We must scrap Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement, otherwise in two years time we will be in exactly the same position as we are now.

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Now, first things first, Theresa May's so called deal is not a deal. The clue is in the title, it is a Withdrawal Agreement.

All it does, is gets the UK technically outside of the EU but tethered to it whilst we then, over the next two years or so, go through a carbon copy of what we've been through over the last two years or so.

The other thing to point out is that her agreement is also not a treaty. Once again the clue is in the title, it is an agreement, not a treaty. Treaties are made between nation states, Theresa May's effort is a legally binding agreement between the UK as a nation state and the EU as an international organisation, so is more like a contract I believe.

This may have repercussions for us where the Vienna Convention on treaties and agreements is concerned, in that the Withdrawal Agreement may be more onerous than a treaty.

I hope a constitutional lawyer can help with that one, if there's one out there.

Anyway, what does Theresa May's agreement get us?

Well, for the princely fee, actually the King's Ransom, of 39 billion quid, the UK gets to remain tied within the EU system with no freedom until the end of 2020 and also it gets us the chance to negotiate some sort of so-called deep and meaningful relationship with the EU based on a non-binding and, therefore valueless, aspirational political declaration.

For the sake of argument say we did sign up to this agreement, what d'you think would happen?

Well, I think we'd have to come up with what we wanted first.

Now you may think 'well surely we've already prepared for that'?

I reckon not, remember that Theresa May has been talking about getting parliament properly involved in the negotiations after we've left on the 29th March. So I would surmise that we have done very little and, if much has been done, parliament will end up trying to unpick it all anyway.

So we're probably starting at ground level on that one.

Anyway, knowing our pro-EU Establishment, we'll end up letting the EU set the parameters of the talks, just like we did two years ago.

And the first question they will ask will be 'how much is it going to cost the UK to use our systems'?

Then will come the next very obvious negotiating point, if you want a deal how are you going to keep the Irish border open and respect the Good Friday Agreement?

And that's one of the big points. If the backstop is not a permanent part of the Withdrawal Agreement itself, no deal will be signed during the transition phase that does not include an Irish border backstop.

So, if Theresa May succeeds in getting rid of the backstop now, it can reappear and be insisted on later during the transition phase negotiations – except they won't call it a backstop, it'll be a 'trade continuance element' or something like that.

And remember how easy it will be to do this after July, when there's a new EU parliament after the June elections and just about the whole of the EU political hierarchy will have been replaced with new people and new ideas about the interpretations of the Withdrawal Agreement!

The whole thing's just a trap!

Now you may say 'how can it be a trap, if we can just leave after the transition phase with no deal and no backstop'?

And my response would be, 'if we leave with no deal and no backstop after the transition phase, where will be be headed?' And the answer would be – World Trade Organisation terms. This will put the UK in the same political place as we are in today.

Because over the next 21 months the UK parliament and government will engage themselves in trying to work out how close to Brussels we tie ourselves with any deal we come up with.

How long that process would take is anyone's guess as the pro-EU types would insist on keeping EU protections with open borders and Brexiteer types insist on being able to forge trade deals with no encumbrances etc.

And while this is going on we'll have the likes of Adonis, Soubry, Clarke, Clegg, Cameron and Blair constantly trekking over to Brussels to start quietly negotiating our re-entry into the EU club and how it could be done.

And I bet no-deal planning gets dropped, using some spurious argument about showing good faith.

And businesses won't plan, as there will be no deal to base their planning on.

And as we got to a couple of months away from the end of the transition phase we'd still have no deal because of the Irish border issue still being used as a political football, business will be screaming for an extension, WTO scaremongering will once again be in full cry and the choice will be between leaving the transition phase on WTO rules, or extending the transition phase, or rejoining the EU.

Oh, and nearly forgot the calls for referendums on any deal with the option of rejoining being on the ballot paper.

Have I missed anything out?

Now, all that sounds pretty much where we're at today.

May's Agreement would therefore be a complete waste of two years to get to the same point as we are at now! With only one establishment aim – to get us back in.

That deal of Theresa May's must be roundly rejected at all costs – backstop or no backstop. As must any move to interfere with the Article 50 period end date of 11 pm on the 29th March 2019!

Sources:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47028748

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/draft_withdrawal_agreement_0.pdf

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