The EU UK Agreement

Now we are all able to read a text I am inviting you to comment on what you think of the document.

On the crucial issue of sovereignty it appears to reinforce Clause 38 of the Withdrawal Act which I supported. That rightly asserted that the UK can legislate as it wishes for the UK, notwithstanding any agreements with the EU.

This proposed Agreement clearly rules out any future jurisidiction or control by the European Court of Justice over the UK under this Agreement. It states “For greater certainty an interpretation of this Agreement…given by the courts of either party shall not be binding on the other party”

It also seeks to limit litigious activities under the Agreement by stating that “nothing in this Agreement …shall be confirmed as conferring rights or imposing obligations on persons other than those created between the parties under public international law, nor as permitting this Agreement…to be directly invoked in the domestic legal system of the parties”

As it is important to protect our sovereignty from any future attempted infringements by the EU acting under this Agreement, it is also crucial that there is an easy exit clause. This was something I lobbied for strongly. Financial Provision 8 headed “Termination” gives a simple clean exit in the form of this statement:

“Either party may terminate the Agreement by written notification through diplomatic channels. This Agreement and any supplementing Agreement shall cease to be in force on the first day of the twelfth month following the date of notification.”

These clauses appear to allow any UK government with political will to legislate as UK voters wish and to govern the UK as an independent country. I am awaiting the legal judgement of the ERG lawyers Committee who are studying this in detail . It also needs clarification for the situation in Northern Ireland, where I still have not seen the text of the Agreement sketched to us by Michael Gove in early December. Presumably the issues are less severe now there is a tariff and quota free Agreement.

I will come to a judgement following further study and after hearing from others their thoughts.

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502 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I have not read it. But . . .

    I am awaiting the legal judgement of the ERG lawyers Committee . . .

    . . . and I shall await Martin Howe QC and Lawyers for Britain to give their interpretation and verdict.

    https://lawyersforbritain.org/assessing-the-uk-eu-trade-and-cooperation-agreement

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The same Martin Howe QC that gave his blessing to the WA…

      • Hope
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        JR, it is not free Trade Deal by any stretch of the imagination. Services notmeven discussed. The U.K. is in a subservient “partnership” agreement far beyond trade. UK agrees to follow the EU in a host of areas. I am not sure what the U.K. gains from this that it could not from WTO and have All its freedoms.

        Your third paragraph clearly untrue. Gibralta and N.Ireland? Gibralta was not allowed by EU to be included! Does that sound like equals where the territory is ours?

        ECJ does apply across a swathe of areas including EU citizens who live anywhere in our country. Name a country in the world where immigrants have the right to redress from the law of their country of origin?

        ECJ also applies to payments demanded by the EU at a time and amount of its choosing.

        EU inspectors stationed in our country to examine UK goods and have access to all U.K. data bases. Does this sound like taking back control?

        Could you explain EU sovereignty and direct effect in WA and NIP into U.K. Law. Martin Howe QC article 20/09/2020. EU acquis applies N.Ireland per Gove in parliament whether there is a deal or not. Could he or you clarify.

        UK is not in control of its waters, either within 12 miles or outer limit, if it was the U.K. would decide from 01/01/2021 what boats and fish could be caught and by whom. It cannot and it never recovers full control as it stands.

        At best your view is theoretical because if the U.K. diverges from EU control it puts the deal in whole or part in jeopardy. Your S.38 clause could be withdrawn by further remain parliaments/govts could it not? This would allow U.K. to incrementally become totally tied to EU orbit without a voice rather than partially as the partnership agreement at the moment.

        • Dennis
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Hope – it seems JR agrees with your analysis as he hasn’t commented.

          • Hope
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            The whole of the U.K. is not leaving the single market and customs union as Johnson claimed. There will be a border down the Irish Sea. Johnson said no PM would ever countenance this. He lied.

            Level playing field and non regression clauses ties the U.K. to the EU and prevents our country being a competitor. State aid, competition, the environment, employment and taxation will join the UK at the hip of the EU. We will remain a highly regulated and taxed economy.

            Fisheries is a total sell out. At the end of 5 and 1/2 years remaining virtually static the EU will have to agree any reduction or U.K. will be penalised! That is not taking back control whatsoever.

            Defence: UK funding Horizon Europe (HE) will tie U.K. to EU defence projects and procurements. We all recall Whitehall civil servants called it KitKat policy to hide true costs and ties to EU. This must be stopped now.

            When will the investigation of May and Hammond begin? Same for civil servants exposed in the KitKat policy? They must be investigated and punished.

        • glen cullen
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          100% agree with every word – its a sell-out

      • PeteS
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        False news, their position was the WA was best scrapped and start again.

        • Hope
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          Johnson called it a “polished turd”, for me it does not shine. I am still left wondering what the U.K. got from the partnership agreement.

          JR previously voiced the opinion the test would be is it better than WTO. I fail to see it.

          How can it be worth giving away/annexing N.Ireland, Gibralta fails to get a mention, no discussing no services, level playing field, state aid and non regression clauses included! The sovereignty and direct effect of EU law in the WA and NIP applies!

          Johnson said tell them to go whistle for the multiple billions for leaving then caved in! He caved in on fishing in a humiliating way including the 12 miles around the country.

          We have EU inspectors on our soil checking the U.K. Is complying with EU Acquis! How is that taking back control of anything!

          EU has lucrative access to U.K. Market what has the U.K. got in return for ALL these vast amounts of give aways! Nothing I can see. JR and other pointed out how only about 8% of businesses trade in the EU. So all,thismgiven away for a tiny minority of businesses and to the detriment for the overwhelming Majority!

          Tell us what business would be lost if we traded WTO by comparison to this wide ranging partnership deal.

          BTW, we voted leave and not to be tied to EU at all in other areas. At most trade and friendship.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          Up until the point it became clear the government was going to adopt it. I remember reading Howe’s article in the Torygraph at the time. So not false news at all.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        The very one.

        A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Very droll 😉

    • Peter
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Page 921 of the document:-

      p921 refers to Netscape Communicator 4.0 as a “modern e-mail software package” (it was last updated in 2002) and recommends SHA-1 as a hash algorithm (deprecated by NIST in 2011 as insecure)

      The suspicion being that much of the agreement is simply cut and paste from earlier documents from the previous century.

      This is sloppy at best even if Boris (or his team) does not do detail

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Defo cut n’ paste job, each section has a different text, style and format

        And the wording is taken from the EU joining document and parts of the Lisbon Treaty

    • Timaction
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. The stand out bits are Northern Ireland cut out of the UK in all but name. Subject to the entire EU aquis now and in the future. Subject to the customs union and single market rules. EU customs in our territory inspecting imports including UK. Restrictions on food products after 6 months e.g cooked meats etc. It has effectively been annexed. Then the fish. I’ve looked at the annexes on % changes after 5.5 years. Hardly any change in many species. Where is the 66% Boris claims? Punishment clauses if we seek further changes thereafter with compensation for foreign fishermen if we try to stop them stealing our natural resources. No agreement on services and no recognition of our professional qualifications. This deal must have greater scrutiny just like the EU are provisionally agreeing it until 28 February 2021. We need the same to ensure this is worth the costs of our fish and trade deficit of 100 billion Euro’s. To much agreement on the level playing field provisions in many areas.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Moreover. On reading the EU’s briefing paper I discovered that we are dependent for 5 to 10% of our electricity via interconnectors and 12% of our gas. This is unacceptable and leaves us vulnerable to further EU blackmail. The Government needs to address this as a matter of National Security. This is an urgent strategic priority. Boris needs to put his green balony away and provide adequate power supply from a reliable source asap.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Correct – Why the rush….lets go WTO and spend quality time to consider and review the EU Trade & Cooperation deal

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps Blowers’ plan is to rush it through, then six months later exclaim that it is terrible, so we can resume negotiations and get a deal that really delivers for the British people…

        • Mark B
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:48 am | Permalink

          My guess is that he is a PM living on borrowed time and needs a quick ‘victory’ (sic) to stave off the inevitable.

          This so called ‘deal’ is more about saving his own skin rather than getting out of the EU.

  2. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    For four years Mr Barnier has painstakingly kept in tune with the 27 ambassadors and, less frequently, with the European Parliament and the European Council. As such, I don’t think it likely that there will be any vetoes from the continent’s side.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Yes, Peter, they are all of the same mind. It’s why we got Brexit. Had they given a little bit we would probably still be shackled to the dying hulk. Thank goodness for dogma for once.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      As usual Peter, you are the master of understatement!

      The WA and the so called Trade Agreement are a win/win for Brussels…the other nation state’s officialdom are irrelevant.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        @Dennis Zoff:
        The process between embassies (permanent representatives) and the EC is not necessarily understood outside the EU, but it gave member states the channels to influence and have EU27 internal aligning. Therefore, slowly but surely, the EU27 kept a unified position all through this brexit process. So no surprise then that there will be no vetoes. Members of the UK (Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales) have no power to veto and may not have been consulted equally and now may be quite dissatisfied.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          @Dennis Zoff: Apologies, I just heard (remembered) that the deal is so thin that it is an EU-only deal, that is to say that separate national parliament will not have to ratify it.
          It will be interesting to see whether this is completely true, i.e. whether there may still be elements in the deal which should require national parliament ratification. The Dutch parliament is having a debate today.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

            So no democratic debate nor vote by any directly elected representatives then Peter.
            It’s a bit thin.
            Well that’s OK then.

            The peasants must trust their elites to decide for them.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Peter, appreciate the update.

            Here in Germany it is mixed feelings?

            As you know there are effectively three political regions “Eastern Germany, Southern Germany and the rest. I live in the NRW region (Cologne) which in itself is a political mixed bag (though NRW commerce and the auto/white goods manufacturers are clearly very happy with the Brexit result).

            Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the ongoing political debate in Germany, regardless of the obvious Mutti support!

            BTW, my family and friends in the Netherlands are 50/50 split!

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            @Edward2: Good point.
            Actually, the peasants (i.e. their elected representatives) DID have a debate about it yesterday, because there is always a debate before a minister (foreign affairs in this case) goes to Brussels. After all, he/she doesn’t want to end up with a vote of no confidence on return). They weren’t happy about the short speaking times, but did support the minister/government I believe.

    • rose
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      I should think not! They have secured free access to our lucrative single market for nothing in return. They have also hung on to our fishing grounds for another five and a half years, making it ten altogether since we voted to leave, and they still haven’t given back Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland won’t even have to pay road tolls to cross with her lorries.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        @rose: After centuries of fishing ineach other’s water it would have a been a bit too harsh to take away the livelyhood of continental fishing communities overnight. So a five year period to adapt seems reasonable to me.

        • Timaction
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          It’s called a free lunch worth over 650 million Euros annually. The deal does not return enough of our natural resource and will not go away. This will be another political hot potatoe and will get resolved. Time for EU to get real unless they want give us something worth 650 million Euros annually.

        • graham1946
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Is that what happened to the UK fisherman in the seventies? No it was not.

        • glen cullen
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          We’ve just had 4.5 years transition

          The key word is ”transition”

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            @glen cullen: and clarity about a deal for only a few days.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          I agree Peter.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          These people have no concept of being reasonable, Peter.

          They hanker after the days when, if the UK did not get what it wanted out of “foreigners”, then it simply went to war.

          Happily those days are long, long gone.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

            You are getting more extreme and silly as Brexit approaches Martin.
            Calm.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          How much warning did Heath give the UK fishing industry before the pulling the nets out?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

            @Fred H: I believe that this was a gradual process. Did you know that over time, quite a few English fishermen sold their quotas to foreign fishermen?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            They had to.
            The quotas they were given meant profits were not possible.
            They sold up and got out of the industry.

        • rose
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          We would not have done that, but it should have been under our control, not the EU’s. It should be a bilateral matter between us and the individual fishermen whom we should have licensed at our discretion. That way we could have put a stop to the marine environmental degradation of the big abusers which the EU never has.

          Anyway, they have had four and half years: it is not overnight.

          Happy Christmas to you, Peter, which I forgot to say.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            @rose: I hope your christmas has not been spoiled by tier 3 or 4.
            Up to a better 2021 with, I fear, much more negotiations.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      One can but wonder which country will be next – once they see the UK flourish outside the EU. Macron thinks the French would vote to leave if given the choice. I think the Dutch may will do the same. Hey, perhaps we could have our own trade agreement! Wotjersay?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        No, Macron did not say that – you omit the context which is everything.

        The European Union has sctually been solidaritised by the preposterous and contemptible example that Tory UK has made of itself.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

          Fingers crossed eh Martin?

  3. Polly
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Surely leaving the EU is now or never ?

    Wasn’t Brexit about being “an independent country” now, not at some unknown date in the future if another administration feels like it, which of course in practice will never happen.

    So isn’t the test whether or not this is pre 1972 ?

    It’s not pre 1972 by a long way, and No Deal was only ever the genuine outcome of a Leave vote.

    So to accept what is on the table is a compromise and not what you set out to achieve, and certainly not what you wanted when you made your Bruges Group speech.

    In fact, it’s surprising you even read “the deal” at all considering it comprises 2000 pages.

    A genuine Brexit is one page, and on one side only.

    Polly

    • Nig l
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      So a test of something is whether it matches 48 years ago. Life has moved on. I dont think you have.

      • NickC
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Nig1, How would independence differ in principle between 1972 and 2021? Isn’t the principle the same whatever the era?

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • hefner
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          Independence or sovereignty might keep the same meanings, but the environment in which such notions might be realised is, as correctly pointed out, likely to have changed a bit. When was it that Richard Nixon visited China? Oh yes, 1972.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      It’s not pre-1972 because you Leavers failed utterly to destroy the European Union, which was, I think, the main aim of the US supremacists such as Farage, I think.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        The EU (Common Market) existed pre 1972.

      • MickN
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        No need. The EU is destroying itself.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          It’s rather ironic, coming from the dis-United Kingdom.

        • Paul Cuthbertson
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          Mick N, Spot on – You took the words right out my mouth.

      • ChrisS
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Destroying the EU was not the objective at all.

        In any case, it’s doing a good job of destroying itself……………

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Give us time, MiC. Or, rather, give the EU time to destroy itself by never being to say no to another slice of the soverignty of its member states.

      • NickC
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Is that all you can muster on this momentous occasion, Martin? A fake news story about imaginary “US supremacists”?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          The only arguably momentous events on this dreary trajectory happened in Bercow’s Parliament and in the Supreme Court.

          The UK left the European Union last January. Farage and Hannan etc. got their respective shoves, to the relief of hundreds of millions.

          These are post-exit arrangements, which may be revised by mutual agreement at any time and by any government.

          Arguments over that will dominate the news evermore, in a way that they never did whilst the UK was a member.

          John’s posts here will largely be concerned with little else, as they have not been for some years now.

          But a sane government can rebuild good things, and destroying any of those once again would involved a detailed analysis of particulars, instead of the emotive, nebulous nonsense, which “informed” the 2016 referendum.

          So, like Freedom Of Information, and NMW, once established they would be hard to destroy.

          We have work to do then, and it begins right away.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            Once you have overturned an 80 seat majority.

          • Northern Monkey
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            “Arguments over that will dominate the news evermore, in a way that they never did whilst the UK was a member”

            You’re right, because when we were members the majority of our political class, media, academia, the arts and our business leaders were content to hand over the country to Brussels as long as everything got better for them, without the inconvenience of having to seek the approval of the electorate.

            That has now been rectified, and decisions about the EU will feature in our political discourse, as is appropriate.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        So this your new conspiracy theory.
        That everyone who voted to leave the EU wanted to destroy the EU.
        You have as your evidence one man who never said that.
        He did say that he thought the EU would fail.
        Which is different.

