Moreover, they are preparing to renege on not just any treaty, but the Withdrawal Agreement signed with the EU. And to do so while Brexit negotiations are still going on - or, as is looking increasingly likely, not going on. So while the right-wing press gives the Government line, with the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph blustering “Johnson: 38 days for Brexit deal or we walk”, the FT has brought us reality.
“UK plan to undermine withdrawal treaty threatens Brexit trade talks” is their headline. Peter Foster has put together a summary of what he has learned (thread HERE), telling “UK planning legislation to override key parts of Brexit withdrawal treaty and Northern Ireland protocol - a potentially HUGE move in negotiations; major ructions in Whitehall”.
He added “A person familiar with the plans said they would ‘clearly and consciously’ undermine the agreement on Northern Ireland that Boris Johnson signed last October … A lot of Whitehall is *deeply* uncomfortable with this approach. Foreign Office not sure how it can criticise China for not meeting international obligation if UK is paring back obligations of a Treaty it signed in less than a year ago”. And there is more.
“How the EU reacts will be interesting. It may depend just how brazenly the legislation cuts across the Protocol … this does feel to those familiar with the plans like a major move by a govt increasingly resigned to a 'no deal' or 'Australian' exit - and one that risks calling into question the reputation of the UK as a country that negotiates in good faith”.
In reality, there is no such thing as an “Australian” exit: as Ed Wilson has warned, “Australia has agreed a quota for lamb exports (and many other things) with the EU. The UK won't have, and will be locked out of the market by Australia and - more importantly - New Zealand”. Plus, Australia does far less trade with the EU than the UK does.
Also, for those Ron Hopefuls who believed that someone in Brussels would overrule Michel Barnier and come to Bozo’s rescue, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has put them straight: “I trust the British government to implement the Withdrawal Agreement, an obligation under international law & prerequisite for any future partnership. Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is essential to protect peace and stability on the island & integrity of the single market”. Note “any future partnership”.
Bozo and his pals told the electorate before last year’s General Election that they had an “oven ready” deal. It would all be over by Christmas. Well, not only did they get the year wrong, they lied about the deal. While he keeps on referring to “our EU friends”, our alleged Prime Minister has been preparing to do the dirty on them. And he’s been caught.
Can it get worse still? That’s entirely possible. We are truly though the looking glass.
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