What is a global Brexit? A global Brexit means leaving the single market, leaving the customs union and being able by March 2019 to negotiate bilateral trade deals with non EU countries.
If we do not reach this point in 2019, then it will be a fake Brexit.
The ability to negotiate our own trade deals is the litmus test of Brexit. If we fail to deliver this from the negotiations, then the chances are, we would have failed on everything else – including immigration and fisheries.
The mantra of a 'soft and hard' Brexit is a smoke screen. It’s propaganda. The phrase ‘soft Brexit’ is a phrase coined by those who do not want Brexit at all. It’s a technique to cloud the debate around Brexit and bring the referendum result into question, with the ultimate aim of staying inside the European Union.
Some are coy about it while some, like Alastair Campbell, a proponent for a soft Brexit, is open about stopping Brexit altogether.
A so-called 'soft Brexit' is not desirable, nor is it achievable.
Hypothetically, if we were to have a ‘soft Brexit’ deal, the UK would have accept the free movement of people, would continue to pay some fee for membership of the single market, would have to accept masses of EU regulation, accept jurisdiction of the ECJ and we would still have no ability to negotiate our own trade deals.
Now, many would conclude that we would be still be members of the EU, in all but name. This would be a complete disregard and dereliction of the referendum result last year.
As the negotiations began this week – so far, so good.
The UK and the EU’s negotiating stances are similar in respect to membership of the single market and the customs union. The EU commission and parliament have been clear that the UK cannot have its cake and eat. On our side, this government has committed to the UK leaving both simultaneously.
Yesterday’s, the Queen’s speech was another strong indicator against a ‘soft’ Brexit, by the introduction of trade and customs bill, to prepare for exit in 2019.
In October 2018, the final Brexit deal faces approval from the European Parliament, the EU27 and the British parliament. I don’t believe that the remaining EU27, nor the EU parliament will approve a deal which gives the UK a comparable advantage to themselves leaving the UK with preferential treatment.
Let’s say supposedly the government was to negotiate a ‘soft’ Brexit deal - we would be in the position where the deal scrapes through our own parliament but is rejected by the EU27 and the EU parliament.
What happens then? It only causes more years of uncertainty, unnecessarily.
Of course, the soft Brexiteers know this. They are hoping the negotiation will stall and fail to bolster their arguments for staying as member of the EU, resigning the referendum result to the history books.
In terms of Brexit and our approach to the negotiation, the election this year has changed nothing. Our stance and principles have not changed. While the election has raised question over the prime minister’s leadership qualities and ability, it does not raise any questions over the referendum result – in that respect, nothing has or will change.
I am in no way complacent. I’m lucky to have a front row seat and I, along with millions of others will be watching the negotiations like a hawk.
Those calling for a ‘soft’ Brexit are good – I don’t subscribe to their view, but they are good at reinforcing their false message. For that reason, last week, I called on all Brexiteers, on all sides, to regroup and to stop this ‘soft’ Brexit nonsense for once and for all.
Happy Independence day!