A guest slot by Egg
To call it the surrender bill, do you have to truly believe we can pressure the EU into an exit favourable to us by threatening EU with No Deal, or use it with ulterior motive? And is it really a differential, or does it preach to the perverted and those already on board? Let’s get to the bottom of these questions.
First lets analyse why its important to leave No Deal on table in the negotiation. Facing the break of four decades of shared sovereignty, in the space of a few weeks now the two sides will confront decisions that will frame relations for years to come, choices made may determine whether Brexit becomes hostile divorce or a more managed break that keeps a path to reconciliation open. So No Deal on table for negotiation is not intended as an end, but an end to achieve a means that is the best possible deal. With No Deal on the table it means the backstop and the financial settlement are still seriously on the table too to be definitely settled. And only if UK is serious about no deal can it additionally keep benefits to Britain through “mini-deals” on the table and in discussion. Contrary to EU spin, Mini Deals are alive and well, merely renamed as arrangements (such arrangements already put in place covering fish and flying rights with medicine and money to follow.) But is it clear to voters what we are actually agreeing in these mini deals? To what extent are opposition from Farage to Starmer probing them? How much do you know about the agreements already made? For example, EU are gagging for fishing access to UK waters, how much have we surrendered already in that mini deal?
If you logically move this forward, to get the best deal for UK you have to push the deal making to the very point EU membership still has irreplaceable benefits only available to members, and to reach there you need to seriously engage in negotiation. But are we? Because without a serious negotiation what actually is happening, the threat of no deal is forcing UK to surrender too, on financial payments, fishing rights, backstop, etc as we try to mitigate the decoupling.
Because however we approach negotiation we can’t escape the No Deal reality is EU managing implementation of rules that can cause huge disruption to UK trade, such as customs checks or providing authorisations. For example EU has particular sway in the area of agricultural trade. UK exports face 100 per cent checks under EU law after Brexit. But, for this point even to be reached, Brussels must first authorise the UK as “competent” to export to the EU, a decision that might take a day or “maybe a lot longer” depending on the state of relations; by holding back on this authorisation decision, the EU could completely halt Britain’s sales of beef, sheep meat and dairy to the bloc. The challenge EU are meeting well so far in negotiation is taking advantage of all that leverage without doing further harm to EU interests. This is the reality of keeping no deal on the table rather than admit it has to be a deal Brexit for UK: we are actually empowering the EU in the negotiation.
And it has been pointed out again and again, the original campaign in 2016 and the narrow win was not founded upon a No Deal Brexit. It was achieved promising a deal Brexit and all the security that comes with that.
If I were LOTO and asked Boris at PMQs if he truly believes we can pressure EU into a deal favourable to us by threatening them with no deal, and Boris said yes, I would be lost for words. Maybe laugh at the certainty repeating that will eventually destroy him. It’s not just factually preposterous, defying what is actually happening and will continue to happen in any real negotiation, with a bit of work I can also expose it as a lie. Leave no deal on table, you leave yourself open to suspicion you may go for a No Deal Brexit in order to save Brexit from undergoing a second ref, but take no deal off the table you are almost certainly surrendering to the certainty of second ref, where we leave with a deal or not leave at all. For a leaver to leave themselves in that position, a deal they can’t sell or even regard as Brexit, that would be the ultimate ‘surrender’. And that’s the truth why what takes it off the table is being called the Surrender Bill.
This is the anatomy of keeping No Deal on the table. Correct me where I’m wrong.
1. It’s a lie that it provides finality, a ‘clean break’, when it would do nothing of the sort.
2. It’s a lie No Deal on the table favours us, and not EU in negotiation.
3. Its a lie to claim no deal is viable option for UK, the actual truth is it’s said to avoid admitting the only choice is a deal Brexit or no Brexit at all.
4. And as Boris would say the real kicker, are those now calling others surrender monkeys themselves surrendering ground in negotiations, such as the mini deal on fisheries?