What a Tangled Web They Weave

Article 50 TEU: “The Praesidium considers that … withdrawal of a member state from the Union cannot be made conditional upon the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement. Hence the provision that withdrawal will take effect in any event two years after notification…”.

Had the EU and UK ‘negotiators’ spent the last three years dealing in earnest with their future relationship in parallel with some immediate issues the future of the island of Ireland would be a lot clearer. This possibility—and therefore the clarity—were ruled out by the EU’s mandate.Propaganda-6

The EU is founded in an ideology and promoted through dishonest propaganda and outright deceit. We don’t subscribe to the ideology and we are disgusted by the propaganda and the deceit. We have provided many examples [1] and now the EUObserver on 4th September (https://euobserver.com/brexit/145828) offers us some more of the EU’s dishonesty. (Quotations below are from the EUObserver article.)

The EU warned on 4th September that in the case of a no-deal Brexit, there will be disruption on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where the EU’s new external border will lie after the UK leaves the bloc.

“All the checks will have to be carried out, it will be disruptive because the backstop would have been the only way that could have avoided disruptions,” a European Union official told EUObserver.

“There is no doubt, only the backstop was suitable to preserve the all-island economy and the situation as we know it as today,” the EU official added.

As with any claim the EU makes we have learnt to look closely to see if we can identify the EU’s own interests and aims, especially if it hasn’t provided any evidence in support, or provides an explanation that seems to have no logical or causal connection with the claim. We should always check whether there are other or more plausible explanations.

No deal-3The first of the above claims is based on what would happen in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. In that case the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) in its entirety would be irrelevant, which is why the EU and its supporters want ‘no deal’ off the table. The claim that needs to be examined is that “the backstop would have been the only way…”. No evidence is offered in support; we are simply expected to accept it without evidence. But there is evidence, from the EU itself, that the backstop is not the only way to avoid disruption.

Our recent post [2] referred to the Political Declaration (PD) that accompanied the draft WA. It’s worth quoting in full paragraphs 26 and 27 of the PD:

26. The Parties will put in place ambitious customs arrangements, in pursuit of their overall objectives. In doing so, the Parties envisage making use of all available facilitative arrangements and technologies, in full respect of their legal orders and ensuring that customs authorities are able to protect the Parties’ respective financial interests and enforce public policies. To this end, they intend to consider mutual recognition of trusted traders’ programmes, administrative cooperation in customs matters and mutual assistance, including for the recovery of claims related to taxes and duties, and through the exchange of information to combat customs fraud and other illegal activity.
27. Such facilitative arrangements and technologies will also be considered in developing any alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.

This shows that the EU is willing to accept alternative ways to facilitate cross-border commerce in Ireland. Not only is the backstop not “the only way” but it is unnecessary. And more recently the EU has proposed a regulation that would establish “a uniform Union legislative framework requiring the cross-border acceptance of electronic freight transport information” [3]. This may be the follow-up to paragraph 27 above.

So the first claim above is untrue, the EU knows it. So why do they insist on making the claim? The clue is in the second quotation above from the EU official—it is “to preserve the…situation as we know it as today”. The EU is determined that the UK will remain a captive state under EU rules after leaving the Union under the WA, which has to be preserved to protect that goal; it is why they say that it will not be renegotiated (actually what they say is that it cannot be renegotiated, which is also untrue but suggests the inflexibility is not their doing). [4] What they mean by ‘the situation’ is deliberately vague, do they mean cross-border trade or a peaceful border? Both can be preserved without the WA and its backstop.

Know your placeWe conclude that the real motive behind the EU’s insistence on the backstop is to force the UK to accept the Withdrawal Agreement, to preserve the status quo (i.e. the uncompetitive, acquis-governed status of the UK). It also explains why Brexiteers argue that Parliament, which has moved to exclude leaving the EU without a deal, has fallen into the EU’s trap, swallowed their propaganda, and put the UK at grave risk.

The backstop is unnecessary, the WA is damaging, the EU is determined to hold on to its current power.

Next we have two more deceptions and a revealing, if deliberately deceptive, ‘truth’.

A representative of the European Commission told EUObserver that “EU law will require that all goods entering Ireland from the United Kingdom be subject to the relevant checks and controls to protect the safety and health of EU citizens, preserve the integrity of the internal market and enforce compliance with fiscal obligations (duties, indirect taxes)”.

The expression “to protect the safety and health of EU citizens” is linked to the claim that the “relevant” (i.e. current) checks and controls do in fact protect citizens. They provide no evidence that this is true, so we can say that it is, at best, irrelevant and surely stated with intent to distract us from the truth. The give-away is in the opening, “EU law will require…”, which is the undeclared purpose. The point of the non-negotiable WA is to keep the UK under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which means under the control of the EU, to prevent the UK becoming a successful commercial competitor.

To “preserve the integrity of the internal market” is based on the ill-defined notion of the internal market, which we are supposed to believe is so obvious and important that it must be preserved at any cost. Other countries are permitted to trade with the EU’s internal market, the problem only arises because the EU refuses to discuss a trade agreement until the Irish border has been settled, yet the solution lies in a trade agreement. But the EU is not interested in a trade agreement, just keeping a tight rein on the UK.

The revealing part is “enforce compliance with fiscal obligations”. These ‘fiscal obligations’ have been invented by the EU and of course they want to enforce compliance—they need the money after all. However, they also want us to believe that this is somehow an obligation imposed from outside (above? God?), an impression that is a continuation of the overall deception.

Getting awayBritish prime minister Boris Johnson has rejected the backstop, which requires the UK to remain in the EU’s customs union and parts of the single market to ensure an open border until a future trade deal solves the issue, whenever the EU decides that is the case. And Parliament has, until now, rejected the draft Withdrawal Agreement. But with ‘no deal’ being blocked the EU has no incentive to renegotiate the WA; it remains the “only deal on the table”. Under the table is the possibility of withdrawing the UK’s application to leave the EU, under Article 50 of the TFEU, i.e. abandoning Brexit entirely.

A spokeswoman for the Commission said that, “…we are willing to work constructively with Boris Johnson and to look at any concrete proposals he may have, as long as they are compatible with the withdrawal agreement“.

Note “compatible”, which is a dishonest fudge since they have stated repeatedly that they will not open the WA for renegotiation (they mean ‘identical’). This makes nonsense (and a lie) of the demand that the UK should put forward concrete alternative proposals. But their rigid stance is an EU problem, which they wish to pass to the UK by repeated deceptions, as we have seen. If the EU feels that the NI/EI border needs protecting then it has the responsibility to ensure that it is protected, as they see it; it will not be the responsibility of the UK. If they believe that a ‘hard border’ is necessary then they will impose it. They do not believe this, as we have shown above, but as a feature of the deception the EU pretends otherwise in order to put pressure on the UK government, which they have done successfully, to judge from the parroting reaction of Parliament. After all, Junker promised in the Irish Parliament that there would be no circumstances under which the EU would insist on a hard border. [5]Best deal

The authors of Article 50 recognised that withdrawal negotiations should not go on indefinitely, but probably the EU could not imagine that any member nation would actually want to leave their beneficent Union. When the improbable happened they had to do something to stop the leak or at least ensure the negotiations would never end unless they themselves decided to let go, in which case the mutineers must sink. Now our ‘sovereign’ Parliament has given over whatever was left of its sovereignty to the Union.


[1] For example see: True Lies, or Themes-9: Lies & Deceptions, or Propaganda, Deceits and Lies

[2] Round the Mulberry Bush

[3] Electronic Freight Transport Information

[4] The Undead Deal

[5] On the Buses


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