boris johnson brexit politics

Just Three Years Later, A Brexit Deal Emerges From A Raging Dumpster Fire But…

Hallelujah.

After “just” three years, a Brexit deal has been reached.

The new agreement will be put to a vote in Parliament on Saturday, Boris Johnson’s spokeswoman Alison Donnelly told reporters Thursday.

The relevant documents can be found below, but the broad strokes of the proposal and political declaration are as follows:

  • Proposal covers transition period, including financial commitments.
  • Covers legal operative solution in withdrawal agreement to avoid hard border in Ireland.
  • Northern Ireland will remain aligned to limited set of EU rules, notably related to goods.
  • UK customs officials will be in charge of application of EU customs rules in Northern Ireland.
  • Northern Ireland will remain an entry point to EU single market.
  • UK can apply tariffs coming from third countries, so long as goods not at risk of entering EU market.
  • EU and UK committed to protect stability in Ireland.
  • Transition period to December 2020 if deal accepted; possibility of another two years if EU and UK agree and want
  • establish a wide-ranging free trade agreement
  • reach a deal on services that goes beyond WTO levels
  • agree equivalence for financial services firms
  • allow free movement of capital
  • establish visa-free travel for short-term visits
  • commit to a level playing field, with common high standards in state aid, competition, welfare, tax, and environmental matters

“MPs have an opportunity this weekend to vote for a deal that means the UK will leave the EU in an orderly way”, Donnelly declared, adding that Johnson has the support of his cabinet and  “strongly believes it is the best deal for the whole of UK”. MPs, she remarked, “should support it”.

Johnson himself said this: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control.” He also made a poster of himself and tweeted it, just as Trump would.

“[It’s] a fair and reasonable basis for an orderly withdrawal”, Michel Barnier told reporters in Brussels.

Later, a trio of DUP officials who spoke to Bloomberg said the party will not support the latest version.

Meanwhile, The House of Commons has apparently voted 287 to 275 to permit a series of amendments to be debated this weekend when MPs will sit to approve the deal.

That, in turn, sets up a vote on whether there should be a referendum.

So, consider the situation “fluid”.

As ever, we would reiterate that this farce is, was and will be forever remembered as a mistake and a boondoggle of epic proportions.

In 2016, Britain voted to do something and then left it to policymakers to figure out what it was they had voted to do.

It was never even clear what part of speech “Brexit” is. Is it a noun? If so, is it a proper noun, or is it just capitalized by default because the first two letters denote the name of a country? Or maybe it’s a verb. If that’s the case, how does one “Brexit”?

“Brexit was offered as a single liberating proposition, when in fact it involved multi-layered consequences and implications that require negotiation with others”, The Guardian’s Martin Kettle wrote last year, summarizing one of the more absurd manifestations of the semi-global populist upsurge that swept Western democracies beginning in 2015.

If we’re all being honest, nobody involved ever had a clean read on what the implications of a “hard”, “soft” or “moderate” Brexit would be for the U.K. and/or for the EU. And again, the confusion stemmed directly from the fact that nobody knew what a “Brexit” even is.

As evidenced by the last two months during which Johnson resorted to an illegal prorogation, a Tory purge that forever stained the party and a series of theatrics that reached a hapless nadir when Boris called himself the “Incredible Hulk” in an interview with The Mail, the UK and the EU are still unclear on a definition, although they’ve settled on what you can read in the documents below.

Brexit documents

revised_withdrawal_agreement_including_protocol_on_ireland_and_nothern_ireland
letter_president_juncker_to_president_tusk_0
revised_political_declaration

6 comments on “Just Three Years Later, A Brexit Deal Emerges From A Raging Dumpster Fire But…

  1. The UK originally signed up for a trading block. All the rage in the 70s. That changed when Major signed them into the Maastricht agreement, committing the UK to surrender political sovereignty to Brussels. That was never going to be the last word, because if the Brits have one characteristic, it’s that they don’t take sh*t from the ‘Frogs, Krauts, Hoons, Spics etc’ (as they call them). The EU as a project is now a dead man walking; Anyone who thinks the rank-and-file Germans and French will ever sleep happily on a bed together has obviously never been to either country. The Brits, despite the enormous ‘divorce bill’, just sidestepped a potentially trillion pound nightmare.

  2. “a great new deal that takes back control”
    Other than parroting a three-year old talking point conjured by evil mastermind Dominic Cummings there does not seem to be too much substance in BoJos words (who knew?)
    DUP and SNP have already announced they will not vote for this “new deal” in parliament, Labour is “skeptical”.
    Having alienated large parts of his own party (euphemism for “kicked out” :-)) Mr. Johnson will find it difficult to find a majority in the House of Commons on Saturday.
    Markets seem to think the same, after being up handily on the News (especially DAX and Stoxx 600) most of the inital gains have already been faded.

    • Lance Manly

      May basically turned down the same deal a long time ago because the DUP called and said they would not vote for it.

  3. This may pass with the proviso that the deal is subject to a referendum to approve either leave with this deal or stay. It looks pretty iffy to pass otherwise- there are apparently 22 labor back benchers that are seriously pro leave so Johnson may be able to somehow get this deal passed. Given the opposition by the other parties and the minority status of his government it is far from a slam dunk however.

  4. For anyone who can access FT content, the link below is the single best account of why we are where we are in British politics vis-a-vis Europe and specifically Brexit.

    https://www.ft.com/content/b6571af0-d003-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f

  5. I recognize all the others, but who are the Hoons? For all his loutish behaviour, Boris has not really achieved that much. A little like the guy with the natural hair across the pond. Thanks for the summary of the Brexit terms

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