After 30 years of campaigning and four and a half years of fighting off a visceral globalist attempt to deny the democratic decision of the British people to leave the European Union, Parliament has voted to ratify a new treaty with the EU which implements Brexit.
The word Brexit was invented in 2016. Before then it was simply known as the movement to leave the European Union, which was about restoring full sovereignty to the UK and taking back control our laws, borders, money, agriculture, fishing and trade. Most Brexiteers wanted a simple clean-break Brexit, where we would have left the European Union and all of its institutions immediately on WTO terms, and then negotiated a trade deal afterwards where we could trade tariff-free and quota-free in goods and services without being tied to any EU directives, regulations or rulings.
This didn’t happen, and the Johnson government has instead signed two new treaties with the EU: the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ and the ‘Trade and Cooperation Agreement’. The question for Brexiteers is, is this better than no-deal? The simple answer is, it depends who you are.
If you are a fisherman it is a very bad deal. The Johnson government has appallingly sold out our fishing industry again, just like Ted Heath did in 1972. The propagandists are working hard to proclaim that the dog of a deal in respect to fishing is in our best interests as fishermen need five years to get up to speed to be able to catch more fish. This is bunkum. Our 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone is ours, and it should have been taken back in full immediately. The economic boost would have driven organic regeneration of our coastal towns. Instead Johnson is throwing a measly £100 million at fishermen over five years in lieu of billions of pounds of lost economic activity.
Most of this will likely be diverted through Quangos such as Local Investment Partnerships and very little will actually get to the fishermen who have been betrayed. This is something that fake-Conservatives like Johnson never seems to understand – stopping people from working and then throwing them a small amount of money in return is socialism. Working people who voted for conservatism don’t want handouts, they want the opportunity to stand on their own two feet and make their own living. This has been denied to tens of thousands of working men for at least another five years.
Instead, the EU keeps almost all of its fishing quota, gradually reducing it by 25% for the next five and a half years, before annual negotiations thereafter. The understanding is that the EU will keep the 75% of its current quota after that, meaning that our fishing waters will never be fully returned unless we terminate the whole treaty, which we can do with 12 months’ notice.
The EU-UK contract retains the thinking of the Common Fisheries Policy, where the seas around the UK and EU countries are divided into arbitrary ICES zones with such poetic names as 4d, 7a and 7g. There should have been a simple clean break where UK waters are returned us so that we set and take 100% of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in our own 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the EU has 100% in its EEZ.
ICES Zones compared with Exclusive Economic Zones
This did not happen so the TAC for each species in each of the arbitrary shared ICES zones has been determined up to 2026 and beyond according to Annex Fish1 and Fish2 on pages 902 to 906 of the treaty. Both EU and UK vessels can fish in these zones, including up to two dozen EU super-trawlers: mostly Dutch factory ships which process up to 6,000 tonnes of fish on board and routinely massacre British dolphins and porpoises as well as hoovering up our fish.
If you use energy it is a bad deal. This means all of us. It commits the UK to ‘fighting climate change’ and staying in the Paris Climate Agreement with its obsession about reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This is part of the so-called ‘level playing field’ where the two parties have agreed to keep in line with certain ‘standards’ in certain areas. Rather than continuing to use fossil fuels which are cheap and readily available, all coal power stations are to close by 2025 and gas power stations will follow shortly afterwards, to be replaced by hugely-expensive subsidised wind farms that don’t make any electricity when the wind stops blowing.
Petrol and diesel cars and gas boilers are to be phased out to be replaced with expensive electric vehicles that need huge cobalt batteries mined by child-slave labour in Congo. Gas boilers are also earmarked to go in a further act of national technological regression.
It is known that Johnson is a fully signed up member of the green brigade who sports his Agenda 2030 lapel badge in public appearances. Most people who voted for him do not agree with his girlfriend-inspired green nonsense, but should he be democratically voted out in the next election, and a new Prime Minister were elected who decided to leave the Paris Agreement so they can keep the lights on and our homes warm, they would be unable to do so unless they terminated the treaty first which is possible with 12-month’s notice according to Article FINPROV 8 on page 413.
In you want to keep to integrity of the United Kingdom then it is a bad deal. Northern Ireland was essentially given away in the Withdrawal Agreement. While Great Britain is leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, Northern Ireland remains in the Single Market and must remain in lockstep with EU regulations past, present and future. Johnson had to withdraw key clauses in the Internal Market Bill, which was his clumsy attempt to reverse the damage done by agreeing the Northern Ireland Protocol. Thus, Great Britain is free to diverge from EU regulations, but this will also mean a divergence from Northern Ireland as well which remains in regulatory capture by the EU. There will also be customs checks on goods travelling between GB and NI in order to avoid carrying out customs checks at the UK-Ireland border.
The bright spot is the continuation in tariff-free, quota-free trade with the EU. This is good for the 8% of UK businesses which trade with EU nations and export and import goods, including car manufacturers which are an important part of our economy. Moreover, leaving the Customs Union means that we can activate the bilateral trade deals we have made around the world during the transition period. This is a significant win, and the UK is now fully in control of our trade.
It is also a good deal for holidaymakers and travellers. Citizens will be able to spend up to 50% of their time in each other’s territory without a visa, and there is an agreement in aviation which allows aircraft open access to each other’s skies and airports.
There are also some positive changes that would have happened anyway with no deal, for example leaving the European Arrest Warrant and no longer being under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation treaty could have been better and it could have been worse, but it is not the gold-standard clean-break Brexit that the majority of people voted for. We have taken back some control and some sovereignty but not all of it. We are far freer from the EU from we could have been, but the EU retains complete or extensive control of our ‘climate change law’ and thus our energy policies, our fishing waters and Northern Ireland. In these areas there is unfinished business.
Heritage Party Leader