The White Paper was published yesterday, amidst unprecedented scenes in the HoC. Do remember that Ms May showed the text to Ms Merkel first – even before she showed it to her Cabinet! Here it is.
High calibre journalists have put their knives in it already (see e.g. here) and so has President Trump. I’ve restricted myself to the “Executive Summary”. That was all I could take of that obfuscating waffle. Here are the main quotes, with my opinion (a.k.a. ’angry rant’) added, starting with the preamble:
“The Government will have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum – the biggest democratic exercise in this country’s history. And it will have reached a key milestone in its principal mission – to build a country that works for everyone. A country that is stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking.”
This is just a manifesto-text! This is motherhood-and-apple-pie! I wonder why they didn’t throw in a reference to the NHS as well. The first sentence shows that it’s a pious hope. We all know May will not have delivered anything near to what we voted for! Next,
“A detailed vision”
Oh no – not a ‘vision’! The late German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt once said that politicians who have visions should go and see their doctor. I couldn’t agree more! And look at the next sentence:
“To fulfil that mission, the Government is advancing a detailed proposal for a principled and practical Brexit.”
From vision to mission – and these are the ‘pragmatists’? This is PR marketing speech! Then we get to the explanations:
“A principled Brexit – A principled Brexit means respecting the result of the referendum and the decision of the UK public to take back control of the UK’s laws, borders and money”
Indeed yes! But then comes this:
“A new relationship – Guided by these principles, the Government is determined to build a new relationship that works for both the UK and the EU. One which sees the UK leave the Single Market and the Customs Union to seize new opportunities and forge a new role in the world, while protecting jobs, supporting growth and maintaining security cooperation.”
Yeah, that’s a vision all right, a ‘determined’ vision even, pressing all the right buttons like ‘Customs Union’ and ‘Single Market’, in the hope nobody will look at what they actually mean by it. Next:
“Economic partnership – In designing the new trading relationship, the UK and the EU should therefore focus on ensuring continued frictionless access at the border to each other’s markets for goods. […]”
Ah – the ‘frictionless access’, that latest excrescence of NewSpeak. It’s a literal translation from the German ‘reibungslos’!
What’s wrong with ‘smooth’? Or ‘trouble-free’? Too English? Has trade with non-EU countries not run trouble-free? Where there, gasp, ‘frictions’? How come we never noticed? Then we have this:
“Security partnership – Europe’s security has been and will remain the UK’s security, which is why the Government has made an unconditional commitment to maintain it. […] On this basis, the Government’s vision is for a security partnership that includes: […]”
Another ‘vision’! We’ve not forgotten the EU telling us that we’ll be out of the joint Galileo Project, never mind having developed and paid for it, or that we’ll be out of their security operations because we’ll be ‘a third country’ – but we do remember that the EU will still demand that we pay for all, regardless. Next:
“Cross-cutting and other cooperation – Finally, the Government believes the future relationship should include areas of cooperation […] These include: personal data protection […]”
“Personal data protection” – we know that any EU ‘updates’ to the GDPR will be faithfully implemented by our government, whichever Brexit there is. Therefore our fight to change the EU Copyright Directive, especially the infamous Article 13 which will kill Free Speech and the internet, will have to continue!
So that was the ‘Principled Brexit’ – full of fluffy ‘vision & mission’ statements which may please M Barnier because they’re meaningless. Next, we “make progress” to:
“A practical Brexit – To deliver the kind of practical relationship needed to secure prosperity for the UK and the EU, and maintain the security of UK and EU citizens, both sides will need to be confident they can trust and rely on the commitments made to each other. […]”
More obfuscating PR speak at it’s finest! Who wouldn’t want this! It’s what used to be called high-falutin’ gobble-de-gook, it’s language designed on purpose to sound good while meaning nothing at all – well, certainly not to anyone who isn’t a politician out canvassing! There’s worse:
“These arrangements, which could take the form of an Association Agreement, would ensure the new settlement is sustainable – working for the citizens of the UK and the EU now and in the future.[…]”
Oh – ‘sustainable’, that had to come in somewhere! But: Association Agreement? That’s not what we voted for!
This would be for some future government to look at, to see if it’s suitable, after we’ve been OUT and stood on our own two feet. Who knows, perhaps the EU might, in a few years’ time, come knocking on our door and ask if we’d allow them to associate with us?
Please do read Martin Howe QC’s interpretation here, where he explains that such ‘Association Agreement’ means that our ‘relationship’ with the EU would put us on the same footing as Moldova!
And here’s the bit which will tie us to the ECJ and thus the EU forever:
“[…] accommodating [these arrangements] through a joint reference procedure the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union as the interpreter of EU rules, but founded on the principle that the court of one party cannot resolve disputes between the two.”
See Mr Martin Howe QC’s exemplary rejection of this point in his text linked to above. This is a legal impossibility and would indeed turn us into a EU vassal state. MSM critics have also used Mr Howe’s critical assessment, so do read it! Finally:
“Moving forward – The Government believes this proposal for a principled and practical Brexit is the right one – for the UK and for the EU. […] On the basis of this proposal, the Government will now charge the UK’s negotiating team to engage with the EU’s at pace, working to reach a substantive agreement on the Future Framework alongside the Withdrawal Agreement later this year.”
Of course, ‘Moving forward’, the expression so beloved by Tony Blair! That couldn’t possibly have been left out! And we’ll rest assured the Oilly Robbins, supported by Turncoat Raab, will reach a fine, final agreement with M Barnier!
So let’s move forward – to ‘later this year’, which will be the Brexit Summit in October. In the meantime there are the summer holidays – even in the EU – and then Conference season. Ms May will be made to cling on because for the Tories, even the Brexit Tories, even the sainted Jacob Rees-Mogg, keeping her in is all that matters.
Forget Brexit – the first sounds of ‘better this than nothing’ are already being heard. We’re hearing pleas for people to join the Tories so as to either keep or not keep Ms May. The Chief Whip is now telling MPs to please not send letters to the 1922 Committee because Ms May’s government must not be shaken up.
This is what has become of our vote, which the government promised to implement in their infamous Brexit brochure: a political plaything to keep May and the Tories in. We, the people, be damned: we don’ t need to play any part in this any longer.
Well, to the devil with that!
Go out and tell your Remain MPs what will happen if they keep May and ‘deliver’ this travesty of Brexit!
Put the frighteners on them and tell them that inexorably, thanks to May, UKIP is now riding the tsunami of public opinion!
We want the Brexit we voted for – if they don’t deliver, this time UKIP will!