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Transition to Permanent EU Vassal State

The United Kingdom appears to be moving inexorably towards being a permanent European Union (EU) Vassal State. Recent speeches and other statements by Mrs May and Mr Davis point strongly to this being the most likely outcome from their handling of the Brexit (or Article 50) negotiations, and inability to understand exactly how the EU works.  Yet it is only by analysing the totally and implications of what they did and did not say that the truth emerges.

Mr Davis, reiterating Mrs May’s decision to leave the Single Market, in his Teesport Speech: Implementation Period – A bridge to the future partnership between the UK & EU of the 26th January 2018 said:

“While the aim of the implementation period is to provide certainty and continuity, we must keep sight of the fact that this is a bridge to a new future partnership.Where, crucially, the United Kingdom is outside of the single market, and outside of the customs union.”

During subsequent comments he added:

“We want a good Brexit for business and a good Brexit for the British people and we will deliver that on a frictionless access to the Single Market and a freedom political and an economic freedom for the future.”

Clearly there is a contradiction here – it is not possible to have frictionless access whilst being outside the Single Market (or the European Economic Area, EEA) and being a ‘third country’ as noted by the EU’s chief negotiator, Mr Barnier, saying on several occasions  for example :

“A trade relationship with a country that does not belong to the European Union obviously involves frictions.”

Frictionless trade between members of the Single Market (and European Economic Area, EEA) occurs because of a common set of rules, regulations, processes or procedures, enforcement and overall EU surveillance. Accessing the EEA from outside its external borders involves complying with regulations, inspections and testing, processes and procedures, external tariffs, customs checks/clearance, VAT etc. intended for dealing with ‘third countries’.  These measures manage risks involved with ‘imports’ and sometimes are protectionist.  

The transition period (aka implementation period) clearly places this country into the status of a powerless EU Vassal State as explained here for 21 months after 29th March 2019. However, if agreement on frictionless trade cannot be agreed during this period, which seems a certainty given Mr Barnier’s often repeated comments and how the EU normally treats ‘third countries’, it will need to be extended potentially indefinitely.

Mrs May’s Davos speech on 25th January 2018 to the World Economic Forum provided the perfect audience to sell the opportunities presented by Brexit.  She could have outlined her and the government’s vision, objectives, timetable, planning and progress in order to encourage her audience to invest here.  She could have answered the top business questions, for example, about market size and frictionless access to the EEA. She could have described (with specific detail) her vision for a ‘new, deep and special partnership’ with the EU which clarified and developed her Florence speech of 22nd September 2017.  Instead of which she focussed on artificial intelligence and making the Internet safer; presumably her highest priorities.  Any business or political leader present, listening and pondering the content could be forgiven for concluding that the UK government has nothing to offer, has already ceded control of Brexit negotiations to the EU and that any meaningful Brexit is not going to occur.

The transition proposals so far on offer from the EU (as explained here) is far worse than the alternative of remaining within the EEA through re-joining The European Free Trade Association (EFTA).  It is likely that the eventual transition deal, if it actually happens given it is dependent upon Mrs May’s accepting the EU’s outstanding Phase 1 conditions, will be even more onerous upon this country than already proposed.  The EU’s stance, manifested recently by the Annex to the Council Decision of 22nd May 2017 published 29th January 2018 including Transitional Arrangements, appears to be getting more uncompromising.

This is likely to mean Mrs May having to concede to continuing large payments into the EU’s budget, continuing freedom of movement, accepting additional financial liabilities, remaining subject to the EU’s European Court of Justice (ECJ) and to the Common Fisheries Policy, transferring further responsibilities to the European Commission (typically defence and defence procurement, and regulation of financial services), following the complete EU Acquis or body of existing and future law, and giving extra rights to EU citizens living here, etc..  And the UK will be prevented from negotiating free trade agreements around the world whilst being excluded from existing ones negotiated by the EU.

