Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Observer II

Brexit again -

Recommended Posts

My concern is that Juncker timed his answer to be about to the question  ...can we trust you? Then he looked away indicating that was probably a lie anyway. Varadkar clearly did say they wouldn't create a border on the record in the Dail, he has a lot more to lose that just the support of Sinn Fein.

I take this as the question was only whether the electronic alternatives could be got working in time for the end of the transition and Theresa May has suggested that the transition stays until it is working. Can we trust the EU to agree it is working …. not a chance.

Spain have agreed that there is no problem over Gibraltar. So it looks like were off!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Steerpike at the Spectator ref. the Withdrawal Agreement:

The top 40 horrors:

  1. From the offset, we should note that this is an EU text, not a UK or international text. This has one source. The Brexit agreement is written in Brussels.
  2. May says her deal means the UK leaves the EU next March. The Withdrawal Agreement makes a mockery of this. “All references to Member States and competent authorities of Member States…shall be read as including the United Kingdom.” (Art 6). Not quite what most people understand by Brexit. It goes on to spell out that the UK will be in the EU but without any MEPs, a commissioner or ECJ judges. We are effectively a Member State, but we are excused – or, more accurately, excluded – from attending summits. (Article 7)
  3. The European Court of Justice is decreed to be our highest court, governing the entire Agreement – Art. 4. stipulates that both citizens and resident companies can use it. Art 4.2 orders our courts to recognise this. “If the European Commission considers that the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties or under Part Four of this Agreement before the end of the transition period, the European Commission may, within 4 years after the end of the transition period, bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union”. (Art. 87)
  4. The jurisdiction of the ECJ will last until eight years after the end of the transition period. (Article 158).
  5. The UK will still be bound by any future changes to EU law in which it will have no say, not to mention having to comply with current law. (Article 6(2))
  6. Any disputes under the Agreement will be decided by EU law only – one of the most dangerous provisions. (Article 168). This cuts the UK off from International Law, something we’d never do with any foreign body. Arbitration will be governed by the existing procedural rules of the EU law – this is not arbitration as we would commonly understand it (i.e. between two independent parties). (Article 174)
  7. “UNDERLINING that this Agreement is founded on an overall balance of benefits, rights and obligations for the Union and the United Kingdom” No, it should be based upon the binding legal obligations upon the EU contained within Article 50. It is wrong to suggest otherwise.
  8. The tampon tax clause: We obey EU laws on VAT, with no chance of losing the tampon tax even if we agree a better deal in December 2020 because we hereby agree to obey other EU VAT rules for **five years** after the transition period. Current EU rules prohibit 0-rated VAT on products (like tampons) that did not have such exemptions before the country joined the EU.
  9. Several problems with the EU’s definitions: “Union law” is too widely defined and “United Kingdom national” is defined by the Lisbon Treaty: we should given away our right to define our citizens. The “goods” and the term “services” we are promised the deal are not defined – or, rather, will be defined however the EU wishes them to be. Thus far, this a non-defined term so far. This agreement fails to define it.
  10. The Mandelson Pension Clause: The UK must promise never to tax former EU officials based here – such as Peter Mandelson or Neil Kinnock – on their E.U. pensions, or tax any current Brussels bureaucrats on their salaries. The EU and its employees are to be immune to our tax laws. (Article 104)
  11. Furthermore, the UK agrees not to prosecute EU employees who are, or who might be deemed in future, criminals (Art.101)
  12. The GDPR clause. The General Data Protection Regulation – the EU’s stupidest law ever? – is to be bound into UK law (Articles 71 to 73). There had been an expectation in some quarters that the UK could get out of it.
  13. The UK establishes a ‘Joint Committee’ with EU representatives to guarantee ‘the implementation and application of this Agreement’. This does not sound like a withdrawal agreement – if it was, why would it need to be subject to continued monitoring? (Article 164). This Joint Committee will have subcommittees with jurisdiction over: (a) citizens’ rights; (b) “other separation provisions”; (c) Ireland/Northern Ireland; (d) Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus; (e) Gibraltar; and (f) financial provisions. (Article 165)
  14. The Lifetime clause: the agreement will last as long as the country’s youngest baby lives. “the persons covered by this Part shall enjoy the rights provided for in the relevant Titles of this Part for their lifetime”. (Article 39).
  15. The UK is shut out of all EU networks and databases for security – yet no such provision exists to shut the EU out of ours. (Article 8)
  16. The UK will tied to EU foreign policy, “bound by the obligations stemming from the international agreements concluded by the Union” but unable to influence such decisions. (Article 124)
  17. All EU citizens must be given permanent right of residence after five years – but what counts as residence? This will be decided by the EU, rather than UK rules. (Articles 15-16)
  18. Britain is granted the power to send a civil servant to Brussels to watch them pass stupid laws which will hurt our economy. (Article 34)
  19. The UK agrees to spend taxpayers’ money telling everyone how wonderful the agreement is. (Article 37)
  20. Art 40 defines Goods. It seems to includes Services and Agriculture. We may come to discover that actually ‘goods’ means everything.
  21. Articles 40-49 practically mandate the UK’s ongoing membership of the Customs Union in all but name.
  22. The UK will be charged to receive the data/information we need in order to comply with EU law. (Article 50)
  23. The EU will continue to set rules for UK intellectual property law (Article 54 to 61)
  24. The UK will effectively be bound by a non-disclosure agreement swearing us to secrecy regarding any EU developments we have paid to be part. This is not mutual. The EU is not bound by such measures. (Article 74)
  25. The UK is bound by EU rules on procurement rules – which effectively forbids us from seeking better deals elsewhere. (Articles 75 to 78)
  26. We give up all rights to any data the EU made with our money (Art. 103)
  27. The EU decide capital projects (too broadly defined) the UK is liable for. (Art. 144)
  28. The UK is bound by EU state aid laws until future agreement – even in the event of an agreement, this must wait four years to be valid. (Article 93)
  29. Similar advantages and immunities are extended to all former MEPs and to former EU official more generally. (Articles 106-116)
  30. The UK is forbidden from revealing anything the EU told us or tells us about the finer points of deal and its operation. (Article 105).
  31. Any powers the UK parliament might have had to mitigate EU law are officially removed. (Article 128)
  32. The UK shall be liable for any “outstanding commitments” after 2022 (Article 142(2) expressly mentions pensions, which gives us an idea as to who probably negotiated this). The amount owed will be calculated by the EU. (Articles 140-142)
  33. The UK will be liable for future EU lending. As anyone familiar with the EU’s financials knows, this is not good. (Article143)
  34. The UK will remain liable for capital projects approved by the European Investment Bank. (Article 150).
  35. The UK will remain a ‘party’ (i.e. cough up money) for the European Development Fund. (Articles 152-154)
  36. And the EU continues to calculate how much money the UK should pay it. So thank goodness Brussels does not have any accountancy issues.
  37. The UK will remain bound (i.e coughing up money) to the European Union Emergency Trust Fund – which deals with irregular migration (i.e. refugees) and displaced persons heading to Europe. (Article 155)
  38. The agreement will be policed by ‘the Authority’ – a new UK-based body with ‘powers equivalent to those of the European Commission’. (Article 159)
  39. The EU admits, in Art. 184, that it is in breach of  Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which oblige it to “conclude an agreement” of the terms of UK leaving the EU. We must now, it seems, “negotiate expeditiously the agreements governing their future relationship.” And if the EU does not? We settle down to this Agreement.
  40. And, of course, the UK will agree to pay £40bn to receive all of these ‘privileges’. (Article 138)

