firms, and the French government itself, have strong commercial interests in Britain, with investments across sectors including transport, automotive manufacturing and nuclear power. The Netherlands will also want a zero-tariff deal with Britain so Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, remains a UK trade hub.

While European president Jean-Claude Juncker beats his chest and issues fiery rhet­oric, influential business groups are determined to limit trade restrictions between the UK and the Continent. By declaring Clean Brexit, maintaining we’ll be outside the single market and the customs union, Britain benefits from powerful EU business lobbies urging their governments to strike a favourable UK trade deal, know­ing they’ll otherwise face reciprocated WTO tariffs.

<img alt=”European president Jean-Claude Juncker – Credit: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET” class=”Maw(100%)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/jjzUcPLUS3eXe8YimbPYig–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-GB/homerun/the_telegraph_818/3c6e11d1ae7423e0640cfcf66dc6c6b5” itemprop=”url”/>

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European president Jean-Claude Juncker Credit: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

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Ideally, the UK will agree what Theresa May has described as a “deep and comprehensive” EU free trade deal during the Article 50 period. Yet, settling a complex, multi-sector agreement with 27 governments, which must then be ratified by national parliaments and the European parliament, is probably impossible ahead of March 2019. That’s why the UK must prepare to trade under WTO rules, reoccupying our seat at the Geneva-based trade court and adopting our own tariff schedules.

Trading under WTO rules is often portrayed as a disaster. Yet most trade across the globe is conducted largely under WTO rules. The US and other leading economies trade with the EU on this basis, with each side paying tariffs that are generally very low. As such, it is by no means essential for the UK to strike a free-trade agreement with the EU ahead of March 2019. Failing to grasp this amounts to a major strategic error.

“No deal really is better than a bad deal.” The UK should state this clearly and often. “No deal” simply means we don’t strike an EU free trade agreement before March 2019 – which actually brings benefits. Under “no deal”, Britain’s EU trade deficit would generate substantial net tariff revenues, which could be used to compensate UK exporters.

More fundamentally, negotiating up against a hard deadline means the terms of any resulting agreement, which we must live with for years, would be far worse than a deal settled under less time pressure – once the Article 50 deadline has passed. Unless “no deal” is seen as a viable option, though, the UK’s negotiating hand will be seriously undermined – so all preparations must be made now to trade under WTO rules.

WTO rules are portrayed as “crashing out of the EU” to pressure the UK to accept an unfavourable trade deal before Article 50 expires. Yet “no deal” is an entirely coherent position and satisfactory outcome for Britain. Trading under WTO rules will provide a platform to strike a better long-term EU trade agreement, on our terms and in our own time, after Brexit has happened. The EU has even more incentive to do that than Britain, given its large UK trade surplus.

Accepting “no deal” on trade is not the same as “just walking away” – which means failing to settle administrative issues such as the mutual recognition agreements on goods that facilitate trade. No one is advocating this. It is unthinkable that existing and uncontroversial EU protocols granted to countless other non-EU members would not apply to the UK, not least as we leave the EU fully compliant. For Brussels to deny Britain such rights would breach both WTO and EU law, while incensing EU businesses and voters by threatening billions of euros of profit and countless EU jobs.

The UK will, of course, continue to trade and collaborate with the EU ex­tensively after Brexit. Complaints that we are “cutting ourselves off” or “pulling up the drawbridge” are infantile and absurd. With a hung parliament, though, and the Conservatives vulnerable in the Commons and the Lords, the Soft Brexiteers sense this is their moment.

Far from “respecting the referendum result”, they are promoting an unobtainable outcome and sowing parliamentary chaos. Their aim is nothing less than to reverse the June 2016 referendum and, in doing so, topple the Government.

‘Clean Brexit – How to make a success of leaving the EU’ by Liam Halligan and Gerard Lyons is published by Biteback Publishing at £20.00. To order your copy visit books.telegraph.co.uk

The SNP are Opportunistic Scum @theSNP @NicolaSturgeon #IndyRef2

… the SNP and Scotland are not the same thing …

I am a unionist … but I am a democrat above all else … if Scotland wanted to leave the UK, then it is undeniably right that they should leave … Yet now demonstrably is not the time for another referendum.

