Ross Thomson MSP letter to Kevin Stewart MSP on Brexit (06.02.2017)

ross-thomson-10-02-2017-p1ross-thomson-10-02-2017-p2ross-thomson-10-02-2017-p3

Opinion: the Brexit White-Paper is a sleek scone, but not offering the public a decent meal!

scones111

The Tories or the Conservative Party, the ruling party in the United Kingdom after the European Union referendum election in 2016, has finally delivered a White Paper on their guesses and wishes for a leaving of the union for the Kingdom of United Kingdom. The UK Government are now furnishing their ideas and their wanted discussions with the partners on the continent. The EU might take this differently than the rest, but surely the 12 Point plan of the White Paper gives indications to what the Tories want to achieve in negotiations. That is something that has been in the winds for months after the sudden victory of the Brexit election.

First Point – Providing certainty and clarity:

To provide legal certainty over our exit from the EU, we will introduce the Great Repeal Bill to remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book and convert the ‘acquis’ – the body of existing EU law – into domestic law. This means that, wherever practical and appropriate, the same rules and laws will apply on the day after we leave the EU as they did before” (HM Government, P: 9, 2017).

Second Point – Taking control of our own laws:

“The sovereignty of Parliament is a fundamental principle of the UK constitution. Whilst Parliament has remained sovereign throughout our membership of the EU, it has not always felt like that. The extent of EU activity relevant to the UK can be demonstrated by the fact that 1,056 EU-related documents were deposited for parliamentary scrutiny in 2016. These include proposals for EU Directives, Regulations, Decisions and Recommendations, as well as Commission delegated acts, and other documents such as Commission Communications, Reports and Opinions submitted to the Council, Court of Auditors Reports and more” (HM Government, P: 13 ,2017).

Third Point – Strengthening the Union:

“We have ensured since the referendum that the devolved administrations are fully engaged in our preparations to leave the EU and we are working with the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver an outcome that works for the whole of the UK. In seeking such a deal we will look to secure the specific interests of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as those of all parts of England. A good deal will be one that works for all parts of the UK” (…) “As the UK leaves the EU, the unique relationships that the Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands and the Overseas Territories have with the EU will also change. Gibraltar will have particular interests, given that the EU Treaties apply to a large extent in Gibraltar, with some exceptions (for example, Gibraltar is not part of the Customs Union)” (HM Government, P: 17-20, 2017).

Fourth Point – Protecting our strong and historic ties with Ireland and maintaining the Common Travel Area:

“The relationship between the two countries has never been better or more settled than today, thanks to the strong political commitment from both Governments to deepen and broaden our modern partnership. Two recent State Visits, by Her Majesty The Queen in May 2011 and by President Higgins in April 2014, have helped cement this partnership; no one wants to see a return to the borders of the past. The Prime Minister is committed to maintaining the closest of ties and has already met the Taoiseach several times since taking office, most recently in Dublin in January 2017” (…) “We recognise that for the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland, the ability to move freely across the border is an essential part of daily life. When the UK leaves the EU we aim to have as seamless and frictionless a border as possible between Northern Ireland and Ireland, so that we can continue to see the trade and everyday movements we have seen up to now” (…) “We will work with the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to find a practical solution that recognises the unique economic, social and political context of the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. An explicit objective of the UK Government’s work on EU exit is to ensure that full account is taken for the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland. We will seek to safeguard business interests in the exit negotiations. We will maintain close operational collaboration between UK and Irish law enforcement and security agencies and their judicial counterparts” (HM Government, P: 21-23, 2017).

eu-referendum1

Fifth Point – Controlling immigration:

“We are considering very carefully the options that are open to us to gain control of the numbers of people coming to the UK from the EU. As part of that, it is important that we understand the impacts on the different sectors of the economy and the labour market. We will, therefore, ensure that businesses and communities have the opportunity to contribute their views. Equally, we will need to understand the potential impacts of any proposed changes in all the parts of the UK. So we will build a comprehensive picture of the needs and interests of all parts of the UK and look to develop a system that works for all” (…) “Implementing any new immigration arrangements for EU nationals and the support they receive will be complex and Parliament will have an important role in considering these matters further. There may be a phased process of implementation to prepare for the new arrangements. This would give businesses and individuals enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements” (HM Government, P: 27 , 2017).

Sixth Point – Securing rights for EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU:

“Securing the status of, and providing certainty to, EU nationals already in the UK and to UK nationals in the EU is one of this Government’s early priorities for the forthcoming negotiations. To this end, we have engaged a range of stakeholders, including expatriate groups, to ensure we understand the priorities of UK nationals living in EU countries” (HM Government, P: 30, 2017).

Seventh Point – Protecting workers’ rights:

“As we convert the body of EU law into our domestic legislation, we will ensure the continued protection of workers’ rights. This will give certainty and continuity to employees and employers alike, creating stability in which the UK can grow and thrive” (HM Government P: 31, 2017).

