Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Don't Trust The Tories On Brexit

The cracks in the Tory facade over the Brexit transition deal have already begun to widen. Over the last few weeks, after the latest of May's “Speeches”, at the Mansion House, the Brextremists bit their lip, following the pre-Christmas capitulation by May and her Brexit negotiators, as they faced up to the reality of their position, particularly in relation to the corner they have painted themselves into, by ruling out membership of the Customs Union and Single Market, when it comes to resoling the irreconcilable contradiction that is the Irish border question. 

But, the bad faith that May and the Tories have shown throughout the process simply continued after that deal, and after the Mansion House Speech. Even before Christmas, Davis and then May essentially rowed back on the agreement they had made, redefining the transition period as an implementation period, and redefining regulatory alignment as regulatory divergence. But, it is obvious that outside the customs union and single market, the requirements of no border in Ireland can only be achieved if essentially the conditions of a customs union and single market are replicated in everything but name. In other words, a commitment to regulatory alignment, must mean a commitment essentially to have the same regulatory regime on both sides of that border. 

Its obvious why the Brextremists cannot accept that requirement any more than they could accept being in the customs union or single market themselves without being members of the EU. It would indeed, as Rees-Mogg has said, mean that the UK was essentially a vassal state, having rules and regulations dictated to it by the EU, but with absolutely no means of participating in the formulation of those rules and regulations. It is also what is wrong with Labour's proposals too. It simply illustrates the need to be inside the EU itself. The fact, that the Brextremists, like Mogg, were prepared to bite their lip, following May's Speech is simply an indication that they see the point of playing the long game, and that so long as the EU can be duped into allowing May and Davis to offer up to them fudges of position, which can then be simply rowed back on, in the hours and days after they have shaken hands upon such deals, the door remains open for the Brextremists, at a time of their choosing, to simply throw over May herself, to put one of their own number into No.10, and then to begin to implement any fudged agreement on the basis of their most extreme version of regulatory divergence. 

The EU ought to be aware of the danger of taking Perfidious Albion at its word. They and us should be even more aware of trusting the Tories any further than we can throw them.

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