      • Robert McDonald
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        I have read some blind bigoted comments about leaving in my time but this is a peak . The Eu cannot have much about it in your mind if you think it could be destroyed by people who disagree with its construct, and it has always been clear to rational people that, for all his faults, Farage has had the interests of Britain first and foremost in his mind, and secondly he sees the world out there waiting to be treat as partners instead of as a n other, as the eurocracy does with its protectionist policies.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        Much like all the rest of you Remainers….they are now fully irrelevant.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        And you Remainers wanted to make UK a mere federal region in an EU superstate. Yep – making up spurious motives for your opponents is easy !

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Martin, what you need to understand is that it has ALWAYS been the case that IF the 1st member state to leave, actually does so, and is seen to make a success of it, then other EU states will want to do the same.

        The seeds of destruction are sown by that, and so the EU knows that it must prevent it happening AT ALL costs. That is what their game-plan has been ever since the idea of a Brexit Referendum was made known. Project-Fear Mks 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,n.

        Have you forgotten the forecasts of doom, gloom and depression that were supposed to happen JUST on the result of the referendum? Remind me again what ACTUALLY happened about those?

        Once it became clear that the UK WAS actually leaving and nothing (much) could be done about that, then phase II began – more turbo-project-fear about the UK being sidelined as regards trade, passports, insurances, residency status for ex-pats, pets (remind me how many cases of Rabies there have been where animals FROM the UK have transported it into the EU?).

        If the 1st member state IS leaving, then it must be made as difficult as possible. The EU’s prevarications, delays, frustrations have all been aimed at delaying a final decision while the British People were subjected to a campaign of propaganda aimed at getting them (subtly and not so subtly) to put pressure on the Government to revoke both the referendum result and their decision. At each milestone in the process – etc etc the EU have sought to reset the clock and have claimed (with bottom-lip protruding..) “but…. but…… it is not possible to do a deal in the time remaining….”. ****-off! They’ve had OVER FOUR AND A HALF YEARS to sort this cr@p out. Enough!

        MPs should press for ONE further delay in the process, and that is purely so that they have enough time to PROPERLY scrutinse, analyse, and seek legal advice if necessary, as to the contents and implications of this ‘deal’.

        I’m reminded of the words of Neville Chamberlain – “I have in my hand, a piece of paper…..”.

        …… and we all know how well that worked out, don’t we?

        • Timaction
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. We all remember Boris and his oven ready deal! Scrutiny it does need.

        • miami.mode
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

          Excellent GW, but it was reported that any further delay in the process would require another treaty.

        • Lynn
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          Greenland was the first member state to leave the EU in 1985. They obeyed the Referendum of their people who wanted out!

      • M Davis
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        You get wider and wilder by the day!

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Spot on Polly.

    • oldwulf
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      @Polly

      Whilst I broadly agree with your sentiments, the protection racket known as the EU has moved on over the last 42 years. Had we remained outside the EU, who knows what relationship the UK would have had with it in 2020.

      I believe we need to be pragmatic and hopefully some clever people will explain to us that the compromises are worthwhile and that, for the UK, they are an improvement on the so called “no deal”.

      • SM
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        I read today’s article in The Spectator by Steven Barrett, a Commercial Chancery lawyer, entitled “The small print of Boris’s Brexit deal makes for reassuring reading”, and was indeed reassured – I’m happy to accept that we live in the real world and sometimes (or indeed often) must learn to cope with compromise.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Clever? I’d rather they were honest.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        OW,
        yes I agree, this deal is but a further step on the path. THE important clause is the termination, that I expect we will exercise in a couple of years, as our interests lie less and less with the EU and more with the wider world. Our strength grows, theirs weakens.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      @ Polly

      The test is who gets to Rule! Is it the People of the UK?

      If within the activities inside our own Country a Foreign power gets to dictate our laws, rules and regulations – its a fail.

      If our own Democracy doesn’t have oversight its a fail. If the People cannot change a law or rule through the Democratic process without fear of penalty – its a fail.

      As a side bar; remove any of the above from our Parliament and you have no need for MP’s therefore the House of Commons

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Polly

      We could have left at anytime up until the Lisbon Treaty, which introduced Art.50. It introduced a means by which a member country could formally leave and we were bound to it. Trouble was, and still is, most of our MP’s, Establishment and Civil Service did not want to Leave so dragged the whole thing out.

      We, the people, were never in power and could not control events other than through the ballot box.

      I argued BEFORE the 2016 Referendum than Leaving would not be easy as we allowed another body to effectively act for and on our behalf. Our nation lost many of the skills and contacts needed and all this would have to be rebuilt. Very possible but time consuming.

      What we have is something that I and Mike Stallard argued for as it would have got us out of the EU sooner. It was not perfect but it is a start.

      I do not believe that the EU is going to last my lifetime. Certainly not in its current form. It either has to go full Federal, including tax raising powers, or shed members. If it stay as is it will simply stagnate. The future is in the Far East, Africa and the Americas, not Little Europe.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        If this deal was the first step on a journey of divergence (and if this deal had been achieved four years ago), then there might be reason to be optimistic. But what the last four and a half years has demonstrated (at least to those with the wit and inclination to see) is that there is no appetite for divergence. This deal is the first step on a journey towards formal convergence. What should now be abundantly clear (as I believe you recognise), is that to truly diverge, and to truly be independent, we need a government willing to do so. Neither a Tory nor Labour government will do.

        • Lynn
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Yes that is what I fear. We do not yet have control of our civil service or politicians, that is the fundamental problem, and they are of such a low calibre that they can’t cope.
          This is our Treaty of Versailles. A conquered nation which has had no Parliament for nearly 50 years.
          Tragic, Britain humiliated for all time, surrendering territory for a trade deal in which we suffer a £90 billion deficit. Beaten by what the Irish call ‘the fasciest Sinn Fein’ (but no doubt we are not allowed to). Throwing our fishermen to the 4 winds again and with no power to stop the environmental destruction in our waters.
          This is not what I voted for.
          Parliament need to reject this deal as even the fundamentals are not the equal of WTO. God alone knows what the details hides.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            Agreed.

          • Hope
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            +1 very good Lynne.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:54 am | Permalink

          Your final sentence neatly highlights the problem. But alas you do not go on to offer a solution.

          In 2016 we the people were put in the driving seat. We were told that we were to decide on our future and the political class would abide. The truth is, they never meant it and we are, and have never been in the driving seat. I recognised this long ago and came to the conclusion that the only solution was to become a Direct Democracy, something that you may have noticed if you have been reading my posts for many years here.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            My ‘solution’ is a political party that seeks election on a manifesto to return power to individuals. In the world in which we live, a particular kind of power needs to be pooled for the purposes of national security, but otherwise, it is surely better that political power is maximally diluted. Individuals may then decide for themselves how to live their own lives, cooperating with others through voluntary agreements.

            I don’t believe your position on direct democracy addresses the problem of a concentration of power in the state – though if I’m wrong I apologise. It’s just that direct democracy, as appealing as it seems, still sounds like the people as a whole deciding what happens to the people as a whole. I’m for self-determination, not just at the international level but also at the interpersonal level.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Yep,
      Endless delays, pre-conditions and transitions = BRINO.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      A genuine Brexit is one page, and on one side only.

      Given the interconnected nature of our economies, that is absurdly simplistic.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Not so. Trading arrangements are inevitably a little more complex than this, but we are talking about a declaration of independence – after which such trading arrangements can be negotiated. Two distinct things, so Polly is correct.

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      “So isn’t the test whether or not this is pre 1972 ?”

      Indeed it is but clearly never intended to be that which we voted on: “Leave the European Union”.

    • Original Chris
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Polly.

  4. Nig l
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    ‘The most consequential politician of his generation’ this is Boris’s world now we all just live in it. Thus the person who was also a very successful London mayor twice, put to bed the crass comments about buffoonery etc many from your contributors based not on knowledge of him but personal animus. For them the word buffoon is closer to home.

    Overall commentators I trust say on balance it’s a good deal. Inevitably in a negotiation there has to be some give. I expect the usual blizzard of dancing on a pin pedantry from nay sayers and vested interests, the Sunday Times, a noted Remain institution, was pathetically negative in its business pages yesterday, I see some whinge about red tape and lamb etc.

    Certainly control of borders and state subsidy, no annual contribution, zero input from the ECJ, all reasons I voted Leave, seem to be met. Equally it highlights Theresa Mays, frankly ‘lies’ especially on the Andrew Marr programme and I guess how much the Civil Service in the guise of Olly Robbins was only interested in doing the EUs bidding.

    Re Margaret Howard’s reply to me yesterday. What a shame she thinks she and I guess, her friends, should be put back in a box. Personally I am very happy for my network to be well out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      With the current damaging and pointless lockdown almost everyone is in a box.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Far worse than pointless in fact. Some estimates put loss of QALY year due to the economic and other damage of lockdown could more 10 times the covid QALY lives that could realistically be prevented by these lockdown.

        The government have either not done this assessment (in an act of appalling gross negligence) or they have done it (perhaps ignoring it, and just refuse to release it.

        • glen cullen
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (1st) have a higher death rate then covid-19 (2nd) (ONS November)….you don’t heard much about that in the media

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      My comments about Boris (sometimes defensive of him but often terribly derogatory) pertained to emission targets and the reaction to CV-19.

      It’s depressing to be in the wrong but it looks like I could well have been. I am hoping that I’m wrong on CV-19 too.

      Having done this despite being very sick, Boris is more of a man than I’ll ever be.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        No you were very largely right. Boris is very wrong on emission targets and his absurd over reaction to CV-19 and on workers right (which largely favour shirkers and harm workers) these are doing far, far more harm than good. Justified by huge false positive rates from the discredited PCR testing.

        It seems all this will continue with this BorisBrino half leaving treaty.

        • Jim Whitehead
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Ll +1

  5. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Nice summary.
    ‘… it is also crucial that there is an easy exit clause. This was something I lobbied for strongly. Financial Provision 8 headed “Termination” gives a simple clean exit in the form of this statement…’ And I lobbied for it too. Arguably, the exit clause is the most important – and it will help keep the EU honest.
    I gather that there will be a review of the agreement three years down the line. I hope that the government will NOT use that as an opportunity to ‘deepen’ ties with the EU but, rather, use it to remove some of the petty restrictions that the EU is planning. A seven euro tax for its version of Uncle Sam’s ESTA is one such burden.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      I believe that the EU will become less relevant over time.
      When their massive trade imbalance is whittled down due to product substitution they will need us even more.
      We can now import superior products like American citrus fruits and juices without paying the common external tariff and finished coffee can be sourced from developing countries.
      We can shake off much of the EU protectionist ways and plough our own furrough

      • ChrisS
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • DavidJ
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed; hopefully it will fall apart soon.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      It is not a question of keeping the EU honest, but keeping the UK government honest. Who is going to do that? How will this happen?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        From what I can see there are no honest governments. It’s not what they are about.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          Keeping as much power out of their hands as possible must therefore be the aim. Sadly, power increasingly accrues to the government, with the people’s approval – implicit or explicit.

          • Lynn
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            Power and money! Always follow the money. With so much wealth concentrated in so few hands, the situation is anti-capitalist and very dangerous.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        You do. At the ballot box.

        • David L
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          And at the ballot box we need an honest alternative….

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Not ‘I’ but ‘We’. Forgive me if I don’t trust the electorate as a whole when they consistently return such appalling governments.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • dixie
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          I agree that watchers are needed. The last 40+ years has shown we cannot trust the establishment or politicians to do the right thing and clearly the ballot box is no protection at all.

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Honest!? Un-elected egotistical officials not held to account by the People, get to run their own personal thiefdom without total disregard to those they rule and you suggest they are honest.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

          You misunderstood. I’m not suggesting the EU is honest. Far from it. But we have no influence on the EU. Our influence is on our government and politicians, which is why this is the issue.

      • Robert Mcdonald
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        But it is a question of whether the eu is honest. There are now 27 vested interests remaining in there, around 20 plus being net receivers of financial support .. thus prone to nod their heads when told to be those who allocate the money .. i.e. the eurocrats .. the unelected self serving eurocrats. A recipe for bias and corruption.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          Whether the EU is honest or not is irrelevant if we just leave, at which point we only have to worry about our politicians. That is the fundamental purpose of Brexit after all.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        That is the crux of the matter. And competent would be an improvement too.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      @Sea_Warrior

      ESTA a burden?(or did you mean something else) along with Preclearance it smooths things nicely. If the UK enacted similar we would be in a healthier better place.

  6. Kenneth
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I think that on balance, if we consider the fishing quotas, the general balance of trade, the uncertainty over N.I. and the rushed nature of this agreement, MPs would be best advised to vote against this deal.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      But they clearly are not going too. Perhaps some EU country will for us.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        to

    • Old Salt
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Kenneth-
      +1
      And the alternative is…
      Not forgetting Gib.

  7. Nig l
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Ps The markets opening tomorrow will give their verdict. With the Covid vaccination news I expect to se the bulls running.

    No doubt the pound will harden making the ‘hairy chest’ brigade happy but not so good for exporters or the value of overseas earnings albeit I guess many will be well hedged.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Tell you who will be happy…those who bought at the bottom during the “Coronavirus Crash”.
      Gosh…how they must have looked forward to the vaccine!

      • Nig l
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        How very clever. No doubt you will share your secret how to gauge ‘the bottom’ as you put i and if they did are unhappy that people’s pensions will benefit.

        As ever an anti investor knee jerk. Strange you didn’t mention all those in retail/hospitality shares etc that have had their value decimated because of the virus. I presume using your magic formula they all sold at the top of the market.

    • miami.mode
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      European exchanges all up today and the pound down. Hmm?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        What do you expect, when the UK was by far the weaker party in the negotiations, and yet existentially had to conclude a deal of some sort?

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

          First you claimed a no deal scenario would be the outcome.
          You said that scenario would be a disaster.

          Now there is a deal you refuse to connect a financial exchange and stock market improvement to achieving such a deal.

        • miami.mode
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          Early Tuesday morning FTSE250 (mainly UK companies) up around 3%. Pound up slightly.

  8. Andy
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Your judgement, the ERG’s judgement – is irrelevant. This deal is Brexit. Reality Brexit. Not the fantasy peddled in 2016 but the reality we face in 2021 and for years beyond.

    The deal is a dog’s breakfast. As we told you it would be.

    First, it has no provisions of note in it for services – the dominant part of the U.K. economy. This does not just harm banks it harms all sorts of professionals from lawyers to architects and from scientists to musicians and creative professionals. Areas where we excel are ignored.

    Second, it creates a tsunami of red tape for goods. Customs declarations, import and export forms, SPS checks. This feast of bureaucracy is immensely damaging to British business and is pointless. It is also the opposite of what leavers promised in 2016.

    Third, it removes rights from British people. It makes it harder just to travel, let alone to live or to work or to study on the continent. Boris Johnson, in 2016, promised Brexit would do none of these things. He lied. The decision to pull of Erasmus – again breaking a promise Boris Johnson made, this rime in Parliament – is simply nasty. Bitter old men denying opportunities to young people.

    Fourth, the governance structure of it is a mess – complicated and bureaucratic. We still face the potential of legally binding rulings against the U.K. No, not by the ECJ but by independent panels but it amounts to the same thing.

    Fifth, it destroys our Union – putting a border down the Irish Sea, putting a rocket under caps for Scottish Independence, causing huge problems for Gibraltar and even the Falklands. It represents a major attack, by the old, on the young.

    Despite being rubbish this deal will pass Parliament with negligible scrutiny. The final element of contempt for the British public the Brexiteers have shown is having given MPs no time to scrutinise it. This deal will not last. It has no mandate from the people. None of us have ever voted for it. It will slowly be undone over the course of the coming years because it is a bad deal with makes our country poorer, which diminishes us, which harms our Union and removes rights from our people. It is everything we told you Brexit would be. A mess. And you will all own it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Andy Pipkin from Little Britain! Stand up and be counted!