Eight Point – Ensuring free trade with European markets:

“Close trading relationships with the EU exist across a range of sectors. The UK is a major export market for important sectors of the EU economy, including in manufactured and other goods, such as automotives, energy, food and drink, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. These sectors employ millions of people around Europe” (…) “Producers in other EU Member States also rely on UK firms in their supply chains and vice versa. The integration of supply chains, which also benefits the UK, means that the UK often contributes a significant share of the foreign content in the EU countries’ exports” (…) “The EU is a party to negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) with more than twenty other countries. The UK continues to be committed to an ambitious TiSA and will play a positive role throughout the negotiations” (…) “As we leave the EU, the Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to do business. This will mean fostering a high quality, stable and predictable regulatory environment, whilst also actively taking opportunities to reduce the cost of unnecessary regulation and to support innovative business models” (…) “After we have left the EU, we want to ensure that we can take advantage of the opportunity to negotiate our own preferential trade agreements around the world. We will not be bound by the EU’s Common External Tariff or participate in the Common Commercial Policy” (HM Government, P 37:-38, 42, 45-46, 2017).

Ninth Point – Securing new trade agreements with other countries:

“After leaving the EU, the UK will build on these strengths and our historic role as a global trading nation to realise the opportunities available to us. By boosting trade and opening markets and attracting the world’s most successful companies to invest in the UK, we will create jobs and enhance productivity and GDP. Increasing competition and encouraging businesses to innovate enables suppliers to access higher quality and cheaper products in their supply chain and gives consumers more choice and lower prices” (HM Government, P: 54, 2017).

Tenth Point – Ensuring the United Kingdom remains the best place for science and innovation:

“For example HM Treasury has announced that researchers should continue to bid for competitive EU research funding, such as Horizon 2020, while the UK remains a member of the EU. The Government will work with the European Commission to ensure payment when funds are awarded and HM Treasury will underwrite the payment of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. This has given UK participants and their EU partners the certainty needed to plan ahead for projects that can run over many years” (HM Government, P: 58, 2017).

Eleventh Point – Cooperating in the fight against crime and terrorism:

“As we exit, we will therefore look to negotiate the best deal we can with the EU to cooperate in the fight against crime and terrorism. We will seek a strong and close future relationship with the EU, with a focus on operational and practical cross-border cooperation. We will seek a relationship that is capable of responding to the changing threats we face together. Public safety in the UK and the rest of Europe will be at the heart of this aspect of our negotiation” (HM Government, P: 62, 2017).

Twelfth Point – Delivering a smooth, orderly exit from the EU:

“We will formally trigger the process of leaving the EU by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union no later than the end of March this year. As set out in Article 50, the Treaties of the EU will cease to apply to the UK when the withdrawal agreement enters into force, or failing that, two years from the day we submit our notification, unless there is a unanimous agreement with the other 27 Member States to extend the process” (HM Government P: 65, 2017).

Old Game Brexit Meme

My first words after reading the report is that the United Kingdom His Majesties Government White Paper on the Brexit is a leaflet of lose information. This isn’t a sophisticated and a paper that explain the reality of the negotiations. This is the wish-list of the Conservative Party or the Tories who reign for the moment at White Hall under Prime Minister Theresa May.

To say this 77 pages report is digging deep into the extent and the needed details of Brexit is not true. If the Government wanted to be transparent and be accountable on the negotiations or even show the world their play, they would have dropped more intelligence or even more prolific framework on how they would or could negotiate.

If you are thinking that the United Kingdom government will get it all like today and still be not inter-connected as a Member State in the European Union, you’re terribly wrong. The EU has said themselves they will negotiate hard and not make UK get off cheap. It is the UK who has all too loses in the trade-off as the UK cease to be Member State. They might need each other, but it is UK who might lose the heartland of their trade and their exports. The EU can use other trading agreements to secure same sort of services as before.

The only thing other than the punchlines I got from the White Paper today, we can wonder what the Tories and Theresa May didn’t want to release, what they cut out of the paper and for what reasons? If we only knew why the secrecy and the ligancy of trust to the Public, like May knows her borrowed trust cannot handle being manhandled by the European Union. EU certainly would have a field-day on open-communications between the UK and its citizens. The same can be said with the EU MEPs are not really those who are transparent or that open to the public with information from Brussels.

The UK can feel to be shadowed and be kept in dark by the ones who are representing them; they should not trust the Tories with this sort of craft and this offering to the public. If the Brexit is hard/weak or even Red/White/Blue Brexit; Certainly PM May has no interest in trusting advice or listening to other before negotiation the new uncertain agreement with Brussels/EU. If it would be otherwise the Tories and Government would have offered more flesh on the bone and served a steak that could call food, instead we’re offered a sleek thin scone with no flavour what-so-ever! Peace.

Reference:

HM Government – ‘The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union’ (02.02.2017)

Tulip Siddiq MP resignation from Shadow Government letter to Jeremy Corbyn on ‘Brexit’ (26.01.2017)

house-of-commons-25-01-2017