Brexit Progress, But at What Cost?

As this is the end of July, we have clearly passed the deadline which Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to agree a Deal with the European Union. However, whilst this is disappointing, there has been significant progress in the negotiations and it is clear the EU is beginning to understand the seriousness of the United Kingdom’s negotiating position. Last week, the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, still demanded EU Member States should have rights to access fish in the waters surrounding the UK and for the UK to adhere to the so-called ‘Level-Playing Field’. However, gone is the demand for a huge role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in any future relationship. This U-turn from Michel Barnier is a significant one, especially as he also admits there will be no agreement on foreign policy and defence cooperation as part of these trade negotiations. Both concessions have come after the UK refused to consider negotiating either topic.

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Regarding the thorny subject of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Barnier seems to be on board with the UK’s suggestion for a ‘dispute resolution mechanism’ made up of an independent arbitration panel consisting of individuals appointed by both sides. Such a decision should respect everyone’s sovereignty and not create issues where the panel could be accused of being biased. In parallel with this, the EU has also dropped its demands for a customs office in Northern Ireland – accepting such an action would be in blatant disregard of the sovereignty of the UK and fundamentally, would be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement. Get Britain Out has been pressuring for such an outcome and it is good to see common sense has prevailed! It is vital David Frost, the UK’s Chief Brexit Negotiator and his team, keep up the pressure and fight for what we want and need for a true Global Britain.

Before we go on – and this request again is really important if we are to continue our fight:
Get Britain Out is very, very appreciative of all the donations we have received so far – especially after our last few e-Bulletins. For these last 5 months, we really need funding from our supporters until the end of the Transition Period on December 31st, 2020. As you already know, most of the Brexit campaigns have shut up shop, so we are working harder than ever to make sure a real Brexit is still on the agenda instead of a BRINO – Brexit in Name Only!

And it really is a hard fight! With myself and now only two staff, Get Britain Out will continue to get the Government’s attention – and winning victories for Brexiteers. To those of you who have already contributed, I cannot tell you how much it is appreciated, but we still need more.

I know these are tough times, but please can you dig deep into your pockets – perhaps with a regular donation for these final few months, so we can continue to run Get Britain Out until the end of this year (and yes, I do understand not all of you cannot afford to do so – especially in these difficult times with COVID-19). If we fail to keep up the pressure on this Government, we may find ourselves tied to the EU indefinitely or with a BRINO! Thank you.

 

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This week David Frost announced he expects the UK “will win 60% of its objectives” in negotiations with the EU. This does not sound to me like the best of good news. What on earth has happened to the other 40% – and why are we not being given full details? Is Frost simply caving into the EU’s demands? It’s all well and good getting 60% of what we want, but if as part of the 40% we are forced to accept the ‘Level Playing Field’, give up on fishing and abandon our powerhouse Financial Services industry, then we may as well forget about everything else. Statements like this from Frost need more clarity and shouldn’t be used just for media soundbites!

This Government must not leave us in a situation where our sovereignty is traded away in exchange for reduced tariffs. While tariffs can be damaging for some businesses, relinquishing our sovereignty to Brussels for a second time would be an insult to every single person who voted to Leave – and to the rest of the nation.

With negotiations progressing with the EU and other countries around the world, Get Britain Out has conducted some in depth research into the tariffs which will apply to the UK’s top exports and imports if we walk away from the EU on World Trade Organisation terms. It is startling to see just how little our trading relationship will change with some of our biggest trading partners. In some cases, it gets better because we would be free from EU-enforced tariffs! Read our trade tariff analysis here.

Another area of dispute emerged this week – The Channel Tunnel. At the moment the ECJ has a role in dispute resolution between England and France. The EU has now demanded this to be replicated after the UK Leaves the Transition Period and should be part of a trade deal. Such a demand is complete nonsense. The current agreement – the Treaty of Canterbury – is a bilateral one between only England and France. There is actually no need for the EU to be involved in any way. Instead, the best option would be to use ‘independent dispute resolution courts’ – such as the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Attempts like this by the EU to interfere in domestic issues is yet another example of why the UK voted to leave the EU, and the EU’s intention to try and grab power in every way they can. This is an issue in which they have no role and to try and include it in these trade negotiations is simply insulting.

While there are disputes to be settled with the EU on other fronts, the UK is making great progress in trade negotiations with other countries around the world. This week alone, talks have been held with representatives from New Zealand, India and Japan. In the case of Japan, the expectation from all parties is to have reached a comprehensive trade deal by the end of August. Initially, Japan set a deadline for the end of July, however, both Governments have since decided to push for a more ambitious trade deal than the one Japan already has with the EU. Signing a trade deal with a major economy, like Japan, so quickly would be a huge boost for the UK in negotiations with the EU. We must show we do not need any shackles from Brussels for Global Britain. As long as we stay focussed on what we want and need, we are more than capable of stepping up onto the world’s stage. The more deals we have set up by the end of the year, the stronger our hand with the EU will be.