      There is a big wide world outside our Union, and to do business with it we need to be able to negotiate directly. Indeed the EU agreement will become less relevant because the EU will become less relevant. You think Ireland will stick with the EU when there’s a UK-USA or even TPP alternative working across the Anglosphere and Asia, and their largest customer is on their doorstep outside the EU??

      The world is becoming smaller, Andy, whether you like it or not.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Our little ray of sunshine. 50% youth unemployment and you still think your kids are going to study and work in southern Europe.
      Give it a rest Andy and keep taking the medication.
      Your blood pressure must be astronomical.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Significant he is selfishly whining about Erasmus which benefitted 16,000 mostly middle-class students but was paid for by millions of working-class taxpayers. The young mostly couldn’t care less about the EU – their culture and politics come from the USA.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      And of course if it had been different you would have praised it. Why don’t I believe that? Instead you start with your own one eyed view then justify it.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Erasmus was a tool of the EU to create more ‘Europeans’. I’m glad we’ve pulled out of it. If students want to explore the world they can do do so on their dime, not mine.
      P.S. Last time I checked, the UK’s university system stacked up pretty well in comparison with Europe’s systems.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        +1 except about 75% of degrees in the UK are fairly worthless and certainly worth less than the £75K plus loss of earnings they tend to cost taxpayers and students.

        • Ed M
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Also, the majority of women are told the lie that a career will make them more happy than being a wife and mother and creating a home.

          Women MUST have the right to CHOOSE if they want a career or not. And I condemn men who put down and treat women like little people. They are not. They are great and of course EQUAL to men – morally and spiritually and in all the important senses.

          But not let’s sell them the lie that a career brings far more happiness than being married / family (in some cases, yes, but the science shows that most women want to be married and have children and focus on family life by 27).

          Meanwhile we need to turn our boys into proper responsible men.

          And not forget how strong family life is KEY to the long-term happiness and success of our country. (And if we focus on this – tax will shoot down as people depend more on family than state – and above all on themselves).

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            Oo0h, can men have the choice of whether to have a ‘career’ or not. Interesting word ‘career’. Your progression through life in a job – or to move uncontrollably. Many people, I would suggest, career through their career.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            Much truth in this. The small gender pay gap is driven not by discrimination really, but by the work life balance choices the different genders take. Commute or not to commute, full or part time, career breaks, indoor or outdoor work, manual or desktop. Plus rather few women choose to study Physics, Computer Science, Maths or engineering and lots choose do performing arts, languages and similar if one looks at the stats.

          • Ed M
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

            @Mike,

            We’re in the worst of both worlds, where women have men’s careers that these women don’t really want (most would rather be having children, creating a family home etc .. – again, not my private belief but what science tells us).

            Also, sadly many younger men are confused about their masculinity. If they were allowed to be more masculine (in a good way), they would be far more productive at work – and so much better in lots of other ways as men.

            Lastly, Jung (sympathetic to our Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian world view) talks about a deep joy that men experience when they are ALLOWED and ENCOURAGED to experience and live out their masculine energies of being 1. King 2. Warrior 3. Magician (Magician as in a man who knows well his craft in work or the arts as well as other things related to this) 4. Lover (not sensual lover but lover of life in general including the arts and having humour etc)

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            The worst aspect of having it all is that if many households aim to have it all then no one is better off relatively but those who choose to dedicate their lives to their families are much worse off.

            It is a no win scenario.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Since the European Union os the most successful peace project, and the most civilised and enlightened association of nations that the world has ever seen, that aim of Erasmus – if as you claim – deserves the highest possible commendation, and the UK’s sneer at it says what a reprehensible little country England is under the brexit Tories.

        • Sea_Warrior
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          The most successful peace project has been NATO.

          • DavidJ
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, nothing to do with the EU claim.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            I would suggest nuclear weapons had as much impact as NATO.

        • Alan Paul Joyce
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Dear Mr. Redwood,

          Poor old @Martin in Cardiff and his mate @Andy; both still stuck in the ‘anger’ stage of grief.

          Boo-hoo! It’s not fair! How can this happen? Those nasty Brexiteers are to blame. Sob sob!

          • Ed M
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            It’s ‘Sir John’ NOT ‘Mr Redwood.’

            Let’s please call Sir John ‘Sir John’ not just out of respect to him but out of respect of our nation’s history in which we’ve had knights for who-knows-how-long, a 1,000 years or something like that.

          • Alan Paul Joyce
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            Dear Mr. Redwood,

            Dear @Ed M,

            Mr. Redwood’s knighthood is well deserved – of that I have no doubt. However, I do not think he would be overly concerned by the way I write to him.

            I have used this form of address since before knighthood was conferred on him and do so only for ‘continuity’s sake perhaps in a similar way that you use the moniker Ed M to denote that it is you and no one else.

            It does not signify a lack of respect on my part and of course, I would be only too willing to use his full title should he so wish!

        • dixie
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Wow, that’s really polishing the turd.

          France decided they would be damaged less and benefit more if they let Germany have economic rather than military dominance of Europe. They roped in the rest to cover the costs and make the play work.

          The last age of enlightenment in Europe ended with the French chopping off the heads of the enlightened ones. Wonder what will happen this time.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        but it survives on the increased fees charged for other nations’ youth seeking higher education standards.

      • Qubus
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        No, it wasn’t. It was a a way for students from the EU to spend time, usually an academic year, at a UK university and for UK students similarly to spend a year at a university of their choice in Europe. I assume that the probem with the scheme was that, due to the proficiency of European students in English, and and the lack of it in UK students, almost all the traffic was from the EU to the UK. The ratio of the two numbers was roughly 10:1. One of the reasons for this imbalance is the fact that English is relatively easy to learn, and is universally used, whereas the grammar most other languages are much more difficult.
        I assume that this meant it was disproportionately more expensive for the UK government.

        • Timaction
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Exactly correct.

        • Christine
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

          Plus EU students had free tuition fees at Scottish universities paid by the UK taxpayer. This pushed many Scots out of their own universities.

    • middle ground
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Lets Buy British
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Please Andy, put a sock in it …….. please! Make your comments based on facts and a more balanced view. Your comments about Northern Island are down solely to your remainer compatriot Theresa May so please own it.

    • Lucy
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      I fully agree. Especially relevant is the point that under the Agreement the UK will be bound by decisions of arbitrators. So if Parliament approves this Agreement, it automatically hands over control to unelected arbitrators. How can that be consistent with sovereignty? I thought the whole point of Brexit was to make sure decisions affecting the UK are taken in the UK. They won’t be under this Agreement

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Andy, you are often wrong about just about everything, but this post is a real classic.

      I’m not going to waste my time with a line by line rebuttal, but there is a positive answer to every one of your negative points. I will give just one example :

      Erasmus : Boris Johnson wanted to continue with the Erasmus project but the amount of money demanded by Brussels was ridiculous. Instead, we are going to run our own equivalent but ours will not be limited to just universities in the EU, but will be worldwide.
      It will also be designed to encourage students from poorer backgrounds to take part. That has to be a positive gain from Brexit.

      • graham1946
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Erasmus is mostly a free holiday for rich kids with not much study.

      • Andy
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        You won’t do a line by line rebuttal because you can’t. Indeed, none of you who have commented have mentioned the substance of what I wrote.
        You mostly insulted me. This is okay because I don’t take offence.

        I read a interesting post from a university vice chancellor –
        an expert in such exchanges – about why the government’s replacement to Erasmus is unlikely to work. The bottom line is that you will not get sufficient interest from foreign universities.

        It is interesting also that they name the scheme after Alan Turing. A man oppressed by the British establishment. Forced to take chemicals to change who he was – who then ended up killing himself. All under a Conservative government.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          Complete red herring Andy.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          Line by line rebuttals are pointless. You are incapable of dialogue. I have often argued with people – and, when they have proved a point – accepted I was wrong. This is not something you are capable of.

          I can argue that the EU is intrinsically undemocratic. This is, of course, by any reasonable interpretation of the meaning of democracy, a fact. But you would never accept that because of your belief system. You would never even consider you might be wrong about something. It is, I have to say, terribly egotistical.

          As for …

          You mostly insulted me

          … one has to smile. The words ‘pot’ and ‘kettle’ leap to mind. Right, I’m off to spend my state hand-outs. Thank you so much.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            Great post Mike.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      The deal is a dog’s breakfast. As we told you it would be.

      My dog has a wonderful breakfast each day. I always give him something different to eat each day. I don’t want him becoming bored.

      As for ‘As we told you it would be’ – is the royal ‘we’? I can honestly say no-one else has told me the deal was to be a ‘dog’s breakfast’.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      ‘dog’s breakfast ‘ such a silly 100 years out of date expression.
      A typical dog in the UK gets a better breakfast than hundreds of thousands of school-kids, even though Mr Rashford tries to explain how ‘the other half lives’ in this advanced economy.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Marcus Rushford would be more productive setting up means to educate those in receipt of free school meals in how to cook for their children from scratch. Cheap and healthy just time consuming. Maybe buy them a slow cooker if we must give handouts.

        Teach a man to fish

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Andy,

      You are correct that Brexit will make it more difficult for UK nationals to study (Erasmus), live and work in the EU. But the problem is that these EU freedoms meant massive movements in one direction only – towards the UK – and such huge imbalances are unfair and unacceptable to the UK.

      This was caused by the EU’s greed in wanting to expand beyond Western Europe to include not only Eastern Europe but even further East and consequently was expected to get worse.

      Listen to Mr. Cameron’s Ankara 2010 speech where said he wanted Turkey to be a member of the EU – “Paving the Road from Ankara to Brussels”, and in his Kazakhstan

      speech in July 2013 where said he wanted the EU “to extend all the way from the Atlantic to the Urals” – thus including 7 or more ‘stan’ countries.

      Furthermore we won’t be exposed to an EU trade deal where the Germans and French get tariff free exports on their cars and food into a third world market and in return the UK get gets all the “benefits” of freedom of movement.

      Perhaps, as you say, Brexit will “create a tsunami of red tape for (EU) goods.” But I believe if this happens and it reduces EU trade it will be to our benefit as evidenced by our £100bn/YEAR trading deficit with the EU caused by existing non-tariff barriers to our goods.

      It will also mean we no longer pay for vast CAP frauds and will become less exposed to frauds such as that of the German diesel engine emissions testing scam for which our consumers have received no compensation.

  9. Enid Gray
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The Agreement is, from start to finish, about putting up new barriers to our trade which did not exist when we were members of the EU. No country has ever willingly done anything so economically foolish. The speculators will do well out of this. Ordinary Brits are the losers

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Barriers to trade with the rest of the world reduced though. You need to see both sides of the coin.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      No country has ever willingly done anything so economically foolish.

      Of course they have. They have joined a straitjacket trade agreement and paid a load of money for the privilege. Economic insanity.

  10. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many people will read the agreement or rely on whatever interpretation the media decide to portray. An interpretation based, no doubt, on their own position- and not on the actual agreement.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      The parts I’ve seen verbatim are such a legalese tangle, only a lawyer could understand it. The average person reading it will be none the wiser.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Correct.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        The average person reading it will be none the wiser. Indeed & done that way on purpose to muddy the waters and allow judges to make various interpretations depending on their mood that day. Also politicians in one country to pull certain phrases out and ones in others to refer to others.

        • Nig l
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          What absolute conspiracy theory tosh.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            Watch the claims from the politicians in France and Germany and compare with similar in UK. You would think it was a different agreement.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic

          “..average person will be none the wiser….”

          Yes tend to agree, that’s why the 1270 page document requires 800 odd pages of explanation as an addendum.

          If any document requires that much explanation, then it is obvious to any sensible person that it is not clearly written in the first place.

          Ask yourself why, as the lawyers will be having a field day.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Excellent points Mike and Dave. People should remember that this deal was choreographed. The legal text is there primarily to settle disputes – none of meaningful substance of which will arise. It also serves as an attempt to conceal truth, or at the very least create plausible deniability, meaning that the choice we are ultimately left with is to trust the establishment, or not. I would be fascinated to see if any government supporters that post here could give just one good reason why this (or indeed any other conceivable) government can be trusted.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        The average Leave-backing commenter here would be none the wiser no matter what they read or did.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          Keep the insults coming. I wonder how thick you have to be to lose the Brexit/Remain argument. Clearly, you failed completely to explain, in simple enough terms, the benefits of membership to we poor, half-witted Leavers. Shame on you. Communication is clearly not a strength with Remainers.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            Indeed Mile.
            Remain used Project Fear as their main campaign method.
            The negativity caused them to lose.

        • graham1946
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Oh the irony. Such bitterness. What a shame, never mind. Your superior brain and education does not give you much joy does it?

        • SM
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          Well, seems you win 2020’s Prize for Breathtaking Arrogance, Martin.

      • graham1946
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Wait for the land mines in the small print. They will be blowing up for years.

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          ….which is exactly why there needs to be ONE more delay (and one more only) – in order for MPs to EACH read through it (and not just do as the whips tell ’em) so that they have an idea of what it is they are actually voting about.

          Landmines indeed. Most MPs seem to have a legal background so most (not counting Mr. Mastermind – the member for Tottenham, obviously…) should be able to spot those before we step on them.

  11. DOM
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Johnson has partially delivered what most British democrats considered the minimum. It is hardly a triumph and should not be considered so. A government partially delivers on the wishes of the people expressed in a vote, so what?

    Considering how your government working with Labour have smashed our nation, our freedoms and exposed us to extremism then it’s the least we should expect

    There is ECJ reach on certain UK-EU projects but on the substantive issue of constitutional and Parliamentary sovereignty the ECJ’s influence is eliminated

    My great worry is that at the next GE voters will reward your now depraved party and intolerant Labour thereby endorsing the every growing bigotry and authoritarianism we are now witnessing across all areas of life in this once free and liberal nation

    ECJ eliminated. Now you can start with removing hate crime laws, smashing fascist left influence, destroying BLM racism and crushing cultural Marxism before it destroys this nation

    Without Farage and UKIP we would now be fully paid up members of the EU club and on our way to constitutional and Parliamentary oblivion

    We have nothing to thank both main parties for who see the UK has nothing more than something to be abused for political gain

    • Peter
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      ‘ My great worry is that at the next GE voters will reward your now depraved party and intolerant Labour thereby endorsing the every growing bigotry and authoritarianism we are now witnessing across all areas of life in this once free and liberal nation’

      Three parties offering variations of centrist, globalist, Blairite politics. I wonder if the proposed Reform Party will now go ahead?

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        The proposed Reform party is guaranteed to be DOA. Farage is a Brexit politician, and he is now indistinguishable from the Tory party. Even if he articulates an alternative, no one will listen. Billie Piper’s ex-husband is now our best shot. (I say this not as a slight on L Fox, but as a rhetorical device to illustrate the dire straights we are in. I’d be delighted if Fox were to emerge as a powerful voice for liberty.)

        • Lynn
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          He wants a peerage.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            I don’t doubt it. Any credibility he had left (and there wasn’t much) is gone. Still, given the general calibre of peers, he’d fit in nicely.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        You want Farage to do actual WORK?

        Oh, my aching sides.

        He’s risen to prominence simply by paraphrasing Daily Express, Daily Mail and Sun headlines for a few decades, and thanks to whoever selects panellists for Question Time.

        I hear he’s quite good at making paper planes from order papers in the European Union’s Parliament though – that and flicking top-notch food.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          He could have stayed in his job in the City and made far more money.
          Your cynicism is misplaced.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          You are not quite so successful in parroting the Guardian, the Mirror and Facebook Marty.

