I made the mistake of agreeing to an interview from German TV yesterday in London. I assume as they are intelligent people, their pro EU bullying questions presumably came from the EU and or the German authorities.
Why were we risking a border in Ireland? I explained again the UK was not proposing any new physical barriers. They seemed to think there was no border at the moment, ignoring the obvious differences between the UK and the Republic of Ireland . There is already an Excise and Vat Border.
But surely there would need to be a border for the tariffs, they asked? The current border can handle tariffs in the same way as we handle excise and VAT today. There is a free travel area which will continue. The only threat of new physical border controls comes from the EU. How many more times do we have to explain this? Why do they never ask the EU what they are playing at using the border issue in this way? What controls will the EU place on their side of the border?
I was asked why we are breaking the Good Friday Agreement. I explained we are not. They could not explain which clause of it we were alleged to be breaking. We were not planning a new physical border, as above.
I was asked why we are breaking international law. I explained we are not. We are making new UK law to govern our trade and our own single market which was one of the main points of Brexit. Our implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement was always partial as we included in the legislated version an overriding soveriegnty clause which we are going to need to use given their persistent wish to boss us about.
I was asked how we would handle Tge tariffs when they come in. I explained that we would decide what tariffs to impose on imports, not them. I pointed out that their high tariffs were reserved for foodstuffs from outside the EU, where we have a massive trade deficit with them. The issue is how will they manage our tariffs as exporters to us, if they renege on their promise to agree a tariff free trade deal.
I was posed the usual false question based on the presumption that you cannot trade without a Free Trade Agreement, and more of the same old absurdities we have faced for five years now.
It’s time to end the talks. The EU is not acting in good faith. No deal is a lot better than the kind of one sided deal the EU still has in mind for us.