So, the Boris Johnson Brexit plan is crystallising into another two years in the single market and customs union, is it?


It seems that according to our new PM, leaving the European Union on the 31st of October no ifs, no buts, means the UK staying in the single market, the customs union and therefore within ECJ jurisdiction for another two years.

This came out when he talked about no deal preparations yesterday, when he said:

"Some of the changes and adjustments necessary in the run-up to October the 31st, and a lot of which we have already done, will be crucial anyway, if we are going to come out of the customs union, come out of the single market as we must in the next couple of years."

According to the Telegraph this 'new deal' would involve two years in a transition period during which a trade deal would be negotiated and no backstop once the transition period is over. So it sounds a lot like the current Withdrawal Agreement surrender treaty with the backstop removed and a few dates changed.

And according to Boris, it is Brussels' call on whether they wanted to strike a deal.

But there is the matter of the Withdrawal Act 2018 and parliament, or more specifically the House of Commons.

This is something I talked about in a recent video, but it bears restating.

First I must make it clear that I'm not a qualified lawyer, so I would ask you read the relevant sections of the Withdrawal Act for yourself.

Now, Section 20 of the Withdrawal Act makes it clear that any agreement made between the European Union and the UK during our membership of the EU regarding our leaving the bloc is defined as 'the Withdrawal Agreement'.

So, if Boris re-writes the old one or writes a completely new one and the EU agrees to it, that document becomes the Withdrawal Agreement.

It might as far as I can see, also apply to a one page Free Trade Agreement signed up to by both sides should they decide to proceed with a GATT XXIV arrangement.

But, before any such Withdrawal Agreement can be ratified, that is signed up to by the UK government to make it binding in domestic and international law, the requirements of Section 13 of the Withdrawal Act surely have to also be complied with.

Section 13 says that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be ratified unless certain requirements are met.

Now, if Boris is claiming his is a new deal, then this procedure that was started under the old agreement would I think have to be re-started.

The first requirement is that a copy of the Withdrawal Agreement is laid before both Houses of Parliament together with a statement that it has been agreed to between the EU and the UK.

It then has to be noted by the House of Lords but voted for by the House of Commons, which will be very tough for a PM to get through what is in effect the lower House of Remain.

But there is also another requirement under section 13 that must be achieved prior to an agreement being ratified. And that is, that a framework document for the future relationship between the EU and UK also has to be placed before both houses, then noted by the Lords and voted for by MPs.

Now just to jog your memory, this is the document that caused all the ruckus between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, because Theresa wanted us to leave to make new deals around the world but be permanently fettered by the backstop, but Jeremy wanted us to stay permanently in a customs union and be dictated to on workers rights and other standards.

And it ended up with both sides saying that the other side either wouldn't meet with them, or that they were too inflexible.

Has Boris made any overtures to Corbyn on this?

Not as far as I can see.

In fact I think that the two sides are now further apart than ever on the way ahead after Brexit Day.

That would mean that in normal circumstances under the Withdrawal Agreement as it stands, Boris would find it a hard struggle to get both documents agreed by MPs and therefore his deal ratified.

Except for the no deal exit his side is talking so much about.

The question that needs to be asked is, who is the no deal threat more aimed at – the EU to force the Eurocrats to drop the Irish border backstop, or at the House of Commons to force them to vote for the 'new' Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration? Or face the no deal Brexit the Remainers hate so much.

And, if MPs find they are unable to stop the the no deal Brexit option, but were offered a modified Withdrawal Agreement and a slightly looser political declaration, would they buckle and sign up for it?

Is this the real plan?


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