I keep coming across people who say either that we have left the E.U. – or that we will soon do so. Below is my response, at the risk of disillusioning some.
The 1972 EC Act was repealed on 31-01-20 and was replaced by BJ’s Withdrawal Agreement.
To recap: The revised WA still contains many of the features in T.May’s WA. Unfortunately all the text of her WA outside the backstop protocol was untouched, while we continue to pay the E.U. around £1bn per month. The most damaging feature which remains is the long-term subjection of the UK to rulings of the European Court of Justice.
May’s WA contained a clause, based on the EU’s agreement with Ukraine, which means that the nominally independent arbitration panel set up to decide disputes would have to refer issues of EU law for decision by the ECJ. That clause in the WA would apply long term: for EU citizens’ rights, at least for the lifetime of EU citizens in the UK and their children. The revised PD will include a similar clause in the long-term relationship agreement with the EU.
Secondly, the WA includes the so-called transition period at a cost of £1bn per month, with the UK subject to EU laws – those that exist and those that are brought in – but would not have a vote or veto.
Thirdly the WA imposes huge financial obligations on the UK well beyond those under international law. This money will be unconditionally payable, whether or not the EU offers the UK a satisfactory long-term trade agreement.
The question is to what extent will BJ leave us under some form of ECJ jurisdiction, after 31-12-20.
If he (no ifs no buts) was prepared to go WTO before the GE – because he didn’t have a majority in the Commons – then he now has absolutely no excuse at all to leave us under any form of ECJ jurisdiction. So the Fat Lady has not sung yet and ERG MPs are very quiet – no doubt because they undertook to support BJ’s WA – before being allowed to stand as a Tory candidate in the GE.
Respectfully, Roger Arthur
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At the moment the UK electricity Grid is working at a very low capacity with lots of spare headroom. The current high pressure weather pattern is reducing the wind turbine output to well below max output, but even so wind and solar are producing around one third of our requirements. Above a certain level renewable energy destabilises the Grid and has to be artificially curtailed, which is done by making operators turn off their turbines, However, they are then paid for the energy they do not deliver. Consumers have to pay this impost on their bills and it is redirected to the wallets of those who seem to have direct access to our bank accounts, see this article.
When my MP was Minister for Energy and Climate Change he would reply to my complaints about the madness of renewable energy, but he is now Secretary of State for Health and is otherwise occupied. It would be helpful if one of your readers in the constituency of The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP could take up the cudgels for those who pay relatively most on energy – the old, the poor and the sick – and persuade him to publish weekly figures of how much wind and solar operators are paid to not generate power.
Respectfully, Julian Flood
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At some point, the numbers dying – as a consequence of lockdown – will exceed those dying as a direct result of CV19. So the advice of specialists cannot be taken in isolation, without an assessment of the unintended consequences.
It was therefore worrying to see the Prime Minister’s letter about Covid-19 stating that the Government “will not hesitate” to follow any further scientific and medical advice.
Where does the government monitor trends in suicides and murders – plus the numbers dying from cancer, because they are denied the usual access to health services? How will it be able to continue funding the NHS, if fewer people have the income needed to pay taxes?
They will surely need such information when working out an optimum lockdown exit strategy. If they refuse to outline that strategy, then they mustn’t be surprised if many assume that they don’t have one.
Respectfully, Mr King