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What has always puzzled me is the way that the UK hangs on to the coat tails of every EU law. Other EU countries pick & choose which laws suit them.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here for your delight and delectation, 26 pages of vague waffle from our political leaders:

https://www.scribd.com/document/393862301/Political-Declaration#fullscreen&from_embed

When reading it, imagine it is being delivered by Treeza May in her best schoolmarm tones. You'll probably be asleep before page 10 🙄.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That declaration is close to cake and eat it. When someone tells you it leaves us subject to the ECJ after we leave it is because they can't read! I'm sorry Asp but I have had to read many EU Directives and Regulations over the years and it isn't waffle. You can expect the parties to hold the ideas in it as the terms of reference during the negotiations with any variation needing joint agreement during the six monthly meetings. It is the draft recitals for the many agreements which will be needed after 29th May next and it is way better than no deal could ever be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given your reading aptitude Con; perhaps you could quote the relevant clauses that show -  1) We will no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ after 29th March. 2) That the border backstop will not be legally binding , and that we can unilaterally discard it.   3) That our fishing rights and areas of control will revert to the pre-membership status, in other words not accessible to other EU fishermen.  4) That following the payment of the £53 billion, all fiscal obligations to the EU cease.  ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is clear that you do not see that documents like this have to be read with empathy. Paragraphs 4 and 19 are relevant to your questions, but you will need to read the whole thing and if you don't I will not answer random and fundamentally argumentative questions. The only mention of the ECJ (search for CJEU in the text) are about dispute resolution where if the interpretation of EU law (which we will need to be equivalent to as a result of future negotiations - for example on the equivalence of Data Protections standards to allow data to be held in the UK for EU citizens)  differs between the parties the correct interpretation will be the one of the ECJ. The interpretation of UK law is subject to the Supreme Court and always has been. The supremacy of EU was never really about this kind of point, but there is a change even here because the Supreme Court or a Lower used to have to ask for a ruling from the ECJ and the Withdraw Act stops that and the future agreement only applies to the dispute panel. In effect the ECJ ceases to have a day to day role in the future arrangements.

