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Witney MP on Chequers: Naive to trust EU to be nice to us

11 Dec 2018

Robert Courts MP concludes: Assume Parliament passes the proposed withdrawal deal. Then assume that the EU continues to resist the UK’s trade proposals during the 21-month “implementation period”. Under those circumstances, we would enter the Backstop and the UK would have paid most of the £39 billion exit bill.

In addition, the UK would be in a customs union, without an independent trade policy, under the power of the ECJ and without any influence in Brussels. The only way out of that open-ended, subordinate status is to sign up to something that is agreeable to the EU.

So the issue comes down to one of trust: can we trust the EU to be nice to us? Or is it more likely that the EU will maximise its own negotiating position, and drive an impossibly hard bargain to obtain a deal that suits itself? Surely it is naive to allow ourselves to be put into that position.

And let us re-state the basic principle. The UK is legally and morally entitled to withdraw from a European project with which she has never been comfortable and which is clearly evolving in a federally-integrated direction that British voters do not wish – and never will wish - to go. There is no reason to be ashamed about wishing to restore democratic self-government, or to be apprehensive about rejecting a system that those on left and right have long criticised for having a “democratic deficit”, that cannot be removed by voters, even when it persists in errors. 

Those who voted for Brexit did so because they wanted a freer, more democratic, more global Britain, one that governed itself. This does not mean - and they did not want - to sever all links with our European friends and allies. We simply wanted to be able to stand back whilst they pursued their long-held goal of political amalgamation.

The deal that the Prime Minister has negotiated does not offer that, rather it offers a future Britain that is in almost every way as constrained as now, without a way out, and with no way of exploiting the commercial opportunities that Brexit offers.

So with all that analysis laid out, I do not see how, in its current form, the Withdrawal Agreement achieves the ends I have laid out, and I struggle to see how anyone, whether they voted leave or remain, would want me to support it.

Robert Courts MP

Read his full analysis here

posted by Grassroots Conservatives in News