Where should the UK go in future Brexit negotiations?
The post-election Brexit negotiations with Brussels will be vital for our nation so we can decide the path we will follow for the coming decades. We can set an ambitious approach to negotiations which will allow us freedom from the EU in all forms, or we can remain shackled to the EU with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats
Prime Minister Boris Johnson throughout this campaign has claimed he has an ‘oven ready deal’ ready to go, but this is not the end of negotiations with the EU.
Assuming Mr Johnson does win the General Election as polls indicate at the moment, we must consider what his priorities should be in the upcoming trade negotiations which, according to the Conservative Party Manifesto, will end with Deal or No Deal by January 1st 2021.
Get Britain Out has identified 5 key focus areas for the future: defence cooperation; ending the influence of EU institutions; the end of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice; the protection of UK fishing rights and the ability to set our own regulations. These are areas we have pointed out to Boris Johnson in this letter, which was countersigned by many thousands of our supporters.
Thankfully all of these issues are raised in the Conservative Party Manifesto as priorities for the future negotiations, but there have been manifesto promises broken in the past and so it is important to set out how the UK must move forward in future negotiations.
The Labour Party are a lost cause here, with commitments to bind the UK into EU regulations, the Single Market and even going as far as continuing Freedom of Movement - followed by a new EU Referendum. With this on the table as well as a Remain option there would be virtually nothing to choose from, and definitely not a real ‘Leave the EU’ option. This would not be Brexit in any shape or form, and negotiations would effectively be pointless.
Should the Conservatives win the upcoming election, it is vital Boris Johnson pushes through with an ambitious approach to future trade negotiations, and not just with the EU. Vital to all of this must be the guarantee the UK is not tied into the EU’s ‘Level Playing Field’ protocol, which would restrict the ability of the UK to set its own path forward on tax rates, state intervention and trade deals.
Yes, this does include trade deals with the USA and other countries such as Australia and India, which will help the UK become a more successful global country.
This week’s ‘revelations’ by Labour’s Leader Jeremy Corbyn of ongoing secret talks with the USA was supposed to show the NHS is somehow for sale. However, this is nonsense – and the documents actually refer to past trade negotiations before Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.
The reports show the USA want to negotiate access to our health industry, but buying drugs from American companies is not the same as privatisation, or our agreeing to sell the NHS to the USA. Nor does the UK have to accept any demand which is proposed in trade negotiations, whether that be with the EU, the USA, or anyone else for that matter.
Boris Johnson immediately commented: “The NHS is no way on the table – at all” and after all, it will be Boris Johnson who will be in charge of the negotiations if he wins the election – and not the former PM, Theresa May.
The UK must not take the approach of being a whipping boy for anyone in future trade talks and Brexit negotiations as was the case when Mrs May was in power. We are a strong, economically powerful country with a great deal to offer in negotiations. Our world-leading tech industry, financial services and education system places us leaps and bounds ahead of most of those we will be negotiating with.
It seems Remainers have forgotten what it’s like to believe in our own country, instead of wishing to stay subservient to others.
With the EU there must be red lines which do not change. One of these must be our commitment to fishing protections. The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration do not give any details on this at the moment - meaning there is doubt – although it was mentioned in the Conservative Party Manifesto. ‘Taking Back Control’ of our waters was a key reason many voted to Leave and this cannot be swept under the carpet.
Brexiteers must keep up the pressure on whoever is in power to stick to promises made. Following this General Election, if there is a sizable Brexit Party contingent in Parliament, they should also be able to hold any Government to account on behalf of those who voted to Leave.
The next few months are vital for our nation, so we can decide the path we will follow for the next few decades. We can set an ambitious approach to negotiations which will allow us freedom from the EU in all forms, or we can remain shackled to the EU with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
The ambitious goals and drive to be independent are only possible with a Conservative majority, and alongside this, a sizable Brexit Party contingent. With this combination we will be able to Get Britain Out of the EU and really push for a global Britain with our own country given priority over the interests of Brussels.
It’s time for the UK to finally ‘Take Back Control’.
Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie is a Senior Research Executive at the cross party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out
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