May’s Brexit fudge is putting her own survival above the nation
Recent, authoritative media reports suggest that the cabinet will be presented with a “third way” forward in the EU exit negotiations, a variation of the discredited new customs partnership.
No doubt the prime minister will try to persuade her colleagues that Brexit means Brexit and that she is delivering this in a way that is best for the country as a whole.
It appears, however, that in this case Brexit means BRINO (Brexit in name only) and that she is putting her own survival and the interests of the Conservative Party above those of the nation.
Furthermore, she will in that moment have broken her manifesto commitments and crossed her own red lines. Worse, the PM will be committing an enormous fraud on the 17.4 million people and the three quarters of English and Welsh constituencies who voted for Brexit.
It appears that the proposal would have us in the customs union in all but name for goods and agriculture and collecting taxes for the EU.
It will say that we can make our own trade deals and that we will be free for services, but this is completely disingenuous because no deals can be struck unless we can trade our services for the goods and agricultural products of our new trading partners.
This will be further impeded by a commitment to regulatory alignment across the whole economy, which would prevent mutual recognition.
Not only will this shackle the 87 per cent of the economy not related to trade with the EU, it will mean that meaningful trade deals around the globe are dead in the water before we even begin.
To all intents and purposes, we will be in the single market and the customs union and under the thumb of the European Court of Justice.
To add insult to economic injury, we will have to accept effective free movement of EU citizens with little control over migration.
The Germans and the French will have us exactly where they want us: taking their products at inflated prices, protected from competition in our market by an external tariff and non-tariff wall and with us still unable to sell them services, as there is no single market in services in the EU to speak of and with no external trade deals to compete with them.
We will be a vassal state with no say, we will be poorer and eventually, with mass migration from the continent, there will be a vote to go back into the EU on their terms.
A punishment beating from the Remain establishment in cahoots with the EU, facilitated by our own prime minister and chancellor. Job done.
If the PM and the cabinet accept this, they are either knaves or fools.
John Longworth is an entrepreneur, co-chairman of Leave Means Leave and is on the advisory board of Economists for Free Trade and the IEA. He was formerly director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce
July 5th, 2018: The Times