Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Entering the Brexit Wonderland

I am running out of titles for these Brexit blogs, if I’m honest. And then, just when you think you have nothing, the fact that the rhetoric from the PM and her Foreign Secretary makes life easy.

Following on from yesterday’s post, the whole EUROTOM/EURATOM thing has moved forward, with an un-named minister declaring to Newsnight overnight that the leaving EURATOM will have to be dropped as the Government don’t have the numbers in Parliament in order to get the policy through. Thing is, this displays staggering ignorance in what the situation is

1. That it matters if there is Parliamentary agreement to withdraw the notice to leave EURATOM; it was stated in the notification letter from the UK Government to the EU meaning that the notification to leave the EU also stated the intention to leave EURATOM too, and Parliament allowed the Government to do this, despite having the authority to insert clauses to prevent it.

2. That this matters as no one knows for sure if or how any part or all of the Article 50 notification can be changed or withdrawn.

3. And that in regard to (2), that gift is entirely within the largess of the EU to grant, if at all, and they could attach all sorts of demands on the UK in granting this. If they would want to.

The truth is, that the final part of Brexit that Britain had control over was when to send in the article 50 notification, the rest is up to the EU.

There are three outcomes to the above:

1. Britain accepts what is done and we leave the EU and EURATOM in March 2019

2. Britain, in the 14 months left for negotiations and parallel with the trade and divorce talks, sets up a working alternative to EURATOM

3. Amend or withdraw the Article 50 notification, if the EU agrees

Thing is, if it is (3), and Britain is allowed to amend the notification regarding EURATOM, it stands to reason that the same could apply to Brexit as a whole. And for Brexit, come the end of March 2019, there are three humiliating outcomes for the country and our leader to look forward to:

1. Be so desperate for a deal with the EU we have to accept whatever deal is offered.

2. There is no deal, and chaos for trade, travel, and so on with the EU, and Britain so desperate from deals with anyone outside the WU for a trade deal has to accept whatever deal is offered.

3. Or withdraw the article 50 notification, and almost certainly on worse terms we have at the moment, losing the rebate and possibly more embarrassing terms.

These are the reality of Brexit, not the bluster of declaring that Britain will not pay the divorce, we have no choice if we want to trade with the EU and secure rights for Britons living in the EU, if we don’t get past the pay off, nothing else will happen, be discussed. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

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