British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was seen shaking his fists in victory Thursday evening as he returned to London from two days of talks in Europe, but top Brexiteers have warned him the insignificant changes he is trying to achieve to Theresa May’s disastrous withdrawal deal are not enough.
The apparently foremost intention of the Prime Minister in his last-ditch to achieve a Brexit deal before the October withdrawal date has been the removal of the so-called backstop, a provision the European Union claims is necessary to govern the land border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Critics point out that the agreement would keep the United Kingdom tied to the European Union’s diktats indefinitely while giving the country no ability to control them — a mockery of the core principles of Brexit.
Delingpole: Removing the Backstop Isn’t Enough, Boris. We Demand Full, Unconditional Brexit! https://t.co/tqCer26tsl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 20, 2019
While European leaders including Emmanuel Macron have already claimed that dispensing with the backstop is not possible, even if Mr Johnson was somehow able to overcome these objections, Brexiteers back in Westminster have been quick to point out that this part of Theresa May’s failed deal was merely the worst element, and several other provisions within it mean it cannot be backed.
Speaking to British centre-right broadsheet the Daily Telegraph, former Brexit secretary David Davis laid out these concerns, telling their podcast that the requirement that the United Kingdom pay the European Union £39 billion for the right to leave was also a problem. He said:
I’d argue for contingency on the money. I’d argue for tighter limits, timetable limits, sunset clauses on ECJ and things like that. I’d have a small shopping list.
It wouldn’t be a ridiculous one, but one I think that any serious European Parliament and any European Council that wants a deal could go with.
If I were doing this for Boris, I would be insistent on is that they make the bill – the £39bn, the second half of it – contingent on progress on the future economic partnership.
We should have in place a future economic partnership, or the bones of it anyway, so that we carry on with free trade arrangements beyond that before we pay the next £20billion.
Veteran eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash joined Mr Davis, articulating concerns that the Brexit withdrawal deal would keep Britain as a rule-taker from Brussels.
“We will be governed for a number of years by the other 27 member states under the existing draft withdrawal agreement … even with the backstop removed,” he said.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 22, 2019
Brexit leader Nigel Farage, meanwhile, expressed his concern at the meeting between Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, again making clear that the much-vaunted change being trumpeted in the mainstream media amounted, in fact, to nothing.
Mr Farage said Thursday evening: “So, Macron says we can’t change the whole thing, it’s impossible, but we can amend it, [so] what is Boris Johnson asking for? He is asking for an amendment on the backstop. He is asking for what he calls alternative arrangements… Boris is going for a withdrawal agreement.”
Speaking on his LBC radio show, Mr Farage said that while Conservatives were assuring him Mr Johnson would deliver on Brexit, they were “the very same people” who assured him Theresa May would deliver.
The Brexit frontman continued: “I think Boris Johnson is going all out for an amended withdrawal agreement, [and] added to that a political declaration that will effectively leave us tied to the European Union for many years to come.”
Farage Predicts General Election, Urges Boris to Embrace Tory-Brexit Party Pact https://t.co/2IyER6LzYF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 3, 2019