Preface: As I’m trying to blog each day (and have already missed one), I’m experimenting with sharing my thoughts on possibly controversial topics. Bear with me, and remember ‘opinions are like…’
So after months of bickering and waiting for the government, Teresa May announced her grand plan for how to execute Brexit.
She wants to have her cake and eat it. In fact, it’s pretty much what Johnson and Farage said, but without all the bleating about a time of past colonial glory. Or maybe it was there and I missed it.
Finally - some talk about the Single Market
Interestingly, there was talk about some specifics in May’s wishlist:
- No to the Single Market
- No to tariffs with Europe
- No to EEA membership
- Restrictions on European immigration
- No ‘cliff-edge’ if talks aren’t concluded (and ratified) within the 2 year timeframe
- The ability to pick and choose which EU programmes the UK is involved with
- No ‘hard’ border between UK & Ireland
We’re going to have to fill in the gaps for the meantime - as details were in short supply. Remember - Brexit means Brexit.
The problem is, this is just a wishlist - nothing more. The reality is likely to be quite different:
- Why would the EU actually provide preferential terms to the UK, rather than encourage us to stay in the EU?
- Access to certain EU markets (particularly Euro financial ones) simply can’t be run by a non-EU country.
- Even when we leave, it’s foolish to think that less integration will result in the UK being more attractive than the EU.
What does the EU think?
There’s an interesting opinion piece in the Guardian today from Guy Verhofstadt - the chief EU negotiator for Brexit - I’d recommend you give it a read. Here’s the tl;dr version:
…it is an illusion to suggest that the UK will be permitted to leave the EU but then be free to opt back into the best parts of the European project, for instance by asking for zero tariffs from the single market without accepting the obligations that come with it. I hope that British people will see from the perspective of an EU taxpayer how unreasonable this would be. — Guy Verhofstadt
I’m not looking forward to the negotiations personally, but I am looking forward to the cake. You can get the recipe for it here.
I wonder if I can make a gluten-free version?!