Nigel Farage has hailed Brexit as “an epic triumph for the people against the political classes” and “the beginning of the end of the European Union” — but warned that Boris Johnson’s deal is “not what I campaigned for and it most certainly is not what Boris Johnson’s supporters voted for in the 2019 General Election.”
Reflecting on the seemingly interminable years from the vote to Leave the European Union back in 2016 to Britain actually leaving the European Union, first in name only and now, as the 2020 “transition” period comes to an end, more substantively, the political heavyweight seemed relieved that his long battle for national independence appears to be coming to an end.
“I think that historians will look back on the 2016 to 2019 period in astonishment,” Farage suggested in an article for the Mail on Sunday.
“Whether it was the BBC, then Commons Speaker John Bercow, or hundreds of backbench MPs, a stubborn refusal to respect the outcome took hold,” he recalled.
“When I launched the Brexit Party as a means to re-establish our tattered democracy, the wave of support was immediate. Millions of pounds were donated in small sums online.
“The huge victory we scored in the 2019 European election led to Theresa May’s resignation and the premiership of Boris Johnson.”
Johnson, who picked a side in the EU referendum campaign late, and had previously been an EU supporter — even going so far as to campaign for Turkish membership of the bloc in order to refashion something resembling the long-departed Roman Empire — has not always earned high praise from Farage, whose commitment to the cause was never in doubt, but the arch-Brexiteer credited the Prime Minister and ally Michael Gove for having helped to finish the job.
Gibraltar Facing Chaos After Boris Let EU Cut Rock Out of Deal https://t.co/O4hdmGG9e5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 28, 2020
But it was not all praise for the Tory leader from the Brexit pioneer, who has tried to maintain an overall upbeat stance since the Brexit deal was announced on Christmas Eve but could not resist pointing out some of its flaws.
“I am sorry to say that for all the tough talk of Mr Johnson and his chief negotiator, Lord Frost, some major concessions have been made,” he wrote.
“Northern Ireland has been cut off from the rest of the UK; the European Human Rights regime will remain in place here; our coastal communities have been saddled with a rotten fishing deal; and EU firms will still be allowed to tender for UK government contracts,” he noted.
Indeed, the EU will actually be posting its own personnel in the British province of Northern Ireland to ensure that its rules are enforced, and trade with the rest of the United Kingdom regulated, and there is some question over whether or not the extremely poor deal on British fisheries — which the EU will still be able to plunder at scale, with very limited increases in Britain’s quota shares — really will come to an end after five-and-a-half years, as the British government claims, given language in the text suggesting it will be carried forward on similar terms afterwards.
“In regulatory terms, the EU will hold a Sword of Damocles over Britain with the threat of immediate tariffs if they judge that Britain is being too competitive,” Farage added, highlighting the fact that while the deal technically does not require the British to adopt EU rules, as the bloc had wanted, there are provisions in it for the EU to cancel free trade if they stray too far from them.
Other Brexiteers have noted the now widely-ignored “divorce” settlement of over 40 billion euros which the British agreed to pay the EU in exchange for seemingly nothing at all, small but painful defeats like the EU being allowed to shut British seed potato farmers from their markets, and, perhaps more significantly, the fact that the deal covers trade in goods, where the EU has a massive advantage, but not services, where the advantage was Britain’s.
The seemingly obscure tendering rules may cause embarrassment for Johnson in future, too, being cut from the same cloth as the EU rules which have seen big public contracts for steel, military equipment, and even the new EU-free blue British passports handed to foreign firms — with the current excuses that EU rules tie British politicians’ hands perhaps soon to be replaced with excuses that the EU trade deal ties British politicians’ hands.
Other stings in the tail are still being discovered, as Brexiteers pour through the terms of the deal ahead of a last-minute parliamentary ratification vote, which is expected to be rushed through the House of Commons, House of Lords, and Royal Assent in a single day.
UK PM Johnson: Brexit Deal ‘Does Not go as Far as we Would Like’, but ‘Freedom is What You Make of it’ https://t.co/HQtvxpCjo1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 27, 2020
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