Here we analyse Rishi Sunak’s surrender document and we will see how he has allowed the EU to retain control of part of Britain’s sovereign territory.
There were two issues where the Protocol was not acceptable and which had to be changed: (i) barriers to internal UK trade, and (ii) the application of EU laws and the authority of the EU courts in Northern Ireland. The UK and the EU, and the Irish Republic too, all said that they wanted to safeguard the Belfast Agreement. This stipulates that both the Unionist and Republican communities should be treated equally. So has this been achieved? The short answer is NO. For the long answer, read on:
Trade: lies and failure
Northern Ireland is part of the UK, but because the Protocol left the former under the control of the EU and subject to EU rules and restrictions, it was not possible for British companies in Great Britain to send their goods and produce across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland without having to meet EU rules and demonstrate this with massive bureaucratic paperwork. So internal UK trade was controlled by a foreign power! Sunak claims to have solved this by introducing Red and Green Lanes on trade from GB to NI. Goods going to the Irish Republic or other parts of the EU will have to go through the Red Lane and meet all the EU’s rules, but those just going to NI will go through the Green Lane. Let’s look at these.
Red Lane: It would have been far better for British exporters if the government had focused on reducing checks rather than implementing them, but Sunak the Traitor didn’t even think of this. But if we are going to have these extensive checks, why are we paying for them? They are there at the EU’s request and only serve their interests, not ours, so they should pay for them!
Green Lane: Don’t imagine for one moment that this will be like the airport green lane you casually pass through when you return from holiday. Oh no! This is actually going to be more of a dark pink lane. For starters you will need to belong to a ‘Trusted Trader’ scheme to qualify to use this, membership of which will be bureaucratic, costly and time-consuming – and not all companies will even be eligible to join this. Secondly, there will continue to be a need to provide documentation to pass through this lane, which will have to be submitted in advance so that it can be shared with the EU. The EU will therefore continue to vet internal UK trade – and will be able to ask for checks to be carried out if they want!
And as if all this was not bad enough, goods going to NI will need to be specially labelled as such – which is precisely what British businesses did not want! The chairman of Marks & Spencer, for instance, recently warned that different labelling requirements would create “overbearing and prohibitive costs” and the separate production runs necessary would particularly harm small suppliers. So well done Sunak – you’ve just damaged British companies. This also goes to prove the point that I have made previously: the Protocol is not just a Northern Ireland issue: it affects British companies and British workers on the mainland even more!
So while it’s true that some improvements have been made, and that the number of checks will be reduced, this is simply nowhere near what was needed to restore Northern Ireland’s place within the UK. And no, I’m not being churlish; I’m simply asking that the UK be free to operate like every other country in the world – without restrictions on internal movements and trade, controlled by a foreign power. Sunak declared: “We have removed any sense of a border in the Irish Sea.” This outrageous LIE needs to be challenged and can be disproved very easily: If these red and green lanes are not a border then why not have them between the North and South of Ireland?
The fact that they will not be placed between Northern Ireland and the Republic proves that this IS a border, and East-West movement between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is not be the same as movement between the North and the South. So the concerns and wishes of the Unionists are being given less weight than those of the Republicans – which goes directly against the Belfast Agreement that all the lying politicians claimed was paramount!
And nobody seems to have noticed another glaring problem with these arrangements: with no controls at the North-South border, and with the Red and Green Lanes only applying to movements from GB to NI but not the other way round, there will be NO controls at all on Irish and other EU goods coming into the UK!
EU political and legal control
I wonder if Sunak appreciates the irony of trying to eliminate the so-called ‘democratic deficit’ (Northern Ireland’s elected representatives not having control of EU legislation that affects them) by excluding them from the negotiations with the EU to resolve this? Probably not, as I don’t suppose he really gives a damn about them. So what is the outcome here? Well, as with the trade issues, while there have been a few improvements the fundamental problems still continue.
It is not disputed that EU laws will still apply to the part of the UK called Northern Ireland. Brexit has NOT been fully delivered. Sammy Wilson, the DUP MP for East Antrim, expressed the problem best when he said: “Could I remind the Prime Minister that although he talks about 1,700 pages of EU law being removed from Northern Ireland, hundreds of thousands of pages will still remain?” And the EU courts – the ECJ – will still have a role in interpreting and deciding these laws. And the most ridiculous thing of all is that all these EU rules will apply to all manufacturers and farmers in Northern Ireland – even if they do not export anything to the South or anywhere else in the EU! What is the justification for that? There is none. It is simply there so the EU can demonstrate that they are the masters in Northern Ireland and to oppress the British citizens living there. Sunak has agreed to the EU being the overlords. The vile traitor has betrayed Britain and the British people.
