The Prime Minister, Theresa May, yesterday delivered what was probably the most important speech on Brexit since the referendum.
In her speech Theresa May set out what the British government wants to get out of Brexit. For a Remain supporter it wasn’t bad but there were some worrying things to come out of it.
First, the positives:
- Keeping the Common Travel Area between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man is a priority. This is an important part of the Good Friday Agreement.
- We want a free trade agreement with the EU but we are not prepared to stay in the single market.
- Payments into the EU budget will stop when we leave.
- We want to retain parts of the EU customs union but not the parts that stop us making our own comprehensive trade agreements.
- Our police, military and security services will continue to work with EU partners to ensure security across Europe.
Now the downside.
- MPs and Peers will be given a vote on the final deal after negotiations are finished. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself but when asked what would happen if they rejected it, the Prime Minister was her usual vague self and avoided answering the question.
- Ministers for the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish (when they get one again) governments will be given a seat at the Brexit negotiating table.
- All EU law – fast approaching a million pages of rules and regulations – will be adopted as domestic legislation before we leave.
- If Theresa May gets her way we won’t leave the EU after the two years of negotiations have finished, we will slowly disengage over an unspecified period of time and still making contributions to the EU budget. This could last for years and there is a risk that we will end up with Brexit-lite through the back door as politicians and civil servants settle back into their old ways of giving away our sovereignty.
One interesting comment from Theresa May was on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa. The Remain supporting media keep banging on about EU immigrants being “used as bargaining chips” but the Prime Minister revealed that the UK government was ready to guarantee their rights now but a handful of member states were blocking it!
Theresa May is quite open about her intention to keep us in the EU and paying into the EU budget for years to come. This is why UKIP is as relevant as ever – we got the referendum result that we have worked hard for all these years and now we have to make sure the government honour it.
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