(Master of the Eneid Legend – Greek soldiers hide into the Trojan horse. Paris, Louvre)
The 585 pages of the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom are available online (see here). The Articles in it about the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU over the transition period expose it as a deceptively named document, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Articles 164 to 169 in the Agreement set up a Joint Committee with complete power over every aspect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU over the transition period. With members from the EU & UK this Joint Committee will overrule the British government, because as clause 2 of Article 166 says, its decisions will be “binding” on the EU & UK. As the process of withdrawal will involve most things that matter, this unelected Joint Committee will be the real government of the UK in the transition period.
Clause 10 in Annex VIII to the Agreement says that the proceedings of this unaccountable Joint Committee will be “confidential”, in other words secret. The Agreement says that this secretive Joint Committee will be ruling over Britain from the start of the transition period at the end of March 2019.
Clause 5 of Article 128 in the Withdrawal Agreement says that in the transition period any British representatives on EU governing bodies will have no voting rights. Then no British minister turning up in the EU Council of Ministers will be able to veto EU laws that damage Britain. Britain will be subject to taxation without representation, and much worse.
Article 132 says that the dictatorial Joint Committee can, before 1st July 2020, extend the transition period “until 31st December 20XX”. At first the transition period will only be until the end of 2020, as Article 126 says. But the EU members of this Joint Committee could suggest before July 2020 that the transition period should be extended until 31st December 2099.
If the UK members of the Joint Committee dispute that, then that dispute must be referred to the Arbitration Panel set up in Article 168, as this Panel has the exclusive power to resolve disputes arising on the Joint Committee.
But Article 174 says that the Arbitration Panel must request a ruling from the Court of Justice of the EU on any disputed “question of interpretation of a concept of Union law” within the Panel. The legal rulings of the Court are to be binding on the Arbitration Panel as the Court, not the Panel, is the supreme interpreter of EU law.
The Court of Justice of the EU has a constitutional duty to work towards the “ever closer union of the peoples of Europe”. And the EU members on the Arbitration Panel could request the Court’s ruling on whether the spirit of EU law would wish to extend the UK’s transition period until 31st December 2099.
The UK side of the Arbitration Panel may oppose the extension of the transition period until 31st December 2099. Whose side will the Court of Justice take? The UK’s side of the Panel, or the EU’s? This is when we will find out that as the Court has the last word in disputes between the EU & UK sides on the Joint Committee, the UK side were only ever there as window dressing. Given its constitutional duty, the Court will take the EU’s side, and extend the transition period until 31st December 2099.
So the Withdrawal Agreement will enable the EU to keep Britain captive as its colony for more than eighty years until the end of this century. The misnamed Withdrawal Agreement is the EU’s legal instrument for subjecting the British people to colonial rule until the end of 2099, in response to their rebellion in the Referendum of the 23rd June 2016.
Back in 1972 our MPs in the House of Commons voted by a majority of eight votes to pass the European Communities Bill and to capitulate to rule by the European Commission. In 2019 they will need only a majority of one vote to eventually pass the misnamed Withdrawal Agreement to capitulate again.