          I would think you must therefore have a sneaking admiration for the chap who gave you such a sound beating.

    • matthu
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I fear that rather than hate crime laws, BLM racism, cultural Marxism and so forth emanating from the EU, the EU served merely as a funnel to keep the purpose from being properly scrutinised and a shield to obstruct attempts to remove these laws. If that is the case, then we can expect many of these laws to persist until we clear out our highest courts and House of Lords of many of the people resisting attempts to clear them out. Although a recent court case which seemed to align freedom of speech with a right to cause offence is making a positive start.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        No such laws have ever emanated from the European Union’s institutions.

        Criminal law, and most other areas of law – especially social – are all sovereign and always were for the UK.

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          You are Jean-Claude Juncker, and I claim my 50,000 Euros.

    • SM
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Other than constantly posting comments containing the words ‘conspiracy’ ‘Marxist’ ‘smash’ ‘fascist’ ‘depraved’ ‘intolerant”extremism”destroy’, do you actually participate in any kind of political work, DOM, or have you ever done so?

      Excuse me if I’m wrong, but you give exactly the same impression of obsessive paranoia as Andy and others, just from the opposite site of playing field.

      Perhaps if all those involved in our relationship with Europe (and that includes Brussels) started behaving like decent neighbours instead of religious and chauvinist fanatics bent on proving utter dominance, the world would be a rather happier place.

      • Nig l
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Well said and of course a better understanding rather than just firing off a torrent of unsubstantiated bile. Maybe their tinfoil hats have stopped working.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      My worry is that there won’t BE another GE.

      • graham1946
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Hasn’t made much difference for the last 100 years. It is just musical chairs between Labour and the Tories. That will continue. The LibDems are finished but still their leader goes on about re-joining the EU. He may get Andy’s vote, but that will be it. They incapable of learning anything because their eyes only see their own dogma. They wanted to cancel Brexit but got royally stuffed. We can only hope Farage does something so we can get something different, but from what he says about the EU treaty he probably won’t bother.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          +1
          Yes..he seems pretty disinterested.

          • Lynn
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            Uninterested.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        That is a worry. We are a way down that autocratic totalitarian road now….. and the longer these CV19 measures continue, the harder it will be to turn back.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          +1

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Actually…if they had a brain cell or ounce of integrity between them the “elite” could have always mitigated the EU’s influence and that of the encroaching Left.
      But no…they hate this country and the people in it.
      So they “gold plated” every tiny diktat from Brussels and begged for more.
      Actually …they once feared us ( because we stood up for ourselves) and so, with wars* and taxes and sheer cruelty, they turned us into toothless, bleating sheep who suffer from a syndrome called “Craving the Needle”.

      * For a long time our bravery and ability to make money for them with warfare and industry kept us safe. They don’t need us any more.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        ” They don’t need us any more “.
        And that is why the govt are busy shipping in our replacements – and making us pay for them to be here. We were told diversity and multiculturalism will be wonderful. What we have received is loads of criminals, drug gangs, grooming gangs and cash for crash gangs. All living here on our taxes, while they know they are virtually untouchable. What does the govt do? Keep shipping more and more in. Unsustainable madness. We will be a 3rd World country soon. And the govt knows it, because that is the aim.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Paul Cuthbertson
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          So True.

        • Dennis
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          I was going to write that we already have 3rd World roads but what I have seen of road trips in Africa, India, Middle East etc. on TV with cameras focussed on road surfaces I have yet to see a pot hole.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        The gold plating and unquestioning compliance with EU doctrine is why we had to leave. We put ourselves on an unlevel playing field willingly.

        Freedom of movement is an unlevel playing field. The single market with its disparate labour costs was an unlevel playing field procurement rules were against our meek acceptance and even the weather to grow salads puts us at a disadvantage. Coupled with no preferential treatment of our service economy we hamstrung ourselves with countries that ignored rules that did not suit them.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Mark B
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:59 am | Permalink

          +1

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Even if this was a clean and proper Brexit (though it is not), and the UK had the theoretical option to be independent, and self-determining, what conceivable UK government is going to take advantage of this and govern in the interests of the people? As DOM correctly suggests, neither Conservative nor Labour, or, I would add, any other existing party – including Reform – are willing to alter the trajectory we are on.

      As I have suggested previously, the real issue is the Covid response. The Brexit farce may have served as a wedge to sufficiently weaken the Tory party, thereby allowing a sensible alternative to emerge (though from where is as yet unclear). It is abundantly clear that Brexit is not a wedge, as even Farage has capitulated (again!). In this context, it is highly questionable what a few dissenting Tories might achieve, given they would be widely perceived as whackier than Nigel. In the coming economic collapse, it appears there will be no one keft standing to speak sense.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        We need a Trump. Someone who has not been involved and contaminated. Someone used to success and wielding authority. Not one of the corporatists who is a paid functionary, someone who owns stuff, cuts profitable deals.
        I fear we are living through the fall of Britain. The trajectory is unchanged in spite of valiant efforts of the People.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

          A proportion of the people to be sure. As far as Trump goes, he has not been a success. Perhaps this is due to him having to work within the confines of the existing system – though I’d like to think it was possible to at least have moved towards restoring the integrity of the constitution.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Without Farage, the Brexit party and UKIP we would now be fully paid up members of the EU club and on our way to constitutional and Parliamentary oblivion. This is surely true and any UK democracy would have finished.

      This colluded in by most of our appallingly remainer MPs and Lords. In the last EU elections Brexit Party won with 31% and Traitor May’s Conservatives got 9%.

      • rose
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        It is worth remembering that the Brexit Party was the biggest single party in the EU parliament, beating the German Christian Democrats.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Just as well that the UK is out for the time being, really.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Opposition is not something the EU parliament likes.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Without Farage and UKIP we would now be fully paid up members of the EU club and on our way to constitutional and Parliamentary oblivion

      There speaks the truth.

  12. Andy
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    It is also interesting how desperately Brexiteers and their media cheerleaders are for their project now to be done. The war is over says Farage. We can unite behind this deal says Sunak. And so on.

    Erm, no. Brexit doesn’t end now. It starts fully now. This is where your lorry parks and you pointless bureaucracy and your fewer rights become real. Those of us who oppose Brexit do so because it is bad for our country. The huge costs massively overweight any claimed benefits, all of which are negligible.

    Undoing Brexit was always going to be a generational project. It is people in their teens and 20s today who will take us back in. In the meantime we have no intention of shutting up. We can happily spend the next 30 years being as obtuse about Brexit as all you were about the EU. The only way you win is by proving us wrong by making the country better whilst making nothing significantly worse. You have zero chance.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Well let’s look on the bright side:-

      + we save £12bn pa rising for ever. What’s that worth at today’s interest rates, £300bn, £500bn even?
      + we have avoided participating in the €750bn euro bailout scheme. What would our share have been? Surely at least £50bn. and there will be much more of that.
      + we are out of the foolish and environmentally damaging CAP and CFP, with the small trade off that there’s a transition period on the CFP
      + we will have a rational and liberal immigration system which doesn’t discriminate against non-EU citizens
      + we have already signed 60 independent trade deals – something we were expressly assured by Remain would be impossible
      + we have a tariff and quota free trade in goods without paying for it and without accepting rule by EU bodies such as the ECJ. Something again which Remain were loud in assuring us would not be possible.

      Yes there is the 90 day in 180 day restriction for 2nd home owners in the EU. But I suspect that will go or be easily overcome with a visa.

      Financial passporting has gone but there will be a mutual equivalence agreement which gives more regulatory freedom.

      There is mutual recognition of many qualifications (negating the point you make above)

      You are right the onus is now on the government to show that things are clearly better with Brexit. That’s a very positive pressure.

      For your forecast of rejoining to be correct you need 2 things to happen – the government to clearly fail to deliver the benefits of Brexit, and the eurozone to clearly deliver greater prosperity than the U.K. in the coming years & decades. Don’t hold your breath.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Good to see you continue to be open minded.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      ‘Those of us who oppose Brexit do so because it is bad for our country.’ No, you did so because you’ve been brainwashed into loving the EU more than your own country. And because you are one of the many who can only see problems and never the opportunities. Today, between spouting your hateful posts, you might like to contemplate why the EU’s vaccination effort is in such a mess. Let me help you: over-centralisation.

      • IanT
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        +++

      • Qubus
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Let’s wait a week or so before we pass judgement and see whose vaccination programme runs smoother.

      • hefner
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Around the beginning of December the UK vaccination schedule advertised in the media was announcing one million vaccinations a week.

        In the period 8 to 20 December there have been 616,933 first vaccinations (last figure I was able to find). With 1m/week I could have expected to be vaccinated between 22/02 and 12/03/2021 given my priority group.
        At what seems to be the present rate (if no improvement) it looks more likely that it will be before May or June.

        http://www.gov.uk ‘Covid-19 vaccination programme’ provides a lot of information (consent forms to be signed in particular) but no rolling figures.

        • anon
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          Indeed no figures. Appalling governance.
          We can then ask why supplies of the vaccine have been delayed from the plant based in the EU?

    • Edward2
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      In the referendum only a minority of youngsters bothered to get out of bed and vote,
      They were not bothered or interested.
      So the chances of there people ever reversing Brexit are very very small.
      PS
      As usual you talk about trade.
      It is about independence.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        And on the Vote Leave street-stalls I saw much the same. Only one British visitor under the age of twenty – and he had been worried about Cameron’s warning about impending World War 3. I also remember a posse of European students, in Chichester, under the leadership of their teacher who asked me why I wanted them to be denied an education at a British university. Can’t remember my reply but I hope it was something along the lines of: ‘I don’t think they should get it cheaper than an Australian with some affection for the Mother Country.’
        P.S. Chichester, by the way, voted Leave.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      You say:- “It is people in their teens and 20s today who will take us back in”

      That is their right. Just as it was the voters right to leave. Alas thanks to the remoaners and politicians this is not really leaving at all, but is far better than membership.

      If they are stupid enough to do so that is their right. Most of the young seem to have been conned by the war on plant food too. But as they age they may educate themselves more and perhaps become rather wiser.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Gosh, the price of tampons may well rise too.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Do we make our own toilet rolls, nappies, soaps and various other personal hygiene articles?

        • steve
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          Fred

          Yes we do.

          • Fred H
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            then all will be cheaper when VAT is gone!

    • Len Peel
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      They are desperate to pretend Brexit is over to deflect blame for all the problems to come as reality bites

    • Fred H
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      what a shallow life. Why not get one others enjoy?

      • Nig l
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and that applies to more than just one.

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I started a reply to you, Andy, but I really can’t be bothered.
      We’ve left. Get on with your life and make the best of it.
      If you spend the rest of your time here wallowing in self-pity, you will achieve nothing.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Don’t feed the trolls! Andy, Martin in Cardiff, Nig 1, (apologies to those I missed).

    • Peter Martin
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      @ Andy,

      ” It is people in their teens and 20s today who will take us back in. In the meantime we have no intention of shutting up. We can happily spend the next 30 years being as obtuse about Brexit as all you were about the EU.”

      The EU will have either become the United States of Europe by then or it will have broken apart under the weight of its own contradictions. My guess would be the latter as there isn’t sufficient popular will to make a U.S.E. work – unlike in America which works quite well.

      Having said that the Canadians show no desire to join in with U.S.A. and I doubt we will be any different with respect to a U.S.E.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        The US works well?

        It’s as hopelessly divided between similar halves to the UK, and the sitting president unelect has just attempted a coup, but fortunately the military would not co-operate.

        • graham1946
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          It’s a bit wealthier than divided Wales with their Labour government.

        • Peter Martin
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          @ Martin in Cardiff,

          I did say “quite well”. Of course it could be a lot better.

          Yes, there are political divisions but there is a sense of ‘American-ness’ which holds the country together despite their disagreements.

          We don’t see this to anywhere near the same extent in the EU. When we were members the argument was about how we, ourselves, might benefit. There are too many divisions of language, culture and nationality for a U.S.E to be viable. But that is their goal.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Can you give us a list of the ‘fewer rights’ we will now have. Leave out the one about only going tor chateau for 90 days in any 180, you don’t do that anyway.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      You remind me of a fan (a fanatic) who lost a football match because of what you see as a bad refereeing decision. 40 years on you are still sitting on a bar stool moaning to anyone who will listen. Other people in the pub will avoid you and say to each other ‘it’s a shame he can’t let it go and accept the loss’.

      It does not matter how many names you call us – we won, you lost. The only thing I potentially lost was freedom of movement. An Irish passport has sorted that out! I’m off down the town to have breakfast in my favourite cafe – and spend the hand-out you so thoughtfully provide. God bless you, matey.

      • anon
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Time to re-evaluate and recalibrate the CTA.

        Free movement within NI for citizens of Eire, they must apply along with ROW rules.

        NI need to choose , this cannot be imposed on them by the EU or the UK.

        In due course we will need to re-evaluate allowing dual nationality and potentially rescinding it.

        • anon
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          .with ROW rules …for free movement in rest of UK.

    • steve
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Tampon Andy

      “The only way you win is by proving us wrong”

      We do prove you wrong, regularly. Trouble is you have no idea about things like hardship, hard graft, achievement, patriotism and national pride.

      You expect to have it all now, without the hard work.

      But this is not all entirely your fault. You’ve been brainwashed and simply need the right perspective in life. If your age permits I think you should enlist in HM Royal Navy, or the Army. Either of which would make a man of you.

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Steve,
        The days of the three services needing any kind of man power are over. No need for gun fodder, they now need highly educated problem solvers and I doubt that martin or Andy would fill the post.

        Too brainwashed by their commie professor of media studies!

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      The real beauty of this is that the EU will NIVER have us back! Not in 30 years when we, the generation living on hand-outs, will be dead. Not in a million years. They know that all we will do is cause trouble. Never again. Jamais!

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        NEVER, even.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Mike Wilson

        “The EU will NEVER has us back!”

        Nor will anybody else. The 17th century epithet “Perfidious Albion” will have preceded us.

        Would you deal with anybody like that? And the burgeoning super power China will not have forgotten the insults we inflicted on them in the 19th century either.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Is there another country you like?

    • Leavebill
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Andy, the teens and young of today will grow up eventually. They will see that roaming charges and shorter airport queues are no reason to give up hard won freedoms and democracy. I also suspect that, as with previous generations, they will grow out of their silly liberal lefty opinions.

  13. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I think it is on the edges that incursions will occur and where this agreement will stand or fall, not in the grand ideas.

    Particularly the EU will feel free to annex NI by offering sweetheart deals. We need to work out a response. Equally the EU will be watching our tax and subsidy policies.

  14. Peter
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    ‘I will come to a judgement following further study and after hearing from others their thoughts.‘

    Well it seems you will be asked to vote on it on Wednesday.

    So it is being rushed through, rather than carefully considered over an appropriate amount of time for such a major change for our nation.

    Andrew Bridgen’s suggestion is being ignored in all the Boris hoopla.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      I was surprised to see Bridgen break cover like that. But he is surely correct. Legislate at haste, repent in leisure – though when have our legislators been repentant? Still, I’m sure the deal is that fantastic that it doesn’t require scrutiny, so not to worry, eh? 😉

      • Christine
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        The EU are giving their MEPs until 28th February to review the agreement, why aren’t our MPs being given the same opportunity? It’s a disgrace and exactly what I predicted would happen. This is a huge stitch up just like the WA. Our MPs need to table an amendment to make this trade deal provisional until it can be properly scrutinised.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    It is a new treaty, better than being EU members but not very much better. We can leave by giving a years notice (if we did doubtless the politician would extend this to about 10-years negotiations. It also ties us to an absurd expensive energy agenda which is economic and environmental insanity.