It was Mrs May’s decision to reject the EFTA/EEA option even as a temporary measure first stated in her Lancaster House speech in January 2017.  The EFTA/EEA option allows for control of immigration through unilaterally invoking Article 112 (the Safeguard Measures) of the EEA Agreement.  The EFTA route to EEA membership gives members outside the EU a say in EU legislation affecting the EEA, is largely free (although ‘voluntarily’ Norway does contribute to regional development funds) and is outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The EEA Acquis or body of law is about a quarter of the total EU Acquis since it only relates to successful functioning of the EEA. And EFTA members make their own trade agreements with other countries.  Membership of the EEA solves the problem of maintaining a soft border in Ireland between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. The EFTA/EEA option is indicated to be the best choice for a Brexit economy in a recently leaked overly pessimistic draft government report EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing.

Unfortunately it appears that Mrs May and Mr Davis are well and truly out of their depth.  The Department for (not) Exiting the European Union also seem to be lacking in essential competence, or at least they will get the blame for failings in getting a successful Brexit. At best everyone is following a political Brexit whilst ignoring practicalities.  At some stage a critical number of Conservative MPs will realise that the situation this country is in is of their own government’s making.  The electorate will punish them severely in the next General Election in 2022 for short- changing the British people over Brexit through continuing acquiescence in turning this country into a permanent EU Vassal State.

 

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14 Comments on Transition to Permanent EU Vassal State

  1. This is why I believe UKIP needs to get its act together, and fast!

    The motions are already underway for Brexit to simply not happen; talk of a second referendum, the useless ‘negotiations’ underway by our Government, and the ramping up of the media campaign.
    The British people that voted to Leave are going to be emotionally bullied into ‘changing their minds’, or any second referendum will simply be rigged so that Remain wins by a comfortable majority.
    Or even if there is no second referendum, the resulting ‘deal’ with the EU will be so pathetic, and result in leaving in name only, still being part of the single market/customs union, bound by the ECJ and continuing to see mass uncontrolled immigration, that the only ‘option’ that Parliament will take will be to remain anyway.

    UKIP is the only political party which is actively ‘pro-Brexit’ (it is still too early days for the likes of For Britain etc to make any significant impact in my opinion) and it is currently being eroded away. If UKIP disappears, there will be no effective opposition to the revamped and relaunched Remain/second referendum campaign.

    It’s a sad, sorry state of affairs that we find ourselves in, and UKIP has allowed this (somehow) to happen by taking their eyes off the ball with this whole Henry Bolton/NEC saga.

    My money is still on that this is being allowed to happen, and especially with so many local council elections taking place in May, Labour are going to clean up, just watch.

  2. Well said, Hugo. Animal welfare is important and most people enjoy the fact that we are known as a nation of animal lovers. The exemption from our animal welfare laws given to Halal and Shechita slaughter houses in the UK is baffling. I have a petition Parliament 200131 running calling for an end to this anomaly.
    On a related topic Lancashire Council voted to not serve up halal meat in its primary schools but the local Muslims have objected to that democratic vote and want only halal meat served. The consultation paper on the way forward is open to all. It is posted under Debbie’s news summary which featured an article from The Times that 3 million lambs were killed in halal slaughter houses last year. Most halal slaughter houses do not stun or use such a weak stun that the animals suffer dreadfully when their throats are cut. This is to ensure that with its dying breath the animal hears a prayer to Allah.
    Please complete the consultation paper even if you are not a Lancashire resident and point out that stun to kill is the humane method of despatching animals. The religious scripture permit meat to be blessed just before consumption if halal meat is not available.

  3. Article 112 is not a satisfactory means of controlling immigration from the EU. It is in essence a force majeure clause not a means by which we can decide what class of workers, if any, we need from the EU and what numbers. Under the terms of the Agreement, self-employed Big Issue sellers will still be able to arrive and claim the same level of in work and other benefits as now.

    Membership of EFTA involves membership of the EFTA Court which tracks the decisions of the ECJ. Membership of EFTA is just as bad as for the EEA.

    Only 9% of our GDP relates to trade with the EU; do we want to hamstring all our other economic activity including our growing exports outside the EU in order to secure best access to the EU whose share of world trade is shrinking rapidly. Yes, in EFTA, we will be able to continue our frictionless and declining export trade with Greece whose economy has been destroyed on the insistence of Mad Merkel.

