BREXIT SELL-OUT: Britain set to become ‘EU colony’ with ‘grotesque’ trade deal | UK | News (Reports)

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The report by the influential Centre for Brexit Policy (CBP), led by senior Tory MPs and Brexiteers, highlights 12 areas in which the UK Government will fail because of the Withdrawal Agreement signed in January.

The major stumbling block is that the UK has already agreed a Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and an associated Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) with the EU that makes it near impossible for it now to achieve a future relationship on a par with the freedoms granted in the Canadian deal.

The CBP report points out that with the WA the UK is already committed to applying EU State aid law in Northern Ireland and, in certain circumstances, to the whole of Great Britain – Canada is not subject to EU State aid law.

It also warns that the UK must obey rulings from the European Court of Justice – unlike Canada – and is under pressure to concede EU access to its fishing waters.

The UK must prioritise EU law in its courts – unlike Canada and is liable for many years for penalties for breaches of EU law.

The report warns Boris Johnson will fail that Boris Johnson will fail to get a Canada-style deal (Image: Getty)

The authors claim that the UK must also apply EU single market law to goods produced in Northern Ireland – Canada has the same regulatory regime for all its Provinces.

The report notes that the UK must apply tariffs and regulatory checks on goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland and sales of UK financial and professional services into the EU are not liberalised despite services being the UK’s greatest trading strength while Canada gets some extra freedoms.

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The thinktank described UK’s tariff concessions to the EU as “grotesque” while Canada’s are balanced and it says the UK is not allowed to conduct its own tests on goods for export to the EU – unlike Canada.

The UK is tightly bound by rules of origin for exports and according to reports is on course to sign up to a “single institutional framework” covering all aspects of UK-EU relations, for example security cooperation and extradition.

Former Brexit Party MEP John Longworth, director-general of the CBP said: “In Europe, the devil is always in the detail.

The CBP has identified Boris’s dirty dozen – the 12 reasons why the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and the NI Protocol (NIP) create massive obstacles to our ever agreeing a trade arrangement with the EU that matches the one achieved by the Canadians.

They may be 3,000 miles from Europe, but they are much closer than us to having a deal respecting the independence of both parties.

“The WA/NIP contain poison pills that make it an unacceptable basis for finalising the terms of our departure from the EU. If we stick with the WA/NIP, we may never fully take back take back control. Instead, we will find that we are entangled in EU law for years to come. We will be under a legal international duty to pay them fines and bailouts and comply with their rules in key areas such as checks on traded goods, product standards, access to our fishing grounds, and subsidies for our industries, especially vital in the time of Covid.

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Sir Iain Duncan Smith

Sir Iain Duncan Smith believes a Canada-style deal for the UK would be a ‘great result’ (Image: Getty)

“On top of that, the proposed trade arrangement is totally unbalanced. It does nothing for our economic strong-point – sales of financial and professional services – while safeguarding the EU’s trump card, sales of manufactured and agricultural goods into the UK. It is a “win, win” for Brussels.

“Clearly the EU are unwilling to play fair. We should now tear up the WA/NIP and start with a clean sheet of paper modelled on the Canada deal, the Prime Minister’s stated goal.”

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, CBP fellow and former Conservative leader, said: “A genuine Canada-style deal for the UK would be a great result. This paper goes through the fine print to demonstrate that we are on the brink of signing up to the kind of deal a colony of the EU would be ashamed of.”

The CBP report declares: “Right now – even as the negotiations are going on – there are twelve vital reasons why the EU has already ensured that it cannot offer a Canada-style deal at all.

“This is because the UK government has, so far acquiesced in a sequenced negotiating process whereby the Canada-style deal is unobtainable, unless and until the Withdrawal Agreement (and its NIP) is fundamentally altered or rejected… For example, Canada is not subject to ECJ jurisdiction in any form and nor is it subject to EU State aid control.”

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John Longworth

Former Brexit Party MEP John Longworth is now director-general of the CBP (Image: Getty)

“Whilst there is no doubting the Prime Minister’s desire to achieve such a Canada-style deal, if the WA is left in place such an outcome will be all but unachievable. Far from being able to achieve the much vaunted ‘Canada plus, plus’ deal, at best the UK will be able to achieve a ‘Canada minus, minus’ deal.

“It is now time for the UK’s negotiating team, and the ministers to whom they report, to change the ask so as to propose a reasonable, win-win outcome.” 

“Unless all the areas identified in this and an earlier Centre for Brexit Policy paper are stripped out from the WA, the only way to achieve the UK’s ambition is by resiling from the WA/NIP and conducting a negotiation as a sovereign nation, on a par with Canada. . .”

The report explains that the UK is already hamstrung by its past acceptance of the WA and the NIP.  

“As things currently stand – if indeed a deal is done – the UK’s relationship with the EU from 1 January 2021 will be governed by a combination of a ‘future relationship agreement’ (FRA) and the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) with its Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) remaining in force, except to the extent that the FRA might modify them.”

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