Written by ‘TheRealArthurDent’
This article was first posted as a comment on this site and we republish it here with the author’s kind permission.
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Proponents of Boris’s deal say that, while it may not be perfect, it does provide us a route to take us “properly” out. The transition period won’t last forever, the stuff in the political declaration isn’t legally binding, we will negotiate hard during the next phase of negotiations, we will get a good trade deal at the end of it, is what we are told.
So to support this deal, essentially Boris is saying: “Trust me. Trust me to take the UK completely out of the EU during the next Parliament, and trust me to put British interests first and negotiate an outstanding trade deal with the EU, while protecting our ability to do trade deals with other nations”.
Do we trust Boris?
Let’s take a look at the recent evidence.
- Boris promised to take us out of the EU, deal or no deal, by October 31st. He didn’t. He blames the Benn Act, but he was still promising us an October 31st exit when the Benn Act was active, leading us to believe he had the determination, and the means to take us out.
- He also passed up several opportunities to prevent the Benn Bill from becoming law, and he also failed to test the legality of the Act in the courts.
- He was previously damning in his analysis of the May Withdrawal Agreement, and he was previously scathing about the possibility of a customs border in the Irish Sea. But now we have a new draft WA which is 95% based on Mrs May’s document but with a customs border in the Irish Sea.
And let’s have a look at the pre-Boris evidence of the Conservative Party’s trustworthiness:
– David Cameron promised that he would invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty immediately in the event of a Leave vote. Instead, he resigned
– Mrs May spent 9 months dithering over whether to invoke Lisbon Article 50 before finally doing it in March 2017. She also spent a great deal of time dithering over commencing preparations for a No Deal departure, and allowed her Chancellor to block expenditure on this
– Mrs May appointed an excellent team of ministers to the Department for Exiting the European Union and made an excellent speech at Lancaster House which aligned with the promises of the Leave campaign. However in the initial engagement with the EU, she undermined the DExEU ministers and gave in to the EU’s wishes about the sequencing of the negotiations, critically damaging our negotiating position
– It became apparent at Chequers in summer 2018 that the DExEU was a Potemkin department, and that the Cabinet Office had been conducting secret negotiations directly with Berlin to come up with a rival Withdrawal Agreement to the one being worked on by the DExEU. Ministers were bounced into approving the No. 10 document with little chance to read it, on threat of dismissal and a long walk home if they did not.
– Mrs May on 108 occasions promised that we would leave the EU, deal or no deal, on March 31st 2019. When her Withdrawal Agreement three times failed to gain approval in the House of Commons, she did not take us out of the EU with no deal as she promised, but instead went running to Brussels to ask for an extension, initially to mid April and then to the end of October
– Despite Mrs May’s complete failure to deliver the Brexit she promised, she remained in power until she was forced out following a disastrous performance in the May local elections and in the hastily arranged European elections, in which the newly formed Brexit Party won and the Conservatives came 5th with a derisory 8.8% vote share.
That, my friends and colleagues, is the history.
So, do you trust Boris and the Conservative Party to use his deal as a springboard for a full fat, salty English Brexit with all of the trimmings? Do you trust a party which has spent 41 months, under 3 different Prime Ministers, failing to take us out of the EU? Do you trust a party which, from the very beginning, blundered its way through the WA negotiations, giving ground on practically every issue from the order in which negotiations ran, through the need for a level playing field, to the apparent need for us to pay £39 billion minimum in return for nothing – not even an itemised receipt?
Do you trust the party which said quite openly in the onset of our EU exit negotiations that we “did not seek to achieve a competitive advantage” ?
Well I don’t.
I’m voting for the Brexit Party.