  4. Excellent, well thought out, timely and readable and in the end frightening analysis Nigel.
    Unfortunately I don`t think it will cause fear or even receive any attention in the right places to have any effect at all.
    But what do I know about it?
    Not very much, speaking as a relatively unversed grass roots pleb, who wants “Brexit to mean Brexit” and not BRINO (Brexit In Name Only) or even worse don`t leave at all or be readmitted shorn off all rights of membership and what`s more on an ever closer track to An United States of Europe.
    As I termed it during the Referendum Campaign – Back in your box “The Care Home for Elderly retired European Nations” – forever.
    I and many others viewed the EU and its commission, as undemocratic, totalitarian and downright evil. I took as my guide the treatment meted out to Cyprus and Greece who were both plundered, robbed and pauperised, Greece a vassal state depending on hand out crumbs from its master`s table (Germany in chief) from which there does not appear any forseable escape.
    Not only do I view most of the EU methodology and enterprise as evil, I view Mr. Heath`s entry into the original Common Market as such, where not only did he give away our fishing rights, but ignored advice regarding terms of entry and ultimate loss of Sovereignty..
    So I knew what Brexit meant and I canvassed on those terms – essentially the COMPLETE return of Sovereignty – the ability to CONTROL our own Borders, our own Law (based on Magna Carta), our own Parliament, our own money, our own Taxes, our own Forces, our own waters and fisheries and above all NO ECJ in any guise and certainly not even the smell of it in an implementation period..
    There is another “above all” I saw in our release from captivity an opportunity to rejoin the globe, to right a grave wrong we had done to the Commonwealth and reforge the trading partnership which our regained “sole” permanent seat on the security council conferred (the reason I say sole is that within the EU we shared it with France and the EU in their quest for power were trying to get us to cede it to them)

  5. Hello Nigel

    I regard a transitional stage as moving from one known position to a second known position. I regard Article 50 as dicussing and agreeing to a second, as yet unknown, position. The only advantage that I can see from transition negotiations is the UK arriving at the Article 50 end date without any agreed future relationship with the EU.

    Regarding the EU’s weekly demands to know what the UK wants, surely the end position has been stated. What is not known is the EU desired position is. The EU’s end position could be regarded as the destruction and subjucation of the UK. The transition document is not a view on the EU’s final position.

    For the UK the number one priority should be the continance of the existing financial services trading that the UK has, for decades, had with what is now known as the EU. The UK should state that if that without a financial services agreement the UK accept no other agreement. The UK should look for something that the EU has and the UK wishes to develop and use that as a counter argument by telling the EU that it cannot export that type of commodity to the UK.

    As M. Barnier once stated “the clock is ticking”, the longer the EU makes demands and refuses to negotiate the less time there will be to negotiate the leave agreement. There should be no part agreements only a full agreement. The transition agreement cannot be agreed before the UK and the EU the Article 50 leaving agreement has been finalised.

    Finally the recently published EU document regarding the transition period should not be discussed until an ageement under Article 50 has been reached.

  6. Where is the counterattack to the EU propositions, trade is being used as their punishment tool. We have agreed to keep all rules and regulations that bind us together in “Frictionless” trade. There will always be changes to be agreed to ensure trade is not affected, the rest of the EU’s freedoms and management of our competencies the “Aquis” they can keep. I just want to hear this from Davis.
    I am prepared to suffer any consequences of a no deal. However not under a weak weak Tory Government and clueless leader who seems determined to steer us to defeat.

  7. Nigel

    As you well know the EU negotiators must punish Britain for leaving the EU. We just cannot win through negotiations.
    If we had taken the Efta option we would never, ever, leave the EU and quite possibly within 10 years we would be full members again.

    The only way is to bite the bullet and declare that we are taking the WTO route. There is no easy way to leave the EU but this is the surest and industry knows exactly where it stands.