Sunak said he can “understand” the view that EU laws should have no place in Northern Ireland but insisted that there was “some role for EU law” as long as the people there wanted special access to the single market. But Ireland wants special, unfettered access to the North – part of the UK market – so why isn’t there ‘some place for UK law’ in the EU? This goes to the core of the problem: if it is accepted that the EU should have powers over Northern Ireland because this is the part of the UK that borders with the EU, then surely, if you believe in EQUALITY, the UK should have powers over the Republic of Ireland because this is the part of the EU that borders with the UK. That is not the case here so this is an UNEQUAL agreement.
I thought that the government believed in equality. They certainly do when it comes to race, or gender, or sexual inclination, or disability, or anything else … but not when it comes to the UK. I don’t know about you, but I find this completely unacceptable.
There was also a very interesting incident during the press conference. Mrs von der Leyen said that Brussels will give notice of future EU regulations that would apply to Northern Ireland, so that the UK could lodge an objection which in theory – but probably not in practice – could lead to the EU voluntarily not applying it in the province, and then she went on to say that the UK would also need to give notice of any changes that we wish to make! So presumably the EU will be able to influence UK policy and laws! Again, that is certainly not my understanding of sovereignty!
Sunak claims that the power to set VAT, state aid and excise duty on goods such as alcohol in Northern Ireland will be repatriated to London. But what he hasn’t said is that the EU will still have the unilateral power to object and take action on a case by case basis if it claims that state aid, VAT or excise is too low and represents “unfair competition” with the single market. In other words, Britain will have the power to cut taxes and offer state aid only if the EU lets us. That’s not what I call sovereignty!
And finally we come to the so-called ‘Stormont Brake’ – the ability of the Northern Ireland Assembly to object to a new piece of EU legislation and prevent it from applying in the province. If a minimum of 30 Stormont Assembly members (a third of the total) object to a new piece of EU legislation they can temporarily block its application in the Province and the UK government will then get to decide whether to block it permanently. The DUP currently have 25 Assembly members, and other Unionists another 12, making 37 in total, so it seems that if they united they would be able to stop new rules they don’t like. Except that the reports say they must show that “the new law has a significant impact specific to everyday life that will likely persist”. And the EU will then be able to insist the dispute goes to an independent arbitration process (so this is NOT under Stormont or UK control) and at the end of the day can resort to blackmailing the Assembly and say that all access to the single market will be cut off. But the biggest problem of all with this ‘brake’ is that it only applies to NEW EU laws. So the “hundreds of thousands of pages” of EU laws that currently apply to Northern Ireland will continue to apply there. So explain to me again how it is the UK that is sovereign there!
The ‘Windsor Framework’, shamefully trying to exploit King Charles and imply a royal seal of approval, falls well short of the DUP’s red lines (and those of the ERG – the Conservative backbenchers who claim to be true Brexiteers), including ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and application of EU law in Northern Ireland. The ‘Stormont Brake’ is very obviously a bait to try to get them to swallow an agreement that certainly does NOT satisfy the tests they set out in beforehand. I do not know if either of these will end up acquiescing to this agreement but if they do they will come to regret it. The EU have made it clear that – contrary to what Sunak is trying to pretend – they have not breached their red lines, the Protocol itself has not been renegotiated and the legal text of the original treaty has not been changed. Ms von der Leyen praised Mr Sunak’s “very constructive attitude from the very beginning to solve problems” – I think this is a euphemism for ‘grovelling submission and compliance’. Sunak the Traitor has shamed and betrayed Britain and the British people.
This agreement does NOT restore full sovereignty over Northern Ireland to the UK.
It does NOT make the UK a completely free and independent country.
It does NOT, therefore, deliver the full Brexit that we voted for.
It does NOT remove all EU laws from the UK.
It does NOT remove the control and power of the European Court of Justice.
It does NOT eliminate all checks and controls over the movement of goods and agricultural products between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It does NOT allow the UK to control goods coming from the EU.
It does NOT, therefore, remove the internal border imposed in our country by a foreign power.
It does NOT represent an equal treatment of Unionists compared to Republicans.
It does NOT, therefore, satisfy the Belfast Agreement.
It does NOT treat the UK equally with the EU.
It is NOT, therefore, acceptable!
But what was the reaction of the Conservative MPs in the House of Commons when Sunak presented this capitulation dressed up as victory that only the most stupid could believe? They brayed like donkeys, applauding his submission to a hostile foreign power. Anyone who votes Conservative is complicit in this betrayal of the United Kingdom.
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