I’ve lost all respect for the Scottish National Party. They are acting like opportunistic, hateful scum. None-the-less, I still 100% respect the idea of Scottish Independence; let’s not conflate the SNP and Scotland, as if they were the same thing, even though Sturgeon and her motley crew keep trying to blur the distinction.

I want to be clear about something.

Yes, I am a unionist and believe that the four nations of the UK are better off together. However, I am a democrat above all else. And even though it would break my heart, if Scotland wanted to leave the UK, then it is undeniably right that they should leave, although I would bid them adieu with a tear and a friendly handshake. See my posts about the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum for more about my views.

But now demonstrably is not the time for another referendum. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon talks about the “democratic outrage” of not being allowed to hold another independence reference by 2018-2019. But I think the only outrage is her behaviour and that of other SNP top brass.

Let’s get real.

  1. The official logic of a 2018-2019 Scottish Referendum is that Scotland will remain in the EU if it leaves the UK before the UK leaves the EU. However, this “logic” is horseshit and has been repeatedly shot down by everyone in the EU. The United Kingdom has membership of the EU, and Scotland would not inherit the UK’s membership. Therefore, Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU even if it seceded from the UK but the rest of the UK remained in!
  2. Scotland knew that there would be an EU referendum and therefore knew that if it voted to remain in the UK, there would be the very real possibility that that would mean leaving the EU. Therefore, material circumstances haven’t changed in quite the way the SNP claim.
  3. It is plainly absurd for any Scottish Independence Referendum to be held before (1) we had left the EU, and (2) before the dust had settled. The SNP said this referendum was once in a lifetime; what, the lifetime of a gerbil? Wait for the UK to leave, and for the dust to settle, and then the Westminster government should be totally open to a new referendum.
  4. I wonder, though, if the SNP would be pressing for a second referendum in 2018-2019 if Scotland had voted to leave the UK… you know, just to make sure — after all, Brexit means circumstances have changed…
  5. The UK got opt-outs, and Sweden et al joined way back when. Any new member of the EU would have to adopt the Euro. Sorry, but that’s a fact. An “independent” Scotland in the EU would also be in the Euro.
  6. I still cannot grasp the fundamental logic of the SNP position, in any case: being 8% of the population of the UK, with 9% of the seats in the Commons, and one of four member states, is worse than what would be 1% of the population of the EU, with around 1.6% of the seats, and one of 28 member states…!!? This smacks of serious anti-English bias in the SNP leadership (not amongst members, though, who are mostly just patriotic Scots, not English-haters).

In short, the Scots are a nation and not a county of England — as Alex Salmond absurdly recently claimed is the opinion of those against doing IndyRef2 in the SNP’s timeframe of 2018-2019. And thus, they have absolutely the moral right to another referendum. Luckily, the UK government is more enlightened than, say, the Spanish government, and we’re happy to give a binding referendum to Scotland. But this timeframe of 2018-2019 is absurd. It is political opportunism. Let’s wait until the next parliament. If there is wide enough support for another referendum, then let’s crack on with Indy Ref 2!

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/JMGMGAzWY2_0pSOjbb.xWA–/aD0xMTUyO3c9MjA0ODtzbT0xO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/http://media.zenfs.com/en_uk/News/skynews/472583032-1-2048×1152-20160625-011514-005.jpg

Brexit… Lite? @vote_leave #takecontrol #voteleave #brexit

EUStates

Immediately after the EU Referendum, people were talking about whether we would really leave the EU or not. But now that people have more-or-less accepted the result, everyone is talking about whether we’ll opt for “Brexit Lite” (The Independent, The Scotsman, Digital Look) or full-blown Brexit.

But given the once-in-a-lifetime, Remain or Leave, “you can’t be half-pregnant”, binary nature of this referendum, how could there be a “Brexit Lite“, and what does that even mean? I thought I would pass on the above graphic to bring light to the situation.

The more of those circles you are in, the more locked into the “European Project” you are. Note particularly the circles which read “European Union” and “Eurozone”. But it is very possible to be involved in some parts of European co-operation without being a state of the EU. Brexit-lite would simply mean being outside of the “European Union” (without presumably becoming Eurozone or Schengen Area), but not leaving all of the other circles. Full blown Brexit would presumably be leaving all or almost all the circles. Simple. The question is: which circles will we join or stay in?

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://www.aegee.org/yvote2014/voting-guide/how-does-the-eu-works/