    To me it is clearly worse than no deal, but it is going to be rammed through on Wednesday anyway as Starmer and Labour will support it.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      And the EU always knew Labour would support any deal so we have been offered the crumbs off their table and Johnson has said thank you.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        +1

    • Nig l
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Firstly you don’t know and secondly from what I read you have made zero contribution other than promote some faux utopia from a never never land in the past.

  16. Grey Friar
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    If we change our rules on workers’ rights or on the environment, the EU can immediately hit us with huge tariffs. That’s your “freedom”! In truth it shows everything is interconnected in today’s world, and we could manage that much better as a member of the EU, instead of being on the outside of the bloc with which we do almost half our export trade

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Sorry, Grey Friar, what you are saying about “huge tariffs” is simply not true.

      Tariffs imposed cannot be “huge”. They have to be proportionate to any loss by the other side and are limited only to the area of trade in dispute. They will also be reciprocal and can only be introduced with the agreement of the independent arbitration panel consisting of three members each from the EU and the UK and an independent chairman whose appointment has to be supported by both sides.

      That’s a pretty high bar to cross.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed and we should certainly change our rules on workers rights and on the war against harmless CO2 plant food and cheap reliable energy. This so as to be able to compete with the rest of the world.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Our employment rights and environmental legislation are superior to those of EU member nations.
      One right is to be emplyed.
      Have a look at the levels of unemployment in the EU versus the UK.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Why would we do that? In general our employment, animal treatment and environmental laws are superior to the EU. When will they implement the same ‘level playing field’ on minimum wage rates as we have? I predict we will go further with higher standards and it is the EU which will be left behind. Our export trade will continue as we have the same tariff and non tariff barrier rules more or less as we had as a member. Our imports from third countries should be cheaper as we should not continue with the EU external tariff. We will be watching for that. Now the die is cast why not try to back our country instead of fighting the referendum all over again?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Well said Graham.
        I agree with everything you say in your post.

  17. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Given the heft and volume of text of the agreement which you will have to read (over what are only very few days now), I think it would be unreasonable to expect you to devote valuable time to writing and moderating your blog Sir John.

    I cannot speak for other readers but I for one would actually prefer you to suspend the blog and give immediate priority to completing your scrutiny and personal analysis of the wording in the document.

    That said, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and very much look forward to your fuller verdict on the Prime Minister’s deal, albeit only once you have ultimately arrived at one after careful consideration and feel you have enough time to re-engage with this uniquely useful space.

    Above all, thank you.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I think that is a good suggestion.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Me too.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      +1

  18. Dave Andrews
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Well, despite all the negativity, I’m quite pleased with the Agreement. It removes tariffs both ways.
    I can’t imagine this is the Britain- punishment agreement the EU wanted, and member countries have pushed for it behind the scenes.
    I wonder how long it will be before remaining net-contributing countries get fidgety and look to their own exit, if these are the terms available to being out. They can be quite confident of getting a FTA with the UK.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      It removes tariffs for 16% of UK companies that export to the EU and punishers 84% of UK companies with further rules and regulations that don’t export to EU

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        then the 84% won’t bother to try, but turn attention to other markets.

        • glen cullen
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          Those 84% currently comply with all EU rules and under this EU deal will have to continue

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      It removes not a single tariff.

      There never were any in those areas.

      It merely avoids their first-time imposition, subject to a range of conditions.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        Pity, I want tariffs on EU products to protect and encourage our home grown and manufactured produce. WTO would have delivered that.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      The other net contributors run a trade surplus with the EU so are unlikely to rock the boat (unless our leaving affects that surplus such that the tribute is no longer worth paying).

      The UK was the only net contributor also running a trade deficit so the only one with financial reason to leave. Sovereignty is less important in other countries

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Given where we were with Mrs Mays total and utter capitulation, and with the EU emboldened by such, I think Boris and importantly Mr Frost have done well in the limited time they set themselves.

    And yes it did need to be done in a limited time, otherwise it would have dragged on and on for years, just look at again May’s fiasco.
    Likewise given the pro EU stance of so many Politicians in Parliament, always carping and almost acting as fifth column saboteurs at every opportune moment in trying to undermine almost anything in any way they could, even openly travelling to Brussels to advise on how they would support Eu proposals, its amazing we got any sort of deal over the line at all.

    Is it everything we wanted, absolutely not, but given the above probably good enough with negotiation still on the table for further freedoms to yet evolve, and in particular fishing.
    The only fear is that we will get EU creep again from Europhile Mp’s should they ever get close to power again.
    Next we have to tackle the Green crap policy nonsense that is at the moment a huge policy mess, for something rather more structured and meaningful with sensible progression on timescale.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I have read the Governments 36 page summery, but not the actual legal agreement, as there is far too much legalise speak involved which makes it very hard reading, thus will have to trust the experts for their interpretation when it is available.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        That you have to trust the ‘experts’ means that you, and indeed everyone else – including, for example, our kind host – are exactly where they want you to be. This is a Boris Johnson Brexit/BRINO. It comes down to whether you trust him or not.

      • steve
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        “thus will have to trust the experts”

        Ok we’re screwed.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        +1

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    JR it is very clear from the NHS and other statistics that the government are using the discredited PCR test with its huge number of false positive to mis-label very many deaths as covid that and not at all. Current death are not even particularly abnormal. Many of these deaths are doubtless due to NHS shutdowns and failures to treat perfectly treatable conditions. Also the Government are endlessly using these false positive driven tests to justify the continued lockdown which is now doing far more harm than good. Both in health terms, quality of life terms and economic terms.

    What can be done to stop this insane policy? Also it is very clear that Ofcom are very heavily suppressing free speech on this topic and over the benefits or otherwise of the vaccine. Mainstream media and the BBC are pure propaganda outfits on these topics as they mainly are on renewable energy too. Anyone calling LBC to say something sensible and true on these topics is cut off after about three words so under the cosh are they.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Nothing can be done by Parliament to stop it because all parties support it. Only economic reality and the people can do something – though what that might ge exactly is anyone’s guess.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        For a start, Buy British, and definitely Don’t Buy EU.

      • steve
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

        Simeon

        “Only economic reality and the people can do something – though what that might ge exactly is anyone’s guess.”

        ========

        Don’t buy EU products.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          I don’t believe that will resolve the bigger problem, but I take your point. And EU products are about to become more expensive, so there is an obvious incentive.

    • BeebTax
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      +1

    • RichardP
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Nig l
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      What can be done is you starting a blog etc offering yourself as an alternative to the voters getting off your backside rather than just firing off from the comfort of your own chair.

      People who make an effort get my respect even if I do not agree with their views.no effort, no respect.

    • BJC
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      It’s clear that while we continually hear the mantra that we must “save the NHS”, the NHS isn’t doing much to save itself. It proudly announces that we can’t use the Nightingales as isolation units because they don’t have the staff to man them. It’s also clear that much of the shortage is due to staff not in work because they have Covid, or been in contact with it, yet not displaying any symptoms.

      Paying staff to do nothing is the unions’ idea of nirvana, yet fit-for work staff could contribute to “saving the NHS” by spending their isolation working in isolation units (with accommodation), so hospitals could return safely to treating the sick. I can’t wait to hear the unions argue that it’s unsafe for the infected to work with the infected and anticipate some speedy recoveries, in which case they can return to their day jobs to take the pressure off colleagues and “save the NHS”, anyway. It might not work, but equally, it could be the first step to something more productive than the “perfection science” of SAGE.

      • graham1946
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Would you have the courage to go into a Covid high dependency unit for 12 hours a day? Easy to snipe from a safely isolated keyboard. You obviously know nothing and have seen nothing. I have family in the NHS and you should hear the tales and see them run ragged. Anyone off in isolation does so in accordance with the rules.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Have a look at NHS Reset Conference. NHS were putting pressure on PM to extend Brexit. (Letter for all to see).Which actually he seems to have ignored!
      So weird how the actual official figures just do not agree with NHS claims and also MSM narrative!
      Apparently ExCeL Nightingale has been dismantled totally…and in the midst of so many cases!!!😳

    • Stred
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      The ONS show that non- covid deaths are below average but ‘with covid’ above average and increasing. Bearing in mind that the NHS has been taking in severely ill patients who have gone without treatment for five months, this looks like a convenient way to cover the real excess deaths resulting from shutting down hospitals because of the danger of cross infection. The hospital acquired covid rates are still high and the tests so sensitive that after testing successively the re classification is easily done.

  21. agricola
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that as very few of us are going to read all 1700 pages. I would like to know the details of the fishing agreement because for both sides it is a politically contentious area. Has our attitude to conserving fish stocks been comprehensively thought through. Much talk of extra paperwork in ports. I would expect slightly different exchanges of information but will this be covered electronically with little physical delay to trucks. Finally is the HoC fit and qualified to begin acting as a legislature again. I look forward to lively and informed debate.

  22. middle ground
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    Will you be offering an apology to the leader of the fishing industry trade organisation who said on Today, this morning, this deal is worse than when we were part of the EU?

    Reply, No because I urged no compromise on taking back control of our fish stocks. I am currently urging the government to legislate to improve our fishery and to set out a plan for a much larger fish industry in the UK.

    • steve
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      JR

      “No [apology] because I urged no compromise on taking back control of our fish stocks. ”

      Understandable that you should not be expected to apologise, JR, but I do think Johnson should go to coastal communities and offer an apology.

      – personally I’d like to see him crew on one of the British boats while under attack by larger EU vessels. He’d be advised to take a change of pants.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      How could it be worse. We have an increased proportion of our fish to gather and a time scale to prepare for taking as much as we wish when we are fully ready.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Who in the right mind would want to be a fisherman? Or woman? Or gender neutral fisher.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Someone who maybe has the sea in their blood? Or enjoys sailing or does a lot of non commercial sea fishing and enjoys it? Someone who feels that they could make a go of being a fisherman?
          Why does anyone decide to do anything and how can anyone else set themselves up in judgement of their mental state?

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        The EU give up 2.5% of OUR fish each year , for 5 years – having done their best to empty the sea which is ours. Thats good?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Sir John.

      Can you please include the banning of Pulse Fishing and Drag Nets, please ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Of course it’s worse than when the UK was part of the European Union.

      Conditions for nearly everything will be for ordinary people.

  23. Everhopeful
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Hello!!!
    Do we all live in the same country?
    Where I am I have had all liberty snatched away from me.
    Along with all civilised support mechanisms.
    I may as well be in the middle of a rainforest ( if there are still such places).
    Brexit???
    A diversionary scam.
    We now belong to the globalists.
    And they are licking their lips….
    And no doubt chortling at how easy it all was!

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Never mind. Clearly your isolation has caused you to lose touch with reality. There is a nasty virus about the place. It is worth trying to avoid catching and spreading it.

      Yesterday in Lyme Regis it was like a summer’s day. The place was packed. Hardly anyone wore a mask. There was no social distancing in the queues for the cafes. People walked past right next to you – and stood next to you if you stopped to look in a shop. Odd, in many ways. Particularly as in Bridport lots of people wear masks and people seem to be aware of social distancing.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        How nasty of you!
        You have no idea of my circumstances.
        I am exceeding glad that people are coming to their senses.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful

      Brexit was started over 4 years ago. so how could that be a diversionary tactic for Covid which has only been around for just less than a year in the UK.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Diversionary from global takeover! Or financial crash ( most likely).
        Obviously not Brexit…unless you don’t understand what Br exit means?

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          I meant that Brexit is of little interest now.
          What is the point of freedom from the EU when we are under COVID martial law?

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            At least the majority can vote out any government with which they disagree, thus if most agree with you, then the present government will not last beyond another 4 years, the problem is finding a better Party who would be more suitable.

  24. formula57
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It does not seem so bad. Very much more important is what the UK does now.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. I like the sounds coming from No 10, lets see if the action follows.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        like the ‘I’d rather be dead in a ditch?’ ‘oven-ready – prepared by 27 EU chefs’.

  25. ukretired123
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It seems many rush to judgement today who have not read it as fools unlike angels.
    The details need legal scrutiny not amateurs.

    • ukretired123
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      One City analyst noted that Services esp Financial Services were little mentioned because Trade in Goods was the main concern.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s because queues of lorries in Kent are visible even to Tory-Leave voters, and are therefore a political embarrassment.

        The same is not true of thousands of people simply losing their jobs in the City and elsewhere.

        • Mike Durrans
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          what a silly statement! I fail to see how the actions of a silly little foreign nutcase is and embarrassment to Britain, having said that I would have left them queuing as they were his froggie drivers.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          and the queues created by…?

        • steve
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

          MiC

          “thousands of people simply losing their jobs in the City”

          Oh my heart bleeds. They should try doing a real man’s job.

          • hefner
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            Like what? Writing comments on Sir John’s blog?

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Why the rush, we could go WTO and allow time to consider the EU deal

  26. Nivek
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    “it is also crucial that there is an easy exit clause”

    We had an easy exit clause. We invoked it in 2016.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Surely this is exactly the point. An exit was voted for by the people. The reality is that government will exit if it chooses. (Spoiler alert! It won’t.)

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      But is was not enacted alas – even four + years later as there are still so many appalling traitors on the green (and red) benches.

    • BeebTax
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      “Easy”? Voting leave was the easy bit for me, but what followed has been nail biting and the lawyers are still active…

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Yes, so the UK was always sovereign as a member of the European Union.

      Those countries in the British Empire didn’t find it quite so easy.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Those countries in the British Empire didn’t find it quite so easy.

        Because they knew the benefits of being a member of the Empire outweighed the loss of sovereignty. If only that had been true of our membership of the EU empire.

      • ukretired123
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Better than French legacies – Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco etc and don’t forget Guinea Bissau who were scorched earth Martin.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Did the UK demand ongoing financial ‘tribute’ from them after we left them independent? No.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Being able to leave isn’t sovereignty.

      • BJC
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Odd then, that so many from the former British Empire have subsequently chosen to be part of the British Commonwealth, Martin; a choice that’s perhaps reflected in the name…….common wealth.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Exactly! Why do we have to do it all again … and again ..

  27. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Well it was either this deal or walk away and I couldn’t see Johnson having the guts to do that. Providing the lawyers can find nothing detrimental or worrying I guess it will get voted through. With sensible government choices I think the UK will do well but as we have all said, the chances of climate policies,HS2 etc being dropped are unlikely so economically it will not be as successful as it could be.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      +1

  28. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I have just read ChrisS post from yesterday and agree on his comment about factory ships and pulse fishing. Stop it.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Peter Davies
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • dixie
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      +1

  29. oldtimer
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I have not read the whole agreement, only the part of it covering it’s supervision and the numerous committees and working groups to be set up to administer its operation. Given the terms of reference it seemed to me (and I may be wrong) there will be potential for the proposed oversight system to change things without parliamentary oversight or approval. Lots of changes can and are sneaked through committees with delegated authorities. It is an aspect that deserves close scrutiny by MPs wary of governments using backdoor methods to make changes via administrative methods.

    • BJC
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      ………..and perhaps reflects the true status afforded by this new treaty, that of Associate Membership, where the EU is handed powers to police our activities. I wonder how much we’re paying for this “privilege”?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        I did say !

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The most obvious restrictions on our sovereignty will be affected by: The extent, and number of committees and working groups set up to police the various agreements, which means we will be tied heavily into the EU bureaucratic machine for ever more.

    I am not convinced about no ECJ involvement, for example, there is a great deal in this document that is not about trading. Under the heading of CHAPTER 5: UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS –Article SSCI.46: Aggregation of periods and calculation of benefits.
    3. The Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction to review the legality of the decisions of the Commission referred to in paragraph 1 and to suspend the enforcement of such decisions.

    Why is there so much social content when this is supposed to be about trade?

