What is to be done? (About Brexit)
It’s turning pear shaped, that Brexit, not as easy as they thought, and maybe worse than Remainers predicted. Here are some notes that I made for the AEIP National Committee meeting. I quote from blog articles of mine and other sources, and will try and turn this into a blog article later in the week. Anyway, as they say on Youtube, let’s get to it …
The Tories Alternative
So it seems the Tories are pushing this, in more ways than one,
It includes a link to Nick Dearden’s takedown of the treaty.
The immediate failures
Trolling the Brexiteers
I had thought “rejoining the EU” to be off the table for years but the post Brexit trade deal is turning to shit even more quickly than I expected. Again, I over-estimate the Tories; if I was planning to fuck up the economy, and betray noisy element of my electoral coalition, I’d have sort have planned to do it over a period of time, inspired by the instruction manual of how to boil a frog, hoping they wouldn’t notice. But no, within days, it’s clear that its useless to catch fish if you can’t sell it, that a customs border between Britain and Northern Ireland is going to be a problem in supplying northern Irish supermarkets, that warehousing jobs are going to move to the continent, that exporters are going to have to open European offices, or in the case of some food businesses stop exporting, that exported goods in transit over the turn of the year will be returned and/or burnt and that supply chains will be disrupted impacting British manufacturing productivity. While we may be in a tariff free agreement, the trade border is not frictionless and this friction will cost people money, their jobs and in some cases, patron owned small businesses, many with long histories of success will sadly go under. We need to remember Boris’s summary of his industrial policy, “Fuck Business”.
While I believe that we should rejoin, but there are two problems, one the Tories and secondly, there will need to be unanimity amongst the member states and many of them will be fed up with our behaviour over not only the last 11 months but in much of the time leading up to our 2016 vote. We will need to show that we’ll be better Europeans and probably show it for a sustained period. We are unlikely to get our opt-outs back, on the financial rebate, immigration, the economic stability pact, the Justice Chapter and our opt-out from the goals of further political and economic union which includes the Euro. This Tory government will not agree to these goals, and the country will need to show a renewed commitment to the European project by kicking them out. The time taken to negotiate a true re-entry could be some time, the quickest ever was Finland which took three years and much may depend on how we choose to use our new found sovereignty. In theory we have currently adopted the acquis and so can prove our ability to meet the market pressures and obligations of the single market. The only question out-standing is are we sufficiently democratic given we have an appointed second chamber and no basic law. We should note that our financial contribution will be welcome.
He has been good in the Commons, but it only counts if the press report it; he’s been poor on PPE, poor & late on lockdown, poor on last summer’s exams, poor on COVID-19 safety in schools, the choice of competence and not corruption is questionable, we are poor, virtually silent, on sick pay and redundancy pay, have abstained on human rights law diminutions by not properly opposing the spycops law, nor supporting the extension of the eviction ban and his collusion on Brexit, both not arguing to extend transition and agreeing the, what is now obviously seen even in such a short time, terrible future relationship and withdrawal agreements makes dealing with the fallout from Brexit more than tricky and we again collude with the laws that may yet reopen the lethal armed violence in Northern Ireland. He is also backing Boris on Scottish independence, a brave move, given how we got to where we are in Scotland. Are you sure he’s up to it?
So what is to be done?
The AEIP 2020 Strategy is here.
This, shows the legal way to rejoin, but it need an unanimity amongst the member states somoe off whom could well be pissed off with us, and they’d probably want to see a sustained bi-partisan commitment to rejoining, so what are the alternatives?
These are to develop the Future Relationship Treaty, adopt a Swiss model or to join EFTA/EEA.
My intelligence says that the EEA don’t want us since we are too big, and the EU don’t want the multi-treaty model pursued by the Swiss, so the choice is between an A49 rejoin or to campaign to fix the Future Relationships Treaty in particular in articulating the energising of the Parliamentary Assembly.
I argue that we need to rejoin the Customs Union and Single Market. This is needed to eliminate the new frictions and reduce the growing threat to peace in NI.
The question I ask is that do we do this by stealth or vibrantly in public. If a short term aim, then we need to weaken the loons in the Tory Party and get the Labour front-bench to recognise the mistake they made in agreeing the Future Relationships treaty.
We need to argue to restore the Brexit committee and open trade policy up to parliamentary scrutiny so that there is a place to have these debates. If a select committee is unobtainable, maybe we and our allies could look and see if any of the APPGs were suitable? There is a Commons European Scrutiny Committee. which is running two Inquiries … be interesting to find out how to input into those.
The CPTPP is a risk to the project as we transfer sovereignty from the EU to the CPTPP, which has its own Commission.
We should campaign to release the risk analysis on the Future Relationship treaty!