Boris wants us all to forget about Brexit, if he gets his majority – but under his plan, the real UK-EU negotiations haven't even started yet.


The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has claimed that we can all stop thinking about Brexit, once he has re-entered Number Ten Downing Street with a healthy majority.

In fact he told ITV's Political Editor, Robert Peston, that he would himself stop talking about Brexit, because Brexit would be done.

Ahahh, I hear everyone sigh with relief.

Then our nice Tory government can get on and start repairing and uniting the country, won't that be nice, I hear his supporters say.

But never trust someone who tells you to look the other way.

Never trust a distraction artist – you'll get your pockets picked.

Would you trust an accountant or financial adviser who told you just to sign here and not to bother checking their figures, as they've checked them all over for you?

So why would we trust a government that told us not to think about Brexit because they say it's all over?

I mean, if Boris said, once we've voted him in we can all forget about crime and the NHS and education and never think of them again – would you believe him on that? Would you trust him to deliver without scrutinising his government?

This almost arrogant Boris version of Brexit logic has more holes in it than a photo of Justin Trudeau on Donald Trump’s dartboard.

And the truth is, it will not be over.

Brexit will not be 'done' as the Tories would have you believe.

Without a clean break Brexit there will always be another stage to the process.

And the reason for that, is because under the Tory Withdrawal Agreement treaty, Brexit is a two stage plan and leaving the treaties on the 31st of January is only the completion of stage one of that plan.

Stage two, while we're still locked into the EU via the transition phase, is getting the talks on the long term post Brexit future relationship between the UK and EU started, negotiated and finalised – and that means we have not even yet actually started to properly talk about the real deal – the true long term Brexit deal.

The Brexit deal itself that ends the whole process, will not be fully in place until it is ratified at the end of the transition phase next year – or beyond, if the EU gets its way.

And the Brexit deal struck in between leaving the treaties on the 31st of January and the end of the transition phase on the 31st of December 2020, will play a huge part in how prosperous the UK will be – going forward.

If Boris ties us down too tightly or gives too much away to the EU during those talks, then it could hit our ability to forge prosperous trade deals elsewhere in the world later on down the line.

Also, bear in mind that, if we concentrate too much on the EU, if we expend all our initial negotiating energies purely on EU-centric matters, then we leave out the rest of the globe by default. So possibly damaging our chances of getting early trade agreements with other countries.

And do you trust Boris Johnson not to negotiate us into a de facto level playing field with the EU, a Brexit In Name Only (BRINO) where we end up perpetually obeying all EU rules with no say and inside a noose that draws us inexorably back in to full EU membership with no way out? I don't!

Now, under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018, the government has to pass another big law before the 31st of January so as to ratify the Theresa May Withdrawal Agreement treaty as amended by Boris Johnson and then make it national and international law.

And that means getting the Withdrawal Agreement bill through parliament to become the Withdrawal Agreement Act.

This Withdrawal Agreement bill sets out how the transition phase will work under UK law and amends the Withdrawal Act accordingly. And a part of it, under the heading Parliamentary Oversight at Section 31(4), amends the Withdrawal Act to say:

"A Minister of the Crown may not engage in negotiations on the future relationship with the EU unless—

"(a) a statement on objectives for the future relationship with the EU has been approved by the House of Commons on a motion moved by a Minister of the Crown, …."

And further, while conducting those negotiations the government has to work to "achieve the objectives set out in the most recent statement on objectives for the future relationship" as approved by MPs.

Now, as I understand it, it is normally up to governments to engage in foreign affairs policy such as treaty negotiations and then present the finalised deal to parliament to give both Houses time to look at them and then object if they so wish.

But it seems that, under this proposed law, the House of Commons will be given the opportunity to decide where the baseline for the start of negotiations is set and how they are carried through.

So, what if those new MPs in Parliament, as a group, don't like the idea of a free trade deal? What if, despite their party manifestoes, the majority of them would really prefer to stay locked in a customs union with the EU, or even fully in the single market – despite their pre-election promises? MPs lying – well there would be a surprise, not!

Why on earth do we think that this new lot of MPs, most of whom as far as I can see will be the same as the last lot, will have suddenly converted to become a Brexit House of Commons?

We have absolutely no idea what the majority view of those MPs as a body in the House of Commons is until after the General Election is over.

And assurances from a Prime Minister that his team will do as he says, carries absolutely no weight at all given recent history.

And if he puts up his proposed negotiating objectives for MPs to vote on, we can pretty much be sure that amendments will come flooding in from Remain MPs.

And then it will hinge on how much support they can garner from their like-minded colleagues.

What I'm saying, is that we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted into believing that Brexit is done, just because Boris says so.

We have to keep an eagle eye on not just him, but also the House of commons and Parliament as a whole.

Then there's the press, most of whom would very likely willingly aid in anything that kept the UK locked as closely to the EU as possible, with the possibility of renewed EU membership.

Their stories would almost certainly be biased in that direction of travel.

And all the while, over the coming months, we will still be bombarded with Project Fear – the fear of straying too far off of the EU path, the fear of not being on the same level playing field as them, the fear of fully exiting the door, the fear of letting go of Mummy EU's apron strings, the fear of losses of human and workers rights, the fear of not being big enough or strong enough to forge our own path in the world.

This fear mongering will not stop. Not while there's a chance for the establishment to keep the UK in lock-step with the EU – ready for our eventual re-entry.

And be in no doubt, if we are able to leave the Treaties on the 31st of January, the vested interests will view it as a purely temporary status, until they can get their ducks back into a row to force us back in.

And part of that duck arranging will be to get the public to take their eye off of the Brexit ball, while the Establishment smuggles it into the back of the Rejoin net.

And let's look at this another way.

Why isn't Boris out there saying that once we're in the transition phase, just watch me and my team deliver a great deal with the EU and a strong domestic agenda that will put the UK back on the map as an independent sovereign nation with a wonderfully prosperous future.

But he isn't is he. No, he's attempting the magician act of drawing your attention towards what he wants you to look at – don't let him get away with it!

Don't let him hypnotise you with a constant drone of Brexit is done, we got Brexit done, Brexit is achieved, forget Brexit. In fact, you can expect a massive glitzy government and Tory publicity push, telling us all that Brexit is complete, as of one minute past midnight on the morning of the 1st of February 2020.

And I wonder what the three our four line phrase that they choose will be?


Comment Here!