For this reason, I have again written to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss MP, copied to the Prime Minister, to express the importance of pushing on with international trade negotiations. The long Summer Parliamentary Recess, which has just begun, is a vital opportunity for the Secretary of State to build momentum whilst focussing entirely on negotiations – and not events in Westminster! If you want to read my letter to Liz Truss, it is available in the links below.

This week we also received a response to a recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request we submitted to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We asked to see the advice and documentation given to UK negotiators about EU defence programmes and the possible risks if the UK commits to staying part of these programmes. This was a perfectly valid request as on numerous occasions we have seen how UK Civil Servants are unable or unwilling to fully investigate – or understand – EU defence infrastructure. This has led to MPs – and those representing us – not properly understanding the issues. However, we were informed this information would not be available to us because it would “negatively impact the Department’s ability to fully consider the information.”! This is a response we have received on multiple occasions when we have asked perfectly valid questions and is simply insulting – not only to us, but to the Great British Public. FOIs were supposed to be set up to show a level of transparency, and not for Government Departments to use phrases like this to hide behind. While Ministers should feel free to discuss various ideas, the public deserves to know what information they are basing their decisions on, especially in such a vital area as defence cooperation with a foreign power. If you want to read the response to our FOI it can be read here.

WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO:
The Director of Get Britain Out, Jayne Adye, has written the following recent articles:

IMPORTANT STORIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED:

  • We must bat for the City of London and keep it out of Brussels’ clutches– The Daily Telegraph
  • Schedule for future UK-EU negotiations in August and September – Get Britain Out
  • The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, ‘thought Brexit was bigger risk’ than coronavirus as UK was thrown into Pandemic – The Sun
  • Relax, we weren’t tricked into Leaving – The Daily Express
  • £1.6 Trillion splurge – Thank God we’re out! – The Daily Mail
  • If the EU want a Deal – they need to fire Barnier – The Daily Telegraph
  • Say it quietly, but here comes a 1920s style post-Pandemic boom – The Daily Telegraph
  • The UK will win ‘60%’ of its demands, says David Frost – The Mail on Sunday
  • The EU’s mad bailout proves they won’t learn from Brexit – The Sun
  • Truss demands the US drop tariffs on British products – The Times
  • Farmers will have a say in future trade policy – The Daily Mail
  • UK and Japan set to sign Free Trade Agreement in record time – The Sun
  • Fishing chief erupts at Barnier for demanding access to UK waters – The Daily Express

That’s all for this e-Bulletin. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. The fight for a real Brexit is not over yet.
Thank you for your ongoing support which is very much appreciated.

Best wishes from Jayne Adye, Campaign Director and the Team at Get Britain Out

P.S. Finally, please don’t forget, we still need your help with donations for the next few months – as I have explained above – to make sure we can help to secure the best Brexit for the United Kingdom. We appreciate all the help many of you have already given to the campaign, however, we are in the final few months of pushing for the best possible Brexit to be delivered, so now, more than ever – with donations becoming scarcer – every penny counts if we are to continue our work.

Donations can be made via bank transfer, bank standing order, cheque or PayPal – all the details are HERE.
Re bank transfers – some banks have fraud contingencies in place – so please just make sure the account number and sort code are correct so your transfer goes through correctly.

 

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PLEASE NOTE: Cheques should be payable to The EU Referendum Campaign Limited and not Get Britain Out. Unfortunately, we cannot accept credit card donations (unless via PayPal) – or foreign currency cheques.

With such a small team, we cannot personally thank all of those who donate to the campaign, but your contributions are very much appreciated. If you would like an acknowledgement, please let me have your e-mail address (or write it on the back of your cheque please).

P.P.S. IMPORTANT: We know you are already committed to Brexit, but please continue to circulate this e-Bulletin to even more people. There are many who still want more information. Anyone not already signed up for our free fortnightly e-Bulletins can do so HERE.

Remember, you can also get daily information and comments, plus press links, via our social media – Facebook and Twitter.  There are also daily links to Brexit press articles on our website (once my staff are in the office Monday to Friday) via this link HERE. For updates on our Recommended Reading, you can find them via this link HERE.

Huge thanks again for your help and support. GET BRITAIN OUT will continue to fight to try and make sure we get the best result from our Leaving the EU – whether it’s with or without a Deal.

Best wishes, as always,
Jayne