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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

No such thing as a clean break

For all the drama yesterday of Parliament being prorogued, Welsh MPs singing Calon Lan in the chamber, the government being forced to publish key documents, and losing another vote to hold a General Election, their sixth since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, the real political substance was to be found in Dublin.

There, whilst Boris Johnson fidgeted besides him, the Irish Prime Minister set out the stark reality of a no-deal Brexit - as the Guardian reports, it is not the clean break that the Brexiteers are claiming:

In a tough message to his British counterpart on the steps of Ireland’s Government Buildings, Leo Varadkar said Britain would be back to square one on the very issues on which it refuses to agree now in a no-deal scenario.

“The story of Brexit will not end if the United Kingdom leaves on 31 October or even 31 January – there is no such thing as a clean break. No such thing as just getting it done. Rather, we just enter a new phase,” he said.

“If there is no deal, I believe that’s possible, it will cause severe disruption for British and Irish people alike. We will have to get back to the negotiating table. When we do, the first and only items on the agenda will be citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border. All the issues we had resolved in the withdrawal agreement we made with your predecessor. An agreement made in good faith by 28 governments.”

Varadkar warned that even if a deal were agreed, Britain should not be deluded about the future relationship negotiations.

“We will enter talks on a future relationship agreement between the EU and UK. It’s going to be tough dealing with issues ranging from tariffs to fishing rights, product standards and state aid. It will then have to be ratified by 31 parliaments,” he said.

Varadkar told Johnson free-trade agreements were difficult to strike but Ireland would be his friend and ally.

“Negotiating FTAs with the EU and US and securing their ratification in less than three years is going to be a herculean task for you. We want to be your friend and ally, your Athena, in doing so,” he said.

This is the reality that Johnson, Cummings, Farage, Mogg and their fellow travellers refuse to acknowledge. Unless we revoke Article 50 then the chaos in Parliament over the last week is just a taster, whether or not somebody gets a majority in the forthcoming General Election. To claim otherwise is to mislead voters.
Revoke article 50 or the only other way deal or no deal is down down down. The EU and US will extract hard deals from us
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