    There are far too many places in the document that talk about shared responsibilty, and suggestions that appear to tie us in to the EU’s policies on CLIMATE CHANGE, sustainable energy and competition:
    “REAFFIRMING their commitment to democratic principles, to the rule of law, to human rights, to countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to the fight against climate change, which constitute essential elements of this and supplementing agreements….

    RECOGNISING the need for an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership to be underpinned by a level playing field for open and fair competition and sustainable development, through effective and robust frameworks for subsidies and competition and a commitment to uphold their respective high levels of protection in the areas of labour and social standards, environment, the fight against climate change, and taxation.

    RECOGNISING the benefits of sustainable energy, renewable energy, in particular offshore generation in the North Sea, and energy efficiency.

    WHY ARE SUCH COMMENTS ADDED IF NOT AS A MEANS OF MAKING SURE WE TOW THE EU LINE? This deal is far more than a trade agreement….!

    Beyond this document are the sub-agreements, which still need careful review, but there is one additional agreement we have already learned about, which needs to be challenged – WE WILL REMAIN IN THE EAW AGREEMENT – Totally unacceptable!

    OVERALL – the agreement goes well beyond what a trade deal should be about – there are too many uterances of things like sustainability that should not be in there and suggest mutuality. I would be loathe to sign it.

    • Stred
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Following their conversion to the Green religion it has suited the UK ministers to write their disastrous agenda into the agreement. Stand by for blackouts and cold houses.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      No party to the talks set out to come to a Trade Deal. All the talk has focused on who gets to make, amend and repeal our Laws. Effectively who is in control of what elsewhere in the World would be Sovereign Territory.

      Unfortunately get passed the mealy words and you see the EU has mandated that any deviation of their laws and rules and the UK will be punished.

      China and the US are far bigger EU trading nations than the UK could ever be, and they get to govern themselves.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I agree its NOT an FTA

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Good work sir,

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      +1 but it will clearly go through this parliament!

    • hefner
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it interesting that Priti Patel said (confirmed by the document published on 25/12) that from 1 January 2021 the UK is out Europol, Eurojust, European Arrest Warrant and the data-sharing linked to the Schengen area. But I guess BH has access to much better sources than the Home Secretary.
      And by the way, SSC46 Special provisions on aggregation of periods (p.1165) and SSC47 Awards of benefits (p.1166) does not have any mention of the ECJ, and there is no such thing as SSCI.46.

      My good man, you must not have been reading the final version of the UK-EU agreement, but one of the multiple previous drafts published by various doubtful websites. So no need to get so excited.

    • DaveK
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      The fishing chapter seems to entirely concentrate on the phrase “shared stocks”, which sounds dodgy (fishy) to me. Having read Fishing blogs (no doubt partisan) we have still given way on parts of our territorial waters, within the six to 12 nautical miles. Apparently, they are so bad that there is very little gain in some places, in others none. One would think the document is a preparation to rejoin the EU.

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The globalists know full well we can not run our economies without fossil fuel.
    So they also know they can control us through rationing our energy supplies.

  32. chris hook
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    It would be impossible, politically and practically not to accept this agreement. Fishing has to a certain extent been compromised but by introducing a diminishing period of accessibility to Eu fishermen (as I understand it) it gives us a chance to build up our fleet.

    • Wil Pretty
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      When we build up our fishing fleet I expect the government will want to build back better!
      Large numbers of green jobs for capstan winch gangs and plenty of work in the countries sail and rope lofts.

  33. David Bristol
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    So far I have read c250 pages and their corresponding appendix. This document as a trade agreement is not perfect as I would have liked to see more certainty in certain clauses preventing future legal wrangling over ‘interpretation’, but that said, as far as I can tell what I have read seems equitable, and achieves my wishes as a negotiated trade agreement that can be worked with going forward. It’s worth noting that the section on public procurement refers to the WTO GPA agreement amendments by the EU and by the UK. But the WTO do not seem to have published the UK amendments to the WTO GPA agreement on their website (I presume they are recent) hence I can’t tell if UK GPA amendments are equitable with the EU amendments as referred to in this document.
    It is also worth mentioning that when I personally voted to leave the EU to regain the sovereignty of our parliament and our laws (which in the majority has now been achieved), I would not have wanted Northern Ireland to remain under any control whatsoever of the EU or it’s courts and rules in trade or in any other manner.

  34. Nivek
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “to legislate as UK voters wish”

    To legislate as UK voters truly wish one must first respect, among other things, their rights to freedom of expression and of assembly, as well as their right to protest.

    I do not believe that the regime under which we are currently living in the UK is conducive to the exercise of these rights and freedoms.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      It would certainly be a novelty. They seem to decide what will most upset or inconvenience the paying public and legislate that.

    • steve
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      If they legislated voter’s wishes we’d have been on WTO 5 years ago.

  35. steve
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    JR

    I’m a layman, and obviously not as savvy as yourself with such a complicated 1200 page document as this.

    However, I am able to grasp the gist of what it means.

    We don’t have full control of our seas, and NI is effectively annexed by the brave republic hiding behind EU coat tails.

    Those two facts alone identify the outcome as BRINO. It appears tyrant Johnson had decided not to put that ‘turd’ where it belongs but actually polish the thing and try selling it to us as a good deal……but it’s still the same turd inside.

    You’d be ill-advised to buy a used car off this man.

    I reiterate my sentiment in the clearest way I can: Parliament MUST vote this down, MUST for once acquire some spine and break from the EU on WTO.

    We have an opportunity here to make the country strong and self sufficient. Obviously that would upset big business and french fishermen – but hard luck ! french fishermen had it good for 40 years and now we demand the immediate return of what was robbed from us.

    As for business – it should get used to supplying the home market and wider globe. If that is too much effort, they can get out and go to Europe (without the money).

    We need to feed ourselves and make what we need, ourselves.

    If Johnson’s deal is not voted down it will mean the final opportunity to turn this country around was deliberately sabotaged by the establishment – and things will turn quite nasty for the Westminster self-perceived elite.

    I again suggest the deal is voted down and simultaneously the ‘turd’ selling con man in No 10 should be removed.

    The British people have the spine for WTO, what’s the establishment’s excuse ?

    • Hope
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      +100. It is a polished turd that does not have much shine. I am still wondnot ring what the U.K. got from the partnership agreement. JR voiced th opinion the test would be that it is better than WTO. I fail to see it.

      How can it be worth giving away/annexing N.Ireland, Gibralta fails to get a mention and the WA and NIP applies! We have EU inspectors on our soil checking the U.K. Is complying gmwith EU Acquis! How is that taking back control of anything!

    • Keith
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes WTO with who or with whom..we have no merchant navy anymore the East India Company with its shipping outposts and agencies took centuries to build so how do you suppose we are going to reinvent rebuild those times. NI was always going to go back to its natural hinterland and Scotland also starting to realise that they also can have a different future.. but saying this we realize you are only speaking for England

      • steve
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Keith

        No one expects restoring this country to be easy. It will involve a hard graft and a lot of ‘we can’.

        Merchant Navy ?…….no problem, we have shipyards.

        Why do you NI was always going to be part of RoI ? It’s British sovereign territory, or at least was until May / Johnson shafted it.

        Scotland?…..if there’s one good thing to come out of this deal it’s that she of the SNP is not at all happy.

        Yes Keith I do Speak only for England, I’m English.

    • Original Chris
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, steve. What a pathetic attempt at “leaving” the EU.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      +1
      Parliament must be the only Government of the Country, otherwise why are they there?

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

  36. GilesB
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Many sections state that ‘The U.K. will … ‘ without a reciprocal obligation on the EU. Why?

  37. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    As the sovereignty the UK parliaments is entrusted with to weald is leant to it by the people of this country, the parameter to be asked is have the wishes of the People of this Country been respected.

    In 2016 a simply question was posed do we stay or do we leave. The People voted leave.

    After some 4.5 years of talks, prevarication and negotiations the UK as in the question simply left the EU.

  38. NickC
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Nig1, I expect compromise on trade in a trade deal. Not compromise on sovereignty.

    How would you expect the EU to react if the deal annexed Belgium, enabled us to plunder EU fish for nearly a decade, returned our excess contributions, etc?

    Boris and David Frost (and team) have done well with the hand they were dealt by the Remain Parliament and the appalling Theresa May, but this deal is not “Leave” as defined before the Referendum vote.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think they have done well. I think it stinks.

  39. GilesB
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    There are lots of data specifications that shouldn’t be in the text of this type of agreement. Totally freezes any innovation and opportunities to apply modern technology.

    Indeed it ludicrously mandates specific technologies which are already obsolete.

    For example, p921 refers to Netscape Communicator 4.0 as a “modern e-mail software package” (it was last updated in 2002) and demands the use of SHA-1 as a hash algorithm (deprecated by NIST in 2011 as insecure)

  40. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I can see it now – Britain surges ahead, free from the tyrannical embrace of the EU. In the next French election for president – Macron is endlessly reminded of his comment that if the French were allowed a vote, they too would vote to Leave. Marine Le Pen – assuming she stands again – will rally France with the cry – ‘the Brits have done it – so can we!’Allons! Allons!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I do hope so Mike. That will wipe the smiles off the likes of Macron.

    • margaret howard
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson

      “Macron is endlessly reminded of his comment that if the French were allowed a vote, they too would vote to Leave.”

      Really? Only that is not what he said on the Andrew Marr show, as reported by the DMail:

      Macron said he believed Britain backed Brexit because “a lot of losers” of globalisation had “decided it was no more for them”.

      Going to voters with a Yes/No vote on a “complicated” issue is always a “risk”, he said.

      You always take a risk when you have such a referendum, just yes or no in a very
      complicated context,”

      Asked whether France would have returned the same result, he replied: “Yes.

      Probably, in a similar context but our context was very different, so I don’t want to
      take any bets. I would have definitely fought very hard to win.”

      “But I think it is a mistake to just ask yes or no when you don’t ask people how to improve the situation and to explain how to improve it.”
      ==

      And rather than your imagined rallying cry of:”– ‘the Brits have done it – so can we!’Allons! Allons!

      according to a DExpress report last Wednesday (Dec 23):

      Just five days before the UK voted to leave the EU, Mr Macron mocked the prospect of the UK leaving the EU.

      He said: “If I was British, I would vote resolutely remain because it’s in the UK’s interest.

      “Leaving the EU would mean the ‘Guernseyfication’ of the UK, which would then be a little country on the world scale.”

  41. None of the Above
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Spent a few hours yesterday reading through the agreement and I don’t have any alarm bells in my head ringing at the moment and I’m reassured by the paragraphs relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction.
    On fishing, I can sympathise with some dissenting voices, but not when this agreement is viewed over the long term, to June 2026. Whilst some may take issue with share ratios, these should be viewed in the context of the sea areas historically fished and required access to export markets. If we had (to coin a phrase) lifted the drawbridge at the median line, access to EU waters would have been denied to UK boats. Many UK boats fish EU waters and export that catch to Europe.
    Logically, without compromise there can be no agreement.
    I am neither a lawyer or a commercial fisherman so I await advice from the experts.

    Happy New Year everyone.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      So a foreign power gives the UK a share of what under International Law is 100% inside its own jurisdiction. After 2026 if the EU doesn’t get what it deems as its right they have written into the agreement they will punish the UK.

      It was never about fishing it was never about trade. It is simply does the UK get to Govern its own resources in the same way that all free countries do – the answer to that is no. We the people have no say through our elected representatives, because they have no say – a redundant parliament.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        +1

  42. PeteS
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I would like to see comments on how things will go on divergence. I see the chances of the nutty EU making significant moves as very high. In which case what happens in reality if we don’t want to follow.

  43. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Sir John, as you highlight.
    It also seeks to limit litigious activities under the Agreement by stating that “nothing in this Agreement …shall be confirmed as conferring rights or imposing obligations on persons other than those created between the parties under public international law, nor as permitting this Agreement…to be directly invoked in the domestic legal system of the parties”

    Surely that single statement is a refusal to recognise Democracy, Sovereignty and Independence. In logic there is no such thing as International Law.

    Law is something that is in the hands of the People to Create, Amend and Repeal. The People are the highest authority. The unelected , self appointed are in no position and have no right to dictate laws and rules.

    We would all comply with all Laws and Rules applied in other domains when we are visiting or directly dealing with those domains. But Laws and Rules from elsewhere cannot and should not at any level be suggested, applied or enforced on a people by denying their democratic right, to create them in the first place, amend them and repeal them. That is the complete opposite of the phrase you quote.

    As highlighted by Daniel Hannan in the Telegraph over the weekend – “differences inadvertently advertised by Mrs von der Leyen when she defined “sovereignty” as being about pooled power, which is the opposite of how we understand it”

  44. Diane
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    My understanding is that the take up by UK students to Erasmus was overall minimal and by many accounts not very good and as has been identified, costly. There has been a fair bit of commentary and opinion on this in the media and not only just recently. Many opt to go to Australia and New Zealand.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      because language skills in the UK are very low.

      Attending university courses in a foreign language necessitate a very good understanding of the latter.

  45. Tabulazero
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I am very happy with this deal because it gives the EU what it wants:

    * Quota & tariffs free access to the UK market on goods where the EU has a trade surplus.

    * Nothing of significance on the services where the UK has a trade surplus.

    * Additional cost and red tape for British companies trading inside the Single-Market versus their European based competitors.

    * The UK’s ability to deregulate and undermine the Single-Market is limited thanks to the UK’s commitment to LPF provision, the always possible imposition of retaliatory tariffs by the EU and the fact that this agreement will be revised every four years.

    * The UK getting locked in a permanent state of negotiation with the EU, which will allow it to perpetually keep it guessing (just ask Switzerland).

    Even fish is not too bad as evidenced by the fishermen in Calais not saying a word.

    In short, this treaty makes sure the British cannot have their cake and eat it at the EU’s expense.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      You should be very glad you live in this country. There was a time when your comments would be construed as sedition – or treason. If you love the EU so much, I do hope you live there. Why on earth would YOU want to live here? I love it here.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        The truth clearly stings.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          well you must love Cardiff.

          • NigelE
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Though I rarely agree with M-from-C, Cardiff in a much improved city in the last few decades.

        • anon
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. All it will do is cause the deal to transit to default WTO.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        I absolutely enjoy the fact that I have more rights inside the UK than an UK citizen like you.

        I still have freedom of movement, which allow me to travel inside the EU unfettered to do business. I do not have to bother about this stupid 90 days rule.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        but don’t you reflect on what you are leaving for the next 2 generations – children and grandchildren?

    • Edward2
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      But we never asked for cake and eat it.
      Just a similar treatment to other independent nations.
      Like America Australia India Japan China and Canada.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        And that is what you got exactly.

        You can diverge in theory as much as you like, take back all the fish in 5.5 years but in practice it will come at too big a cost.

        This deal ensures that Brexit remains meaningless.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Nonsense.
          First you say we get a poor deal.
          Now when challenged you retreat to just fish.

    • acorn
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Ten out of ten Tab.

      BTW. Have you noticed that EU citizens that gain post Brexit residence in GB, retain their freedom of movement within the EU 27, to parallel with the Irish rules.

      Hence, if you want an HGV Driver to deliver into the EU 27, find an EU one who is resident in the UK. He/she will be able to drive a UK exporting wagon in any EU member state, just like now. A UK Driver will not.

      PS. If you enjoy riddles, have a read of the HMRC rules and regulations for trade between GB – Northern Ireland – EU and the Rest-of-the-World.
      https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/landing-pages/eu-exit-landing-page

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Thank you acorn.

        This is so interesting.

        This agreement puts the UK back in the 1950ies from a geopolitical standpoint.

