UK prime minister Boris Johnson has predicated his entire electoral strategy on ‘getting Brexit done’. Yet this is a deceit, because his Brexit deal will likely involve not just months but years of further negotiations.
Prof Michael Dougan of the University of Liverpool succinctly explains the problem with Johnson’s Brexit deal, describing it as a ‘con trick’:
— Haggis_UK #FBPE 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) November 20, 2019
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Dougan also pointed out that Johnson has repeatedly rejected any extension to the Brexit transition period beyond 2020, even though it would be unlikely that all negotiations will have concluded. This could see ‘no deal’ back on the agenda.
No deal returns
Full Fact conducted a detailed analysis of Johnson’s “oven-ready” Brexit. It points out that a no-deal scenario is still very possible. And it could happen very quickly – for example:
if there is no further extension to the Brexit deadline, MPs have until 31 January 2020 to pass a withdrawal agreement. If that’s not done in time then the UK could leave the EU with no deal by default. This is still the same “no deal” scenario that’s been widely discussed over the past few years.
While there would be a transition period in which to negotiate a future relationship with the EU, there is no guarantee that these negotiations would be successful. As we’ve already said the transition period lasts until the end of 2020, or 2022 at the very latest—after that if no future relationship deal was agreed then Great Britain’s relationship with the EU would be on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
And the BBC points out that non-EU trade negotiations could last for much of the next decade:
as well as negotiating with the EU, the UK would also need to sign up to a series of trade agreements round the world to replace those it has as part of the EU.
All of that could take up most of the next decade. It won’t be done when the UK leaves the EU – it will only just have begun.
Labour’s version of Brexit
Labour, however, is taking a very different approach to Brexit that could be described as ‘fast-tracked’ (if voters in a second referendum decided not to remain in the EU).
Under Labour, a Brexit deal would include:
- “A permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union”.
- “Close alignment with the single market”.
- “Dynamic alignment on workers’ rights, consumer rights and environmental protections”.
- “Continued participation in EU agencies and funding programmes”.
- “Clear commitments on future security arrangements”.
That would mean its version of Brexit:
protects jobs, rights and the environment, avoids a hard border in Northern Ireland and protects the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process.
Corbyn exposes the lie
At a rally In Birmingham, Corbyn contrasted a Labour deal with that offered by Johnson:
If you watched the debate you’ll have heard Boris Johnson claim he’ll get Brexit done, over and over again. That claim is a fraud on the British people.
His sell-out deal will be just the beginning of years of drawn-out, bogged-down negotiations and broken promises. Three years, maybe more, according to the EU negotiator Michel Barnier. And his toxic deal with Donald Trump will take even longer.
With Labour it will be very different. We will get Brexit sorted within six months, because we’re not going to rip up our main trading relationship. We’ll secure a sensible deal that protects manufacturing and the Good Friday Agreement, and then put it to a public vote alongside the option of remaining in the EU.
Inclusion of a Customs Union and alignment to the Single Market in Labour’s version of Brexit renders the Irish backstop unnecessary and will mean no border between north and south of Ireland. It will also mean that months or years of negotiations over complex trade agreements will not be necessary.
According to the Independent, Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar said:
the kind of future trade deal proposed by Boris Johnson would take longer to finalise than the kind of close alignment suggested by Labour.
Ironically, therefore, a Labour version of Brexit, if approved by a confirmatory vote, will see a no-fuss deal agreed far quicker than the Johnson version. Furthermore, under Labour people will have a real choice between a “sensible deal” Brexit or remaining in the EU. It’s a no brainer.
It should now be obvious that, as with Johnson, the Tories’ Brexit deal is a total sham.
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