This is castration Brexit, not a soft one. We must fight it.

by Hugo Dixon | 07.07.2018

The prime minister’s Brexit proposal will turn the UK into a eunuch without even protecting 80% of our economy, services. And to get a deal, she’ll have to make more humiliating concessions to the EU.

Theresa May doesn’t just want to follow EU rules on goods. She wants to do the same on competition policy – and is saying she won’t undercut its environmental, social and consumer rules either. That is not taking back control. It is losing control.

We’ll also pay “due regard” to the European Court of Justice when we follow the EU rulebook. There’s no harm in doing that at the moment. We help write the rulebook and have a judge on the court. But doing so without a vote on the rules or a judge will turn us into a quasi-colony.

Meanwhile, the prime minister’s customs wheeze isn’t just a bureaucratic nightmare that won’t be ready for years, if ever. It’s a one-way scheme where we would collect tariffs for the EU but it wouldn’t collect tariffs for us. How is that not becoming what Boris Johnson used to call a “vassal state”?

Trade policy tosh

May is pretending we’ll be able to have an independent trade policy under her proposals. This is tosh.

There’s not much point in doing solo trade deals, mind you, as we’d get bullied by bigger economies such as America and China. At present, we are part of the world’s biggest trade bloc. Nevertheless, the fiction that we can roam the world like Elizabethan buccaneers is the only positive story Brexiters have been able to tell about their moth-eaten project – and now even that doesn’t stack up.

For a start, the prime minister’s “facilitated customs arrangement” (FCA) – pronounced “f*cker” by some wags – will be “phased” in over an unspecified time period. That means we will stay in the EU customs union for the time being, with no freedom to conduct our own trade policy.

Even if her customs wheeze works, we will have to follow EU rules on goods and agriculture in any trade deal we cut with another country. That will severely limit any deals we could do. Trump’s America is already complaining that we wouldn’t be able to import its chlorine-washed chicken and the like. We won’t want to do that, of course. But if we can’t give the big American bully what he wants, why should he give us anything in return?

The most we could do under the FCA would be to copy any deal the EU did but vary the tariffs. The snag is that this is where the one-way nature of what the prime minister is proposing would clobber us. Any country with a deal with the EU would have border-free access to our market, but we wouldn’t have access to its markets. Why would they then bother to sign a deal with us?

…and pigs will fly

Oh, and it’s not as if the prime minister’s proposals will fly with the EU anyway. To get a deal, she’ll have to make at least four more concessions – on money, laws, dumping and food.

  • We will have to pay into the EU’s budget if we are to get access to its market, even just for goods. There’s no harm in paying now as we get to decide how the money is spent. But in future, it will be taxation without representation. Remember the Boston Tea Party?
  • We won’t be able to opt out of any EU laws we don’t like. May’s proposal has some verbiage about how Parliament can choose not to follow the rules and we’d then get less access to the European market. The other countries won’t allow such cherry-picking. They will also firm up up May’s pledge to pay “due regard” to the ECJ’s judgements. So, we’ll end up as rule-takers ad infinitum. How’s that good for a proud nation?
  • The prime minister’s promise not to undercut the EU on social, environmental and consumer policy will become a hard commitment to follow these rules and maybe parts of tax policy too. Of course, we shouldn’t slash and burn regulations. But letting the EU tell us what to do in these areas is the road to serfdom.
  • May pretends we can pull out of the EU’s farming and fishing policies while maintaining free trade in food. Fat chance. The EU won’t let us subsidise our farmers how we want and then allow their produce to be sold freely in its market. It won’t let us stop its boats fishing in our waters but permit us to sell what we catch in its market. To keep the borders open, we’ll have to follow the EU’s farming and fishing policies – but won’t get to shape them. More vassaldom.

We have to fight this

The prime minister is setting us up for a really miserable Brexit. She’s not even asking for free movement of services. So despite accepting we will become a rule-taker, we will end up poorer. We’ll then have less money for public services like the NHS.

