Boris Johnson By FCO (CC-BY-2.0)

Boris Johnson By FCO (CC-BY-2.0)

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has written a letter to EU politicians and officials that expressly keeps the previously rejected Withdrawal Agreement surrender treaty alive and kicking.


Boris Johnson sent a letter yesterday to the current President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, as well as the current President of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, and the EU27 member state heads.

In his letter he said that:

"The backstop cannot form part of an agreed Withdrawal Agreement. That is a fact that we must both acknowledge".

And he proposed in his letter that the backstop be replaced by 'alternative arrangements' together with a "…commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship."

He also said:

"Time is very short, But the UK is ready to move quickly, and, given the degree of common ground already, I hope that the EU will be ready to do likewise. I am equally confident that our parliament would be able to act rapidly if we were able to reach a satisfactory agreement which did not contain the "backstop": indeed it has already demonstrated that there is a majority for an agreement on these lines."

So the whole proposal is solely about removing the backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement, nothing more. Then the UK swallows the whole thing Hook, line, sinker, boat and jetty.

If this came about the UK would be tied by a transition period into the Customs Union, the Single Market and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for many more months to come.

We would also be accepting all those military and foreign policy entanglements that come with that Withdrawal Agreement.

And for the next couple of years we will be doing exactly what we have been doing with the EU for the last three years – wrangling over a future trade deal.

And then, when the transition period nears the end, I confidently predict we'll be just about exactly where we are today! Tied to the EU with a WTO severance bearing down on us.

I do have to wonder what true Brexiteers will make of this.

What will the members of the Tory Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG) be thinking?

What will Tory members who were hoping for a clean break make of this?

Will this give a boost to Nigel Farage and The Brexit Party?

How will the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Iain Duncan Smith, John Redwood, Bill Cash, Mark Francois and Steve Baker take it?

Or is it just window dressing in the knowledge that there is zero to negative chance of the EU ever agreeing to it?

Window dressing that Boris can point to and say 'I tried, but the EU were the ones blocking progress, not me'.

There is also the matter of the political declaration, a separate document that also has to be agreed by the House of Commons before the Withdrawal Agreement can ever be ratified.

Basically, no agreement for a political declaration in the House of Commons, equals a no deal Brexit!

And as far as I know, there has been absolutely no movement or talk about that at all.

Anyway, what do you think about this Boris Johnson letter? – Please share and comment – and thank you for watching.


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