  8. The threat of a Corbyn Government should focus Tory minds. If it doesn’t then not only are they incompetent but they are fools. In the turmoil that is UKIP at least Rees-Mogg has a handle of exactly what is going on. He has reached the same conclusions as this excellent article. Mogg is the hope to keep the stupid Tories on the straight and narrow.

  9. Unless May wakens up to the fact that she is “negotiating” with the enemy we are sunk.

    If she cannot see, after all the shenanigans, that the successful outcome of negotiations (for us) is an impossible dream then she must go.

    • Jack – Theresa May is not negotiating with the enemy, she’s collaborating with the enemy. A very important difference.

      We need Jacob Rees-Mogg fast, if not I very much doubt there can be a peaceful solution to this.

      • The main problem is the Parliamentary arithmetic.
        Labour has in effect, for party advantage ( as it short sightedly sees it ) effectively reneged on its Manifesto pledge to respect the Referendum result.
        And on the Tory side there are at least 30 or so Soubry Quisling types who will defy the whip and vote with the opposition against any suggestion of WTO type Brexit.

        I of course prefer Jacob R~M to Sharia May ~but I am not clear as to how he would deal with the arithmetic issue.

        rhys burriss
        http://www.ukipdaily.com/essential-policies-new-leader-adopt/

      • “Unfortunately it appears that Mrs May and Mr Davis are well and truly out of their depth.”

        Agree with flyer – it seems more like its always been a deliberate strategy to capitulate and neutralise the Brexit decision. The past months of this sham negotiation have been excruciatingly painful for UK independence.

        Disappointing David Davis talks with determination only about retiring.

  10. Nigel – Spot on, the propaganda has already started!

    This in The Independent today:

    “Brexit: Huge economic cost of leaving EU outlined in government study as May insists she has ‘no doubts'”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-leaked-impact-assessment-economy-gdp-north-east-west-midlands-a8199746.html

    Never mind that on top of our membership fee, the trade deficit we’ve been running with the EU amounts by now to about a trillion pounds. The EU is bleeding us dry. May doesn’t believe in letting truth interfere with her propaganda.

    In The Telegraph:

    “George Soros, the man who ‘broke the Bank of England’, backing secret plot to thwart Brexit”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/02/07/george-soros-man-broke-bank-england-backing-secret-plot-thwart/

    It is a disgrace that Soros is allowed to interfere with our countries government and politics. I wouldn’t be surprised if Theresa May and many of our other politicians were on the Soros payroll.

    Apologies to Debbie, I’m not trying to do her news review, I’m just too furious to hold back.

  11. There are parallels between what is going wrong with Brexit, what is going wrong with the Labour party, and what is going wrong with UKIP.

    In all three cases the process should be:
    1. Decide what needs to be done, by involving a wide number of people.
    2. Decide who is most suited to lead the implementation task.

    Unfortunately for Brexit, part 1 was completed OK, i.e. the referendum. Unfortunately, part 2 – finding someone suitable to lead the Brexit process was completely bodged by the Conservatives.

    In the case of the Labour leadership contest after Ed Miliband stepped down, they did not pause to ask what the purpose of Labour was now. They went straight into the leadership contest. Their procedure had provision for preventing extremists such as Corbyn from standing as a candidate. Unfortunately for them, some MPs thought it a good idea to endorse him, without actually believing in his subversive cause, in order that “the party should have a debate”. Stupid error – they should have had the debate first – completely separate from the leadership contest.

    UKIP has made basically the same error, and probably will make the same error again if Bolton goes. It is the muddling up of personality and policy.

    UKIP does not make much sense to me, and has not since April 2015 when there was the pro-Halal stance. The pro-Islam leaflet in Stoke dismayed me and others. How can the party be anti-EU and at the same time pro-Islam? If you are opposed to an anti-democratic tyrranny in one form, surely you are also opposed to it in another form?

    UKIP grassroots members need to be consulted, in the form of an internal referendum, to decide what the party’s stance on Islam should be. This has to be clarified before the next leadership contest is even started. Otherwise you muddle up policy and personalities, which will result again in disaster. Disaster for the party and disaster for our country.

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