The Withdrawal Treaty is not Brexit
Mrs May seems to think the obstacle to leaving the EU is the majority of MPs who oppose the Withdrawal Treaty. I see that Treaty as a big impediment to leaving the EU. It is mistitled. It is the “Big Delay in Brexit Treaty”. It is the “Invitation to endless talks about a possible Brexit” Treaty. “It is the lock us up in the EU without vote and voice” Treaty. It means 21 to 45 more months as rule taker and bill payer in the EU without vote or voice, and a problematic exit given the backstop lock on us leaving the customs union and single market. It is unlikely we would be out before the next election.
Perhaps I need to remind people about some of the problems.
Article 5 reintroduces the powers of the European Court and enforces “sincere co-operation ” on us as they do not want us impeding their plans for economic, monetary and political union.
Article 31 imposes social security co-ordination on us. The Treaty goes on to give special protection to EU citizens currently living in the UK from changes to social security for the whole of their lives, protection which the rest of us do not enjoy. (Article 39)
Article 51 applies parts of the VAT regime for an additional 5 years after the long transition envisaged in the Treaty
Articles 92-3 imposes the EU state aids regime on the UK for 4 years beyond transition
Article 95 imposes binding decisions by EU quangos and bodies for 4 years beyond transition
Article 99 requires us to pay for access to records to handle issues over indirect tax where the EU keeps powers for 4 years beyond transition
Article 127 applies the whole panoply of EU law throughout transition, including the right to legislate any way they wish against our interests and enforce it on us via the ECJ
Article 130 prevents us taking back control of our fish any time soon
Article 135 allows them to send extra bills up to the end of 2028
Article 140 imposes on us financial liabilities up to December 2020 and carry over into 2021
Articles 144 and 150 prevent us getting back accumulated reserves and profits from our European Investment Fund and EIB shareholdings
Article 143 imposes adverse conditions on us over pension and loan liabilities of the Union
Article 155 requires to make continuing payments to Turkey under an EU programme after we have left
Article 158 gives the European Court continuing power for 8 years after transition
Article 164 makes a Joint Committee an effective legislator and government over us
Article 174 requires any arbitration to accept ECJ opinions on the application of law in disputes
The Protocol on Northern Ireland will require us to stay in the Customs Union with regulatory and legal alignment with the single market. or split off a separate place called UK (NI) which will be governed differently to the rest of the UK on an island of Ireland basis
There is much more I could object to. This is no Treaty to take back control, no Treaty for a newly independent nation. It does not quantify the financial liabilities, which are open ended and could be much larger than the low field £39bn Treasury estimate. We have little power to abate the bills and no power abort the bills.
Mrs May needs to go back to the EU and explain why the UK people and Parliament have opposed this Treaty, and ask them to think again if they want an agreement before we leave.