The Border backstop will be legally binding if it enters force, that is in the Withdrawal agreement but paragraph 19 says that the Parties recall their determination to replace the backstop with an agreement". That agreement is the subject of the political statement.

As for point 3 the Fishing - Chapter 12 on fishing Opportunities only exists because we have agreed to discuss it which is necessary because it otherwise does indeed revert to pre-membership status at the end of the transition period. Remember the transition period is to prevent cliff-edges whilst the future relationship is negotiated.

Point 4 the future discussions will include possible participation in EU programs such as Research Programmes post transition, as well as arrangements with the Medicines Agency and the Aviation Security Agency ( for the single European Skies project which is require to be cross-continent) all of which would entail further contributions in return for benefits to the UK. The days of contribution the fund for regional development end with the Withdrawal Bill settlement.

All of this is in the Withdrawal Agreement, the political Declaration and the Withdrawal Act but you haven't read and rely on the stuff in the media which is intended to stir up trouble. Yo also have to read it without expecting the "enemy" to declare unconditional surrender and treating them with respect.

Most of the questions asked of Theresa May in the Commons today amounted to "can you confirm the outcome of future negotiations", you see how utterly childish that is.

The Leavers and behaving just as totally unreasonably as the remainers and both sides need to grow and come into the real world. The Political Declaration shows an unwillingness by the EU to get to no deal and I do not see why any reasonable person would want to go there just because the EU tried to fight its own corner.

I get that you don't like this opinion but it is the one I have and I don't see why I have to justify it whilst those at the extremes just parrot remain and leave sound bites.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly sounds good in legalese, the only problem is, the fine print tends to get read, only when a dispute arises and you discover you were sold a pup.  However, looking at Parliament, it would seem for various partisan reasons they'll be scotching this deal and hoping either for no deal or another referendum, depending on which side of the polarised argument you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all looks like kicking the can down the road and boring everyone into submission zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"When you are up to your arse with alligators it is difficult to remember that the object of the exercise was to drain the swamp"

At the time of the referendum the majority of the UK's population hadn't a clue what they were voting for and the burning issue at the time appeared to be taking control of our own borders thus preventing the influx of foreign nationals into the country which I believe has since appeared to have been lost in the mist of time, if Tragic Theresa gets her way will we effectively take control of our borders or not?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, algy said:

"When you are up to your arse with alligators it is difficult to remember that the object of the exercise was to drain the swamp"

At the time of the referendum the majority of the UK's population hadn't a clue what they were voting for and the burning issue at the time appeared to be taking control of our own borders thus preventing the influx of foreign nationals into the country which I believe has since appeared to have been lost in the mist of time, if Tragic Theresa gets her way will we effectively take control of our borders or not?.

Paragraph 4 of the Political Statement says: "The future relationship will be based on a balance of rights and obligations, taking into account the principles of each Party. This balance must ensure the autonomy of the Union’s decision making and be consistent with the Union’s principles, in particular with respect to the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union and the indivisibility of the four freedoms. It must also ensure the sovereignty of the United Kingdom and the protection of its internal market, while respecting the result of the 2016 referendum including with regard to the development of its independent trade policy and the ending of free movement of people between the Union and the United Kingdom. "

(Bolding mine) This paragraph is at the start of the agreement which is intended to show its importance. The chattering idiots may have lost sight of the key points but the negotiators did not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happens when a coach load of whatever nationalities arrive by ferry in Dublin then drive to across the 'soft' border to Belfast and arrive in Holyhead  to wander willy nilly where ever they wish, how will that be controlled?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Algy, what do you think will have changed? Ireland are not in Schengen so a EU/Schengen visa is not valid and there are checks on journeys by ferry and air into Ireland. Oh, and the border has always been soft if you wanted it to be!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listening to a Corbynesta on the Andrew Niell show last night, it seems there's a growing realisation on the left, that unless we completely sever the bonds to the EU, their dreams of a socialist State, with full on nationalisation, won't be realised - perhaps Jeremy already knows this !     😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×