Politics

Brexit POLL: Should Boris rip up Withdrawal Agreement and demand talks start again? VOTE

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A new report has highlighted the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) negotiated by Boris Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, contains several “poison pills” which will jeopardise Britain’s hard-won freedom from Brussels control. Furthermore, the 100-page document by the Centre for Brexit Policy (CBP) warns the deal will cost the UK a staggering £165billion.

The document, titled ‘Replacing the Withdrawal Agreement: How to ensure the UK takes back control on exiting the transition period’, highlights several areas the UK must stand firm on.

Such matters that require prioritising include the Northern Ireland Protocol, EU citizens’ rights, the controversial £39billion divorce payment, future financial liabilities, EU data protection laws, EU geographical indications of origin which are not reciprocal, and provisions relating to UK sovereign bases in countries like Cyprus.

The group also pointed out the Government must not cave to EU demands and allow the bloc to fish in British waters – an important red line for many Brexiteers.

John Longworth, Director-General of the CBP, said: “The British public repeatedly voted to ‘take back control’ and to ‘get Brexit done’.

“But we are now in the fine print stage of our departure from the EU and close examination of the terms agreed by former Prime Minister Theresa May and only partially improved so far by Prime Minister Johnson reveals that we are a still long way from fully restoring our national independence.

“We must ensure that our future relationship with the EU does not undermine our right to take our place on the world stage like other independent nations, free to cooperate with friendly countries but not to be controlled by them.”

Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost had already admitted the Government was trying to overcome flaws in Mrs May’s original deal.

He said Mr Johnson was unable to renegotiate the whole WA after he became the UK’s premier, as there wasn’t enough time to discuss the deal prior to Britain leaving the EU on January 31 this year.

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The CBP agreed with Mr Frost, and the document serves as a blueprint to correct the flaws in the original agreement.

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Lord Trimble wrote the foreword to the CBP’s report pointed out the WA far-reaching consequences for Northern Ireland.

He wrote, “the Withdrawal Agreement clearly rips the Good Friday Agreement apart” by undermining the principle of consent, handing law-making power over from Northern Ireland to the EU so that “there is no way in which the people affected by those decisions will even have a say in the making or application of them.”

Former Brexit Party MEP Matthew Patten has urged the Prime Minister to rip up the deal agreed by Mrs May.

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Writing for the Sunday Express, he said: “To regain our sovereignty, Boris Johnson is going to have to rip up and replace the agreement he signed just six months ago that enabled us to withdraw from the EU, set up the transition period, and describe the possible parameters of a future trade agreement.”

The 100-page report also highlights that much of the British public are adamant that leaving the EU must result in a full restoration of UK sovereignty.

The document highlighted a poll carried out by Savanta ComRes on June 8.

It found people in so-called battleground ‘Red Wall’ seats won off Labour by the Conservatives in the December 2019 election believe that leaving the EU will give Britain back independent sovereignty, by a margin of 49 to 26 percent.

This level of agreement rises to two thirds among ‘Red Wall’ residents who voted Labour in the 2017 general election then switched to the Conservatives in the 2019 election – and nearly three-quarters of people who voted Conservative in both elections.

People were responding to the statement: “Leaving the EU in 2020, rather than later, will mean that Britain recaptures the national independence it had before it joined the Common Market in 1973 sooner.”

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