The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and the UK, ending years of tense negotiations. Parliament approved the deal with a 660 vote in favor, 5 against and 32 abstentions – a final step needed for the deal to enter into force permanently. Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the ratification as an endorsement as a more stable basis for the relationship.
He said in a statement: “This week is the last leg of a long journey, securing the stability of our new relationship with the EU as vital trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals.
“Now is the time to look to the future and build a more global Britain.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also welcomed the vote, saying the trade and cooperation agreement “marks the foundation for a strong and close partnership with the UK”.
Acknowledging the EU’s concerns over the Prime Minister’s approach to the agreements with Brussels, she warned that “faithful implementation is essential”.
The deal is undoubtedly a huge triumph for Mr Johnson, who in 2019 won an overwhelming majority in the general election with the promise to ‘make Brexit’.
However, while Brexit could be done, political commentator and senior economist Harry Western accused Mr Johnson of “failing to signal a decisive divergence from the EU’s economic model”.
He wrote in a recent report: “Important new trade deals with third countries remain stuck thanks to protectionist agricultural interests, and regulatory changes have been minimal.
“Worst of all is that the government is yearned for dynamic alignment with EU agricultural rules because of the problems caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“It threatens to derail Britain’s global ambitions entirely and leave her an economic satellite of the EU.”
If Brexiteers believed January 1, 2021 marked the end of attempts to impose a bogus ‘name-only Brexit,’ Mr Western wrote, they unfortunately turned out to be wrong.
As Lord David Frost, Britain’s chief negotiator, has rightly said, the point of Brexit is divergence.
JUST IN: David Frost issued a blunt Brexit warning as ‘much more to do’
Divergence from “a damaging and stagnant European economic model which has hampered the growth of the UK economy in recent decades”.
Concretely, this means that the UK is pursuing a genuinely independent trade policy and vigorously working to change or remove legacy EU regulations.
However, this doesn’t really happen
Mr Western explained: ‘In terms of trade policy, it is true that the UK has had a lot of success in renewing the agreements with third countries that were originally concluded when the UK was part of the EU. .
“Indeed, the UK has done this much faster than many commentators thought possible. But in terms of new transactions, the ledger remains essentially empty.
“Last year’s deal with Japan included a few more elements in addition to the previous deal negotiated by the EU, but nothing very dramatic.”
He concluded: “Overall, it is clear that the UK’s rhetoric on ‘Global Britain’ does not amount to real action.
“The government is showing reluctance to make bold decisions on trade or regulation and is moving towards SPS expedients that would undermine the entire Brexit goal.
“There are elements in government that seem to be pushing this agenda strongly. The risk of ‘Brexit in name only’ is now higher than at any time since Theresa May presented her bogus Brexit deal over two years ago. “
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In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, labor adviser and general secretary for leave from work Brandon Chilton also criticized the trade deal the Prime Minister has reached with the EU.
He said: “I am still very concerned about the deal negotiated by Boris Johnson.
“Part of our country has been essentially cut off: Northern Ireland.
“There is a border along the Irish Sea and people who trade from Britain to Northern Ireland go through extreme red tape.
“We are also seeing violence in Belfast and other cities, and while I don’t attribute that to the Brexit deal, I think it is a contributing factor.”
The Brexiteer added: “I think Boris Johnson needs to take a firm line.
“He needs to show leadership, bring the parties together and explore how we can bring Northern Ireland back under British administration, custom and regulation.”
The origins of the recent protests in Belfast have been attributed in part to resentment within the loyalist community over the Northern Ireland Protocol – part of the treaty that saw the UK leave the EU.
However, the recent police decision not to prosecute senior Irish Republican Sinn Fein lawmakers for breaking COVID-19 rules, in order to attend the funeral of the former senior member of the Republican Army Irishwoman Bobby Storey, has also been cited as lighting the powder keg. .
Northern Ireland is not Mr Chilton’s only concern, however.
He added: “I am also worried about the fishing.
“Shellfish farmers in Kent still have difficulty getting their products into France, for example.
“We have not fully recovered the territorial waters that were promised to us.
“And everything is still to be reviewed in five years.”
Mr Chilton concluded: ‘While Brexit is over, it is not over.
“It will be a discussion of how far we move or further away from Europe, which we will have for years to come.”
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This notice was published: 2021-05-02 19:35:00