Boris Johnson has clearly hit the ground running as Prime Minister. Even though Parliament is now in summer recess, he is travelling around the country like Father Christmas handing out goodies for everyone. He has promised 20,000 extra police, a new railway line between Manchester and Leeds and countless millions more for seaside towns, fishing towns, post-industrial towns, Scottish towns, Welsh towns, Welsh farmers and many others with his beneficence.
This is a nice diversion, but in the eyes of the nation Boris has only one job: he must deliver Brexit in full on WTO terms. Yet after only a week as Prime Minister he sending out mixed messages. While saying categorically that the UK will leave on 31st October, he is hinting of an extended ‘transition period’ where nothing changes until December 2021 in return for dropping the Irish backstop. This is simply a re-hash of the failed Malthouse Compromise, which will keep the UK in the Single Market and Customs Union for two more years.
Even without the Irish backstop, Theresa May’s dreadful Withdrawal Agreement is not a ‘deal’, it is a vassalage treaty. It gives the EU a huge tribute of at least £39,000,000,000 in return for nothing. The UK will have to obey all of the EU’s directives, regulations and decisions until the end of the transition period. Mass, rapid migration will continue with all EU citizens having the right to settle and claim welfare and healthcare in the UK along with their spouses, parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren. This includes migrants from outside Europe who have been granted citizenship in another EU country; for example, an Afghan with Swedish citizenship could decide at any point to move to the UK and bring five generations of their family with them.
The framework for an actual deal is contained in the much-less mentioned Political Declaration which accompanies the vassalage treaty. This itself contains all kinds of odious conditions requiring that the UK will have continuing convergence with EU regulations. It is freedom-in-name-only. It effectively handicaps any future Prime Minister to negotiate with EU with one hand tied behind their back in negotiating a trade deal with the EU or any other country, and places limits on state aid and subsidies to domestic industries.
Given the intransigence of the EU and their insistence in humiliating the UK before negotiations of a trade deal even begin, it must be remembered that there is only one way to leave the EU in full. That is with a clean break Brexit on WTO rules. Then the UK can begin negotiations for a mutually beneficial trade deal with the EU as an equal partner and not as a cowed supplicant with numerous pre-conditions as stipulated in the vassalage treaty and the ‘political declaration’.
Despite his jolly, ebullient personality and optimistic rhetoric, Prime Minister Johnson and his party will not be forgiven if he signs the Vassalage Treaty, with or without a backstop, condemning the nation to a further two years of ‘transition’ where nothing changes, or if he hamstrings the UK by agreeing to the Political Declaration.
The only way to prevent the pillage of our finances, restore our sovereignty and retake full control of our fishing waters, armed forces, borders and trade is to leave on WTO terms on 31st October. It is what the British people voted for on 23rd June 2016.