This is a castration Brexit that nobody will like. Neither pro-European patriots. Nor Brexiters.

We must fight it. We demand a People’s Vote on the deal – and the right to stay in the EU if the people don’t like it.

Petition: We, The People, demand a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

Click here to sign

12 Responses to “This is castration Brexit, not a soft one. We must fight it.”

  • Do grow up Phil! And make your mind up. One minute the EU is Nazi/Fascist. The next its the EUSSR/Communist. I do wish mouth frothing Brexiters such as yourself would at least do us the courtesy of being consistent.

  • The referendum was advisory only. The government have now explored how leaving the EU might work and have reached the conclusion that crashing out will not work. Neither will May’s proposal satisfy Leavers, Remainers or the EU. The alternative is to stay in the EU with all of its many advantages and maintaing a say in its future direction. They have examined all options and have thereby done their duty by the referendum result (whether or not one regards it as a fair vote anyway).

  • I’d be amazed if the EU go along with this, as it is cherry picking of the Single Market principle in the extreme. Nor should they. It would rob millions of Brits of their travel and movement rights in Europe.
    It also seems to ignore our services sector, which comprises around 80%.
    The reason the hardline Brexiters will go along with it for now is because they know Brussels will not accept it, so it will be easy to blame them when talks break down. All they really want to do is get Theresa May over the finishing line on 29th March 2019, and then they can take over.

  • Phil you appear to be under the misapprehension that the EU is blocking you from walking away without a deal. It isn’t. If you want no deal at all and the UK to fall off an economic, social and political cliff edge that is your privilege. It’s called hubris.

  • @Phil Woods

    You have it wrong mate
    3rd Reich was copyrighted by good old Adolf
    Any way good try to escape from the tired EUSSR

  • Excuse me. I’m Dutch and no part of the Third Reich. Brexit was not the most wise decision your people ever made. Mayby it is the best for all of us to reconsider it.

  • Of course it is still true that this or indeed any other deal that can possibly be negotiated is better than no deal, bearing in mind that “no deal” means no transition period, simply exit from everything in 8 months time – an utter disaster. Bear in mind that the extreme brexiteers actually want this. So we who are against brexit altogether must play our hand carefully. We must start asking “If this is the best we can get is it really worth going on with it?. Surely to goodness staying in the EU must be preferable and the people’s vote is the way to put this to the test.”
    What we must not do is try to join forces with the brexiteers and rubbish everything that May is trying to do. That way we could find them laughing and us crying as we slide into “no deal”.

  • The main reason extreme brexiters want out with no deal is that the EU’s laws regarding the money markets would no longer apply and they would be able to coin it. It is no coincidence that the principle players are all multi-millionaires. Banks with his shady Russian deals, Mogg with his extensive holdings in Russia and Ireland and Farage with his unprincipled currency manipulation. Remember that Soros made his money out of betting on the outcome of the Exchange Rate Mechanism farce (£1bn !!). You and me are the poor suckers caught in the middle. If only the Cameron person had had the balls to tell his backbenchers to go F*** themselves.

  • The astounding thing about the government’s plan is that it has nothing to say about services, most notably banking, which is currently Britain’s biggest export earner.

    Banking, according to AP pays more in tax than Britain spends on defence and it’s about 30 percent (plus) of Britain’s exports.

    Even if the current plan goes well, Britain is looking at national impoverishment. It will be better than crashing out, but Brexit on these terms is likely to mean that living standards will be worse than they’ve been since the 1950s.

  • So – we have to follow the European Standards, but do not get a vote when they change in the future. For this privilege of not voting, we pay £39bn. Hmm – good job we didn’t get a bad deal….

  • So we pay 39 billion to lose our freedom of movement and become an impoverished nation, because some racist liars sent scary leaflets pandering to ignorant muppets and painted weasle worded promises on the sides of buses; that is your deal, eh Mrs May? I don’t think so! #peoplesvote