Brexit is built on sand

Jon Danzig |

Last May in Parliament, Prime Minister, Theresa May, summed up her promises for Brexit in just 15-seconds: no hard border on the island of Ireland, and as frictionless trade as possible with the rest of the EU.

Of course, we already have that now. And of course, this cannot be delivered after Brexit.

The Brexit promised by the government – to offer the same benefits of EU membership as an ex-member – is impossible to deliver

The former Brexit Secretary, David Davis, promised a trade and customs agreement with the EU “that will deliver the exact same benefits as we have.” Of course, he could not deliver that. That’s probably why he walked away.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, also said that Brexit can have “the same benefits” as we have now for free trade with the EU. It’s pie in the sky.

Also promised by the government:

  • an agreement with the EU that’s fully negotiated by March next year;
  • no payment for access to the EU market;
  • a complete end to EU rules and regulations;
  • converting around 40 EU trade agreements with 65 countries into UK bespoke deals “one second after midnight” on 30 March 2019.

Promises, promises, promises.

And the truth? These promises cannot be delivered. Brexit cannot work.

Last month, Jacob Rees-Mogg, indicated that it could take 50 years before the benefits of Brexit were fully realised.

He told Channel Four news:

“We won’t know the full economic consequences for a very long time, we really won’t.”

He added:

“The overwhelming opportunity for Brexit is over the next 50 years.”

50 years? Is he having a laugh?

Many people reading this will be dead and buried before then. We should instead bury Brexit. It’s dead. It cannot be revived, because it was never a viable living entity in the first place.

Because it’s now obvious that Brexit cannot work and cannot be delivered, Brexiters are starting to blame the EU for its obvious and impending failure.

  • It’s the EU’s fault that Britain cannot keep membership benefits as an ex-member!
  • How dare the EU turn Britain away, such an important country!
  • We saved Europe from two world wars, don’t you know!
  • We used to have an Empire that ruled half the world, don’t you know!
  • For goodness sake, we even invented eggs and bacon for breakfast!
  • The rest of Europe clearly needs us more than we need them, with their stupid rolls and jam for breakfast!
  • You wait, you just wait, at the last minute the EU will cut us a deal, they will give Theresa May everything she wants, because it would be cutting off their noses not to.

But the EU won’t.

Their Union, their Single Market, their customs union, that took decades to create, is more important to them than it is to us. And that’s something many people in Britain, especially Brexiters, simply don’t understand.

The only countries that enjoy frictionless trade with the EU are those countries that are part of the EU Single Market or in its customs union.

The EU has already stated from the start that the UK cannot cherry pick.

If the EU allowed the UK frictionless access to its market, without being subject to all the EU rules and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (all red lines of the government), it would unravel the entire ‘raison d’être’ of the European Union, and put at risk all its existing agreements with other ‘third countries’.

It’s not going to happen.

Of course, the UK could have a free trade agreement with the EU similar to the ones signed recently with Canada and Japan. But those agreements don’t include frictionless access to the EU, and those agreements don’t cover all the goods that go between the UK and the EU, and they don’t cover services or free movement of people.

It begs the question as to why we are leaving, as clearly we have the best deal now, as a full member of the EU.

That is just one of many reasons why Reasons2Remain is campaigning for a democratic reversal of Brexit.

Last month, Prime Minister, Theresa May, told the House of Commons Liaison Committee that the UK could have frictionless borders with the EU, without being in the Single Market or the EU customs union.

SNP MP, Angus MacNeil, told the Prime Minister that her plans were “pie in the sky”.

Not only is he right, but Theresa May knows her Brexit plans are pie in the sky.

Before the referendum, Mrs May said clearly and persuasively:

“It is not clear why other EU member states would give Britain a better deal than they themselves enjoy.”

Yet that’s exactly what Mrs May now wants. She says she aims to achieve a new trade agreement with the EU that’s unique to us, that no other country in the world has ever achieved.

Of course, it’s not going to happen. Of course, it’s not going to work.

What’s the point of a club if you are going to allow non-members to enjoy the same or better benefits as members? What club allows that?

The EU most certainly will not accept Mrs May’s pie in the sky proposals.

► So, here’s the bottom line:

  • Britain needs frictionless trade with the EU.
  • We need free movement of goods, services, capital and people for our country not just to survive, but to thrive.
  • We need to continue with the status quo: the arrangement we have now.► And yet:
  • We’re leaving all the benefits of the EU, only to desperately try and get back as many of those benefits as we can after we’ve left.
  • We are leaving for no good reason, not one.
  • We are paying around £40 billion (money the UK has agreed we owe to the EU) to settle our debts with the EU, to enable us to have an inferior deal.
  • We will be poorer, and with less sovereignty, fewer rights and protections, restricted trade, and diminished power after we’ve left.

What’s the point? There’s no point.

There is no pie. There is no cake. There is no Brexit dividend. There is no Brexit that can work. It’s all built on sand.

Has this sunk in yet?


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