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Prepare for no-deal Brexit declares Boris Johnson – but is it all just theatre?!
Boris Johnson issued a statement yesterday calling on the U.K. to prepare for a no-deal exit from the Brexit Implementation Period – but is this, as some are claiming, all just for show?
Boris Johnson made a Brexit statement yesterday calling on the U.K. to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. And Brexiteers across the land have hailed it as heralding the Brexit they all wanted – a full no-deal exit from the European Union.
Boris did, however, leave the negotiating door a little ajar leading some pundits to call this a negotiation tactic and claim that there will be a deal very soon.
And the E.U. is also no doubt believing this is the case. Especially given the E.U. Council instructions to their negotiator, Michel Barnier, to keep ploughing on.
So, is this all theatre with a deal being cooked up in secret?
Well, if that is the case, it’s going to have to be a deal that somehow allows the U.K. to totally control its fishing grounds while handing the fish over to the E.U. fishing community.
A deal that allows the U.K. to completely dictate its own laws, but under the control of Brussels.
A deal where the U.K. has absolute freedom to formulate its own trade and state aid policies, but only if Brussels O.K.s them.
An impossibility, as you can well imagine.
So, a deal at this stage would entail climbdowns by one side, or more probably by both sides.
And any climbdown on those major issues would not go down in the U.K. or the E.U. So I don’t see that happening.
And when you read the PM’s statement, you can see that the tiny window left open for more negotiations was merely for the E.U. to come and talk on U.K. terms.
In his statement, Boris said:
“And from the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship, based on friendship and free trade.
“To judge by the latest E.U. summit in Brussels that won’t work for our E.U. partners. They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country.”
And then he said that with only ten weeks to go until the end of the Implementation Period, he had to make a judgement on the likelihood of the U.K. and E.U. agreeing a deal on time. And he continued with:
“And given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months, and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal, I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.
“And we can do it, because we always knew that there would be change on January 1 whatever type of relationship we had.
“And so now is the time for our businesses to get ready, and for hauliers to get ready, and for travellers to get ready.”
And as he’s said before, the U.K. stands ready to discuss the practicalities of things like aviation and social security.
And then he stated the terms on which he would continue negotiations with the E.U. when he said:
“But for whatever reason it is clear from the summit that after 45 years of membership they are not willing – unless there is some fundamental change of approach – to offer this country the same terms as Canada.”
There you have it. Boris is saying it will take a ‘fundamental change of approach’ by the E.U. to get him back around the table. A fundamental change of approach that has as its aim a Canada style free trade agreement.
And to back that up reports soon came flooding in that the U.K. Brexit negotiator, Lord David Frost, had informed his opposite number, the E.U.’s Michel Barnier, not to bother travelling to London next week as there’d be no-one here for him to talk to.
A bit embarrassing for the president of the E.U. Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who had Tweeted out that “…. the E.U. continues to work for a deal, but not at any price. As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations.”
On this the Brexiteer Bruges Group think-tank Tweeted:
“Strong rhetoric from the PM today, followed by firm action by David Frost, who has reportedly told Barnier not to travel to London on Monday for further talks. The Government is exerting maximum pressure on the E.U. and genuinely appears ready for an Australian-style outcome if necessary.”
And that well known Brexiteer Tory MP Peter Bone said:
“Well done Boris!! Standing up to the E.U. and putting the U.K. first.”