        It has lost its Empire but has not found its purpose in European construction yet.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I’m sure that the US – or someone – will find a purpose for it.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        You forget an independent UK could take retaliatory action and change rules that affect EU drivers in the UK.
        Maybe a compromise will be the result.

        • Lynn
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          How can it when it has accepted that the Irish Republic has free access. They are EU citizens, we would lose any case banning e.g. a French EU citizen from France driving when a French EU citizen from Ireland has free access. Discrimination you understand.
          That’s why you never leave any thin edges of wedges in a door. Once you concede a principle you lose all the detailed cases.
          That’s why we need WTO.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      As you say the UK is a EU colony and has no say in how the country advances, just as with the rest of the EU – Ruled and controlled be the un-elected, un-accountable. Welcome to the modern take of being free.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Then if you live here why don’t you clear off to the EU.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        Love the weather

        • Fred H
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          even a few million Scots stay ‘up there’!

        • Lynn
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          … And the handouts?

  46. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    To me I have never understood these political egotistical shenanigans – they have no place in a ‘free’ society.

    What has taken place has undermined Democracy and the Point of having an MP or the House of Commons.

    These talks have never been about trade, they have never been about fishing even. They have simply been about who has the right to Govern and Control a People.

    The only question anyone gets to ask about this massive fictional novel, is that in our own domain(Country) who has the right to create the Laws Rules and Regulations that govern our lives, our commerce, puissance of wealth and happiness?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Exactly !

  47. Jules
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The Termination clause is good news….

    That said, Title 11 on “Level Playing Field” raises questions.
    Which Single Market laws could the EU “complain” about if the UK amends one ? (for domestic purposes)
    e.g. What if the UK concluded that 6 litre toilet flushing was counterproductive, so permitted larger cisterns in the UK ?

    e.g. What if UK wanted to change the Rules around flood channel dredging spoil ?

    (both example of EU interference in domestic matters.)

    A “complaint” can be taken to a Panel of (3) Experts.
    There’s a lot of procedural guff ….which raises more Questions.

    Then there is the “non-Regression” stuff.
    How is it decided that a UK law amendment is “regressive” ?
    (The EU has a history of interpreting such things very widely.)

    But most worrying is Article 9.4 on “Re-balancing”.
    This seems to allow the EU to push the UK into copying a new EU law (all-be-it with a Dispute Resolution process.)

    How is it even possible in a Trade Deal for one side to introduce a (costly) new law – and force the other to adopt it ??
    Surely that should be a matter for separate and specific negotiation at the time ?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      “What if the UK concluded that 6 litre toilet flushing was counterproductive, so permitted larger cisterns in the UK ?”

      Nothing so long as those do not get exported to the EU (because they would not comply with EU rules) which means that the EU custom officers will check all truckload of cistern coming in from the UK to make sure this is not the case.

      Given the above, why even bother to develop a different type of cistern unless you think selling it domestically outweigh losing the ability to export it to all your neighbouring countries and incuring additional red tape ?

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        In the EU Doctrine, its not what the UK sends to the EU, it is what the UK does internally and what it exports to the rest of the World the EU have been given authority on..

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Because many UK manufacturers do not import products into Europe.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Absolutely but why not make your product EU compliant just in case ?

          • Fred H
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            added pointless costs!

          • Lynn
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

            What about making all our products USA compliant just in case? They are our biggest market.

      • acorn
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        The EU’s “CE Marking” product standards harmonising process, adopted by thirty-odd European countries, has also been adopted by third countries, to enable them to export into the EU. Many have also adopted the EU’s “CE” as domestic standards, which reduces purchase costs for their own citizens.

        There may be a niche market for a British two gallon (nine litre) toilet cistern. I can imagine a model called Concorde and another called TSR2.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          Any manufacturing company has to meet the standards of the markets they sell into.
          All over the world.
          I’m not sure why you are surprised acorn.

        • forthurst
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:16 am | Permalink

          Apart from the EU mandated cistern what other plumbing products are to EU spec? In case you hadn’t noticed, our plumbers stick with Imperial products like half inch pipes; same with carpets etc

          • acorn
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Plumbing went metric in 1971; but, the French insisted on keeping BSP sizes would you believe. Hence we still have 1/2 inch BSP for 15 mm.

            The UK government agencies had to work in metric under EU rules. Perhaps that will change post Brexit, don’t know.

        • Jules
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          The substantive point about cistern capacities is that the UK Govt should decide NOT the EU.

          How many models a manufacturer makes should be up to them.

          That said, the USA may review its maximum flush of 1.6 gallons (approx 6 litre) — because of:
          a) persistent leakage
          b) 2 flushes required

          So if Govts realise that water isn’t actually being saved, why not relax the regulation ?

          This is just one more example of EU Harmonisation that goes beyond what is necessary for a market to function properly when purchasing signals are “censored”.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        Apart from model type design specifications, any products must also comply with material rules of origin, level playing field, employment rules, contract and accountancy rules, data protection rules, health & safety rules and environment impact rules….etc

    • forthurst
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      The EU has the right to decide what is of merchantable quality for its members as we have the right to determine what is merchantable here. The EU has no right to apply rules that affect how we manufacture a product or how we supply the energy to assist in that process. By signing this agreement we would confer the right of the EU to meddle in our domestic arrangements which go well beyond tariff-free trade. Stuff their level playing field which is only open to the EU to specify, so how is it an equitable agreement?

      This Agreement should be voted down on principle to force a WTO outcome.

  48. glen cullen
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Its not an FTA

    Its more a political cooperation agreement

    There are too many things in this deal that are non-trade related

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Even the BBC isn’t calling it an FTA they’re referring to EU Deal

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        List of “cooperations” as long as your arm.
        Apparently known well before this.
        (If true…but the worst scenario is usually the truth!)

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I fear it is ‘Crumbs of the EU table, to be taken downstairs to the servants quarters’.

  49. Dennis Zoff
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    John

    What is the point of reading this “submission” document….your so called Conservative colleagues will pass it without bothering to scrutinise it (much the same as with the Withdrawal Agreement), because they are selfish, incompetent, intrinsically weak and adore their taxpayer paid salaries too much!

    There is no honesty or integrity in Politics…there can’t be, for nobody is held to account in Britain. The local elections will show whether the people have the stomach for a fight or simply acquiesce as usual.

    Interestingly, we point and laugh at third world countries with their deplorable tyrannical politics….but we have arrived at this point too, just with more political sophistication and less honesty!

    Sadly, the British empire building bulldog spirit was lost many moons ago! If the best we can produce is a Boris Johnson or a Keir Starmer, then Britain will eventually go to the dogs.

    I see nobody standing up for the people. What a sorry state of affairs!

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Wise words indeed

      The MPs have forgotten who they serve, where there mandate comes from and the wording on the peoples ballot

      ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

      • steve
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        glen

        “The MPs have forgotten who they serve”

        …….no they’re fully aware of whom they serve, it just isn’t us.

        Conservatives serve the business man, Labour serve the unions.

        Libs aren’t quite sure.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Or even the UN and WHO plus China

        • Fred H
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          ‘She was poor but she was honest
          though she came from humble stock
          And her honest heart was beating
          Underneath her tattered frock

          But the rich man saw her beauty
          She knew not his base design
          And he took her to a hotel
          And bought her a small port wine

          It’s the same the whole world over
          It’s the poor what gets the blame
          It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
          Isn’t it a blooming shame?’

          Public domain lyrics.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Well said sir.

  50. Roger Phillips
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    If you want to know the true feelings then I suggest you visit the fishermen’s forums or fish to leave website. There is very little point in putting lipstick on a pig, this deal is rubbish! There is huge public support for the fishing industry and your party will never be forgiven for this betrayal.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      In time they will never be forgiven for using a referendum as a cheap election gimmick simply to get Cameron’s government into power, and for ALL its disastrous consequences.

  51. Ben
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    well we won’t have very long to wait to see the new agreement in operation- my understanding of it is we have created BRINO as a base so the next generation can start to find their back into the fold again. In the meantime we are going to have to live with a horrendous amount of new customs documentation and formalities- JIT for importers exporters will be a thing of the past and the long suffering public is going to find it difficult to cross borders. Lastly I’m going to have to revise my plans for that retirement place in Spain- So what’s not to like?

    • Lynn
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Buy a place in Portugal €350k spent on property gets you citizenship.

  52. Big John
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    You should not approve this treaty, it mentions climate change 20+ times.
    It expects us to have a pointless war on CO2 and bow down to the green blob or we are in breach.
    This is ridiculous for a trade agreement.
    There is no scientific evidence for any of this phony war, it is just a way of controling us by the back door.
    Are they going to compensate us for the expense of this nonsense ?
    How do we escape from these clauses when it is all proved to be BS ?
    WTO would be a better deal.

    • Original Chris
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, BJ.

  53. John McDonald
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think all Leave supporters were against some form of European common market. For me I was against a common parliament. The EU did not protect it’s people from globalisation and the resulting loss of skilled jobs and lower pay generally.
    The only bad part of the deal is in regarding to Fishing which was kept a bit in the dark even back at the time for the vote for a common market.
    If we get back full control of our UK fishing rights in our economic sea resources boundary around the coast ( above 200miles in most places) over a period of 5 years that is not too bad. It will take some time to build up a fleet to take advantage of the increased quotas.
    Even then it will be a matter of allowing some fishing by our European neighbours but at the same time exporting more fish to them. The issue of course is the impact on the EU’s fishing fleet and this time not ours.

    • steve
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      The issue of course is the impact on the EU’s fishing fleet.

      …I hope they’ll have to burn their boats and go on the dole. KARMA !

      • John McDonald
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Even now we have to use fisherman from africa to man what fleet we still have. We are actually short of British crews. It is a very hard and risky job. So we may still need european crews to man British fishing boats. Hopefully it will be cheaper to build or recommision our own boats. Otherwise we may have to buy or hire EU boats. If tomorrow we had full control of our waters would we be able to fish them with the fleet we currently have ?
        British governments have allowed the fleet to be run down from the creation of the then EEC. You just can’t put that right over night. So what would be the actual benefit of full control now.
        Perhaps we could have charged a licence to fish fee as an interim step whilst a fleet is built up.

  54. Graham Wheatley
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Under your quoted ‘Financial provision 8’, if either party decides to terminate, then there is still a 12 month ‘transition’ to that too?

  55. Elizabeth Spooner
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I am in favour of the House of Commons approving this agreement. We have been a member of the EU for many years and life inevitably has been shaped by it. There are also a great many people in the UK who wanted to stay in the EU and for all our sakes we need Brexit peace so we can concentrate on the huge efforts that will be needed to recover from the Covid economic recession and mend the divisions leaving the EU has caused..

    • steve
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Elizabeth Spooner.

      Welcome to the site.

      Wise and dignified words.

      I agree there will be a huge effort needed, the problem is getting certain people to accept the challenge, and to accept the 2016 referendum result.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        I think that most people accept the referendum result – I do.

        But that does not mean that I have to like it, nor cease to work to improve on what governments have done in response to it.

        That means progress towards a Norway/Swiss type arrangement as a staging post, and elections will from now on be fought over this very kind of thing.

        You can campaign for your North Korea status if you like, on the other hand.

        And that’s democracy.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      There can be no peace of a democratic majority vote is ignored. We must have Sovereignty. This agreement is a betrayal and a humiliation.
      Both it and Boris need to be binned.

  56. anon
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Who of the “establishment players” had prior access to the agreement in order to shape the media response?

    Why was none of this was published as it was drafted, fully debated in parlaiments for public discourse.

    The method & timeline is an affront to democracy in the best traditions of anti democrats working together in the EU and UK.

    This can only be a temporary agreement, expiring on demand by any party or state, and specifically the provence of NI who deserve a proper vote to affirm or veto this.

    Leave principal was clear, immediate exit and ergo default to WTO status.

    Any problems like blockades are the problems of the EU & our anti-democratic political elite. Let them pay the political price.

    All disputes should be referred to WTO dispute mechanisms in place.

    We all know how independence works, when appointed individuals get together.

    Still waiting for interm by timetable by-elections and specifc triggers for “rights of recall”. Oh and binding referendums (meaning less than 4.5 years to action) seem to be a good idea.

    Lets fix the UK democracy first. The EU is only a part of the primary anti-democratic problem.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Democracy is indeed broken if only one day is allowed to scrutinise this important agreement

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      “Let’s fix UK democracy first.” Until this happens, all is lost.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      +1

  57. simple soul
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    This is perhaps a good time to thank you for your unwearying labours and to wish you a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

    I warmly welcome the inclusion of an exit clause, at your request, as circumstances can and do change in unforseeable ways. For instance, we have to bear in mind the possibility of the EU imposing a drastic revenue tariff or conceivably moving more into the orbit of Russia – or China.

    • NigelE
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      +1 for both paragraphs, esp the first.

  58. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Why do we have to sign up to any rules and regulations that other countries haven’t had to? In essence we are still a part of the EU. It’s all smoke and mirrors and I suspect things will be changed at a later date when the public are distracted by another ‘pandemic’ or similar made up catastrophe.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Because the UK wants to do things that those other countries do not.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        True! most of those 27 are happy to be controlled by non-elected dictators!

        • hefner
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          … which given how the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement is written (at least for the few parts I am interested in and am able to understand) appears to show that the ‘non-elected dictators’ and their ‘slaves’ (civil servants) have been rather better than their UK counterparts at pushing their demands past the middle of the table.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Martin, “the UK wants to do things that those other countries do not”? Specifically what? Please name the top 5 things the UK wants to do that other Countries not in the EU27 don’t ask for.

  59. Margaret Brandreth-
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I suppose we must think in reverse and how and why the EU would choose to terminate an agreement and what diplomats are required to say by their governments to carry over and challenge.

  60. John Partington
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Macron and his band of French fishermen are laughing their heads off at this deal. Boris has let down our fishing people big time and will not be forgiven for this sell-out.

    • Robert Mcdonald
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      He who laughs last laughs longest, and in 5 years time we’ll be even more in control of our waters.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        You will laugh after 5 years getting back a mere 25% of the current level of fish stolen by the EU? Did you help the EU write this typed handcuffs?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      We can bar access entirely to EU fishermen after 5 years. What’s the problem ? And if we do they’ll put punative tariffs on fish just like they would have done under No Deal. So no difference.

    • steve
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      John Partington

      Fight back.

      There are two things you can do:

      1) Use your freedom of consumer choice to buy only British goods.
      2) Use your freedom of voter choice at the next general election.

  61. Iain Gill
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    when do we get our money back from the European banks we have had money in as EU members?

    • hefner
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      In which European banks have we had money as EU members?

      As an individual, if for one reason or another you happen to have a bank account in one (or several) of the EU27 countries (as an expat for example or because you have a holiday apartment there) I would recommend to check with the relevant bank(s) very rapidly as some of them decided some time ago not to keep British customers on their books from 1 January 2021.

      which.co.uk October 2020 ‘Will your expat bank account close due to Brexit?’

      • Lynn
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        European investment Bank. The U.K. put in hundreds of millions (I forget exactly how much) and will have to wait for decades for the money to be returned.

        • Rachel Stanley
          Posted January 1, 2021 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          The European Investment Bank, not banks as said above. Another question could be: What was the purpose of EIB?

          ‘I forget exactly how much’: It was £3.5bn in 1973. The roughly 16% UK share of the EIB is about £9bn (adjusted to present (or 2016?) value). Essentially distributed in various forms over the 43 years of the UK belonging to the EU, some partly to finance UK infrastructure projects. The rest to be reimbursed over 35 years till 2054.

          21 October 2019 Sunday Times: ‘Johnson gives up £7bn windfall from European Investment Bank’.

  62. glen cullen
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    From the 1st January 2021 are we still paying the EU 20% of collected VAT ???

