No Deal for Brexit Today

Four years after the referendum and with only five months to go until Brexit takes effect we are finally starting to see what the UK government is proposing that to mean.

The UK gov wrote a post about it today with the petty line

“That is why we continue to look for a deal with, at its core, a free trade agreement similar to the one the EU already has with Canada – that is, an agreement based on existing precedents. We remain unclear why this is so difficult for the EU, but we will continue to negotiate with this in mind.”

So gone is the talk of a custom “red white and blue” Brexit and in is the talk of copying CETA.  This means vast new bureaucracy and taking away our freedoms, something the UK gov is openly paying money and boasting about.

CETA is the EU and Canada trade deal.  It has quotss on how much goods can be traded, tariffs on many of the goods and does sod all for services.  It’s more generous than basic WTO rules but it’s no single market.  It’s not what the political declaration says which as agreed by the UK gov along with the transition withdrawal agreement last year.

Our media (either from London or Scotland) doesn’t usually cover the EU side when politicians put out statements, but the EU one is here and of course it lists the problems which the UK one dismisses.

On two important subjects, transport and energy, we had intense and useful discussions. However, the UK continued to request single market-like benefits.

In addition, there is still no progress on two essential topics of our economic partnership.

  • First, there must be robust guarantees for a level playing field – including on State aid and standards – to ensure open and fair competition among our businesses, also over time. This is a core interest for all 27 Member States – and in my view also for the UK.
  • Second, we have to agree on a balanced, sustainable and long-term solution for fisheries, with the interests of all Member States concerned in mind, and not least the many men and women whose livelihoods depend on it on both sides.

So it’s a lie to say they want the same as CETA, they want single market style access despite having left the single market.

None of this was ever mentioned during the EU referendum by the leave campaigns who just lied when is was suggested there would be massive bureaucratic lorry parks costing billions.

The only change is that the UK gov says they won’t impose any import taxes for the first six months.  This going against WTO agreements but they are slow to pick up so will allowed to be waved for six months.  Presumably the EU will impose taxes on imports of course, putting UK business at a massive disadvantage.  But at least we shouldn’t be short of food or medicine or other stuff we need to import for six months, it’ll just cost more.

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