  63. Christine
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    First off, there is no way this lengthy document can be reviewed by the date of the vote. MPs must insist that they are allowed to vote on the introduction of the Agreement on a provisional basis, for a limited period of time until 28 February 2021, the same as the EU has been granted.

    From the bits I’ve managed to read this treaty is not a trade agreement. There are many areas which take away control from our elected MPs and therefore take away the ability for us to control our own laws.

    1) It ties us to continued adherence to the European Convention of Human Rights.
    2) The agreement covers not just trade in goods and services, but also a broad range of other areas in the EU’s interest, such as investment, competition, State aid, tax transparency, air and road transport, energy and sustainability, fisheries, data protection, and social security coordination.
    3) Zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods must comply with the appropriate rules of origin.
    4) Both parties have committed to ensuring a robust level playing field by maintaining high levels of protection in areas such as environmental protection, the fight against climate change and carbon pricing, social and labour rights, tax transparency and State aid, with effective, domestic enforcement, a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for both parties to take remedial measures.
    5) The EU and the UK agreed on a new framework for the joint management of fish stocks in EU and UK waters. The UK will be able to further develop British fishing activities, while the activities and livelihoods of European fishing communities will be safeguarded, and natural resources preserved.
    6) The agreement enables the UK’s continued participation in a number of flagship EU programmes for the period 2021-2027 (subject to a financial contribution by the UK to the EU budget), such as Horizon Europe.
    7) Binding enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms will ensure that rights of businesses, consumers and individuals are respected. This means that businesses in the EU and the UK compete on a level playing field and will avoid either party using its regulatory autonomy to grant unfair subsidies or distort competition.
    8) The Withdrawal Agreement remains in place. The UK has agreed to withdraw the contentious clauses of the UK Internal Market Bill, and will not introduce any similar provisions in the Taxation Bill.
    9) We have to recognise Andorra and San Marino but the EU does not recognise Gibraltar.
    10) FORMS OF SERIOUS CRIME FOR WHICH EUROJUST IS COMPETENT: Racism and xenophobia – REALLY!!! So any European country can issue a European arrest warrant and extradite a UK national with no evidence if they feel that a person is guilty of racism and xenophobia.

    I do not believe that this is the Brexit that the majority voted for. We are handing over control in many areas to the EU. A clean break is far preferable in my opinion.
    I bet only a handful of MPs will have even attempted to read this treaty. It’s a sorry state of affairs.

  64. glen cullen
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Most people welcomed the EEC Common Market as a trade agreement but fell against the direction of the EU as a political agreement

    This trade & cooperation agreement isn’t a trade agreement its political

    History repeating itself and MPs don’t understand

  65. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Deal looks good enough. Forget it and move on, the EU is the past, the future is Asia, we need to get on and join the Trans Pacific trade area asap. I expect the stuck-in-the-past Remainers will keep wittering on abut the EU for several years yet.

    A trade deal with Turkey about to be signed I see. Silence from Margaret on that one as usual.

    • hefner
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      … which basically reproduces what the UK had with Turkey as part of the EU. Only the next stage, whenever it happens, is likely to create additional trade and potential benefits to the parties.

      see gov.uk ‘UK and Turkey sign trade deal’ 29/12/2020

  66. glen cullen
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Upon there return to the House of Commons every MP should have to swear upon a bible a solemn oath that they have read every word of text and fully understand the narrative of the ‘Trade & Cooperation’ agreement document

    • Fred H
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      or that they ‘are convinced that UK has not been stitched up by Mr Johnson and the EU’.

    • anon
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Give them a test if they fail, they are barred from voting and they then need to seek confirmatory re-election.

  67. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Just read that a currency declaration must be made when travelling from England to Northern Ireland, as is required when visiting the US for example.

    Northern Ireland has therefore been annexed into the EU. Will you vote for the EU deal Sir John and thus accept this is acceptable to you?

  68. Freeborn John
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Vote against it. The deal is one-sided covering only areas the EU has a surplus in. It is designed to lock the U.K. into following EU law and is a sell-out in fish. It does nothing to correct the NI protocol which was originally supposed to be a “backstop” that would only be used for the event of no-deal. WTO trading will help correct our trade deficit and give us freedom from EU rules that will help when negotiating real free trade deals with non-EU countries.

  69. Christopher Lee
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    This unequal deal seems to be more akin to yet another treaty being proposed with the EU. i.e. a continuing partnership and not really leaving at all! On the surface it appears to deliver all that us Brexiteers were aiming to achieve but upon further analysis seems to be full of holes below the waterline aimed at sinking us further down the line.
    The EU never go backwards, only ever forwards and forging closer ties. Boris should have stay well away when he decided to call time and walked from the negotiations in mid October 2020.
    My advice would be to say thanks but no thanks and go for a clean break using WTO arrangements.

  70. UK Politics T for C
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I am sure you and other true Brexiteers are not happy with this “rush rush” to read and make your vote. It smacks that it has been timed to the second. Give the news just prior to Christmas, let the jolly hols of eating & drinking begin and give them little time to scrutinise. Its clearly not as clear-cut as Boris led us to believe in his speech either. Fishing industry have every right to be upset – to think it will be 10 years from their vote to get what they voted for is beyond comprehension. Northern Ireland too? Still attached and under ECJ rules. As Arlene Foster said “we voted as one and should leave as one” – I completely agree.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      We do need to fight and get NI fully back. With or without Southern Ireland.

      • Old Salt
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe
        +1

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      So bloody well do I.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Does the Good Friday Agreement not have to have any consideration to the Northern Irish and their wish to remain in the United Kingdom? Can’t Northern Ireland fight based on their rights in Ireland under this agreement? It seems no one has to pay any attention to them only to the bigger Southern Ireland region.

      John’s government need to tell us what they are going to do moving forward to protect Northern Ireland and the Union and with jobs and housing there now we have more control of our own budgets and taxes.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        The Good Friday agreement is trashed by Boris.

  71. Mark Richmond
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I have read the 34 page summary and this seems like a decent deal to me. I voted for Brexit, and would have been happy with no deal. But this seems like a treaty worth going for, largely to preserve friendly relations with few limitations.

    I have a few questions, on fishing (sigh). (1) Will U.K. fishermen ever be required to throw fish back into the sea under this treaty, as I understand they sometimes are required to do currently? (2) Is the U.K. fishing fleet in a position to scale up its operations sufficiently to catch the extra permitted under this deal? (3) Is it correct to understand that in 1973, the exclusion zone was 12 miles and the majority of U.K. fishing took place around Iceland? (4) If this is so, how can Boris’ deal plausibly be seen as a betrayal?

    • Christine
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      It states that livelihoods of EU fishermen must be safeguarded, so what exactly does that mean? Do we have to compensate them if we reduce their quotas?

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Christine, this makes me wonder what safeguards were given to British fishermen? Were they fully compensated by the EU or British state?

  72. Timon
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    NO, I do NOT support this deal. This is why:

    Britain’s fishermen have been betrayed:
    Barrie Deas, the head of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said the deal “will inevitably be seen by the fishing industry as a defeat”. Nigel Farage said that the fishing agreement is “an outrageous humiliation”. EU fishermen will continue to plunder our waters, laughing at us as they take all our most valuable fish, like cod and tuna. Even after another 5½ years, the UK’s share of the fish caught in our own waters will only increase by a pitiful 2.32%!!! This is the real figure, – not the government’s lies. And if we want any more of OUR OWN fish after that date we will have to PAY the EU! WE will NEVER have control of our own waters.

    Britain’s economy has been betrayed:
    Even the Daily Mail, which has fawned over Boris had to admit that when it comes to the core of our economy, the treaty is: “A win for the EU. Services are worth 80 per cent of British exports and they are not covered in the agreement, putting Brussels in the driving seat.” Boris should have insisted from the start that financial services be included or there would be no deal. A deal on goods benefits the EU most, as this is where they have a huge trade surplus. They have got what they want, and we have not got what we want. This is NOT a fair and balanced deal.

    Britain’s population has been betrayed:
    The treaty commits the UK to remain in the ECHR. This was not agreed by Canada or ANY other country that the EU has a trade deeal with. As a result we do NOT have control of our borders, as foreign criminals and even terrorists can keep coming here and our ability to deport them is restricted. No wonder we are getting so many illegal immigrants coming into Britain, and this will continue.

    Britain itself has been betrayed:
    Britain has been split in two, with Northern Ireland surrendered to the EU. Northern Ireland will remain in the EU single market, will remain in the EU customs area, will remain under the control of the EU’s laws (and governed by the European Court of Justice), and a border will be introduced down the Irish sea splitting it off from the rest of Britain.

  73. Tabulazero
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    With the EU/UK deal getting revised every four years, we will be talking about EU/UK relations for ever.

    I am definitely staying on this blog, Mr Redwood. This is so interesting.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      So what Tab if we’re talking about it that is an improvement on sneaky back room signings of for example the Lisbon Treaty, or all the veto’s Blair gave up to butter up his preferred allegiance to the EU rather than the people of the UK, the agreeing of us being charged taxes by the EU on so called ‘black economy GDP such as prosititution and drugs’ that the vast majority of us don’t do but then get charged a guessed figure for! The sell out by Cameron on a small change he asked for on benefits leaking out to the EU for children not resident in the UK.

      We need to talk and understand more and we must demand our political representatives set out what they’re up to in our name.

  74. Alison
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Apologies for such a late comment. I have read the draft text and a couple of the draft protocols in the Declarations.
    The Partnership Council and committees have a lot of scope to do things, including amending the agreement. So these committees need to be watched, indeed policed very very closely, to prevent unfavourable decisions and actions slipping through.
    The appointments to these bodies are critically important.

    The fishing ‘deal’ is a disgrace. The government must help get processing back to the UK, increase support so that seafood businesses sell more in the UK and more outside the EU. Something must be done about flags of convenience.

    We need to wean the UK off a lot of involvement in Horizon Europe. Some of the research activities actually fund very important non-EU initiatives, such as EMBL, EBI, and it would be good to see much more investment in these excellent bodies OUTSIDE the EU’s frameworks, eg with Switzerland.

    The UK must not participate in the European Defence Fund, so cunningly embedded under Horizon Europe.
    One day in parliament is far too short a time for scrutiny.

    • Karen
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Thank you for mentioning the EUD. I had read about it but was unsure if true. I tried to read the document but I’m sure they purposefully make it difficult so the average Jo cannot understand it. (Me, I mean)

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Well we’ve seen what happens when back room committees and partnership councils get to decide without voter intervention, we elected Blair’s government without knowing he would sign away veto after veto without a care to the consequences. Without knowing he would only charge English students for their higher education and even breach the EU agreements for reciprocal charges in higher education in Scotland and Wales. In other words if it is there it will be abused in the future.

    • Iago
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      To think that our country will now be ruled by this Partnership Council and its committees! This is very far from leaving the EU.

    • NigelE
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      I agree the membership of the Partnership Council and committees are critical. We need participants in these bodies to have the mindset of representing the UK and it’s interests first and foremost. No agreeing with EU representatives because it appears ‘logical’ or worst of all, for a quiet life. It is too easy for long term civil servants to go with the flow.

      So who will appoint these representatives? If it were Lord Frost, I would be happier than it being the Permanent Undersecretary for the Department for Lost Causes.

  75. Alison
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    PS. Much better to go WTO and void the WA. All this for 7% of GDP.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Then why all the squealing about 0.7% of GDP spent on aid?

      • Fred H
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Because it helps nobody except those with a secret Swiss bank account.

  76. ukretired123
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    After 5 years it is ridiculous to expect detailed expert analysis under “Exam stress conditions” when everyone is on holiday!

    It is totally unreasonable and highly suspicious.

  77. Karen
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Have you checked out the EU Defence Union? I read from a well established Veterans group that, the ‘Horizon’ project includes the EU Defence Union & that we will also be participating in this too. The Government declared we will NOT be cooperating with the EUDU yet it seems that we are through the Horizon project. Can you clarify this in laymans terms please?

  78. j karna
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    The agreement favours the EU and Boris has sold us out. The deal is one-sided covering only areas the EU has a surplus in. How stupid can one be?

  79. Paul
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Dear John Redwood,
    Please vote against the UK-EU agreement. The deal does not allow Britain to take back control of our laws, our money, or our fish. After reading the main body of the agreement, less the annexes, I have some detailed comments below:
    1. Article INST.7 hands power to business groups, non-governmental organisations and trade unions, whereas government accountability should be done via parliament.
    2. Article SERVIN.5.41 places the UK under 7 global bodies “for the fight against tax evasion and avoidance” which may impinge on UK sovereignty to set tax policy.
    3. The EU anticipates further issues with the Euro, and may unilaterally apply capital controls for 6 months, and the UK cannot challenge the controls (Article CAP.5: Temporary safeguard measures). In the next article CAP.6, the UK is placed under the IMF in the event that we apply capital controls “All relevant findings of a statistical or factual nature presented by the International Monetary Fund, where available, shall be accepted and conclusions shall take into account the assessment by the International Monetary Fund.”
    4. The terms on Intellectual Property are some of the strongest in the agreement, and arguably too strong. There is no “fair use” provision for journalists or the public to use short clips from copyrighted work, for review, or criticism. British judicial independence is undermined by Article IP.47 which mandates guidelines on Damages for intellectual property theft that UK judges must apply.
    5. The fishing terms are unacceptable due to low catch quotas for British fishermen even after the year 2026: only 7% of the Mackerel in the North Sea, and 0.25% of the Bluefin Tuna in the Atlantic (Annex FISH.2)! The cost of reducing the EU catch further after 2026 would likely prove excessive, due to the sanctions “Remedial Measures” that the EU would take in response (Article FISH.9).
    6. If Britain signs up for European Union Programmes (e.g. scientific funding), then there are conditions to be met before UK can leave the programme (Article UNPRO.3.3). Thus Britain could face ongoing payments to the EU.

    Best Regards
    Paul from Woking, England

  80. V. Riley
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    The fishing “settlement” seems to excite a lot of concern. However the agreement doesn’t help us understand what will actually happen after the “transition period”. For example, the tables state the shares of each fish species caught – not the share of value nor tonnage caught . Until the UK population eats more fish a market in Europe or elsewhere is required so processing and trade are as important as rights to catch. This means fishing quotas aren’t simply a win/lose scenario. The consequence of using different rules that the CFP to decide what total might be shared out can only be guessed at. I’m hoping for expert comments from those in fishing, processing and the resulting trade to help us interested amateurs understand the complex issues.

  81. Ian Stafford
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I concur with those who say that it is an international treaty and not an EU supranational one. The essentials of sovereignty as it is legally understood are present in the agreement. The treaty is not bound in eu law and the ECJ does not adjudicate upon it. This will not be subject to the legal views of one party. There are obligations under it which precent UK from doing things which it might like to. The EU by the same token is obliged to let British goods in tariff-free. These are all lateral obligations . I might not have accepted them and that is a policy decision. In any treaty or contract there are obligations . There are problems to further consider on the legal position of UK actions in small umber of the EU programmes which it to participate in.

  82. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    The 34 page summary of the deal published by HMG states – on issue after issue – that the EU and UK may diverge on a live-and-let-live basis, and includes zero tariffs.

    That being the case, was it necessary to have any agreement at all, let alone one running to 1200+ pages? All that is necessary for 100% free trade is no Government intervention. Free trade is natural and is only prevented by Governments.

  83. Ian
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John
    Like most of us we now do not trust those who are supposed to look after U. K, the vast majority of those are treacherous.

    Never mind all this paperwork which will be hiding God knows what.

    No the best for US. Is WTO, we know and belong to it already as a one of the first !

    Any paperwork with the E. U. Will only start shenanigans, and we have been there for 5 0 years.
    WTO. Is simply the safest answer for U K

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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