Brexit pre­ven­tion

The Scotsman - - Perspective / Letters To The Editor -

I was alarmed to read that Ger­many’s Coun­cil of Eco­nomic Ex­perts has ad­vised An­gela Merkel that “Brexit should be pre­vented” due to the far reach­ing im­pact it would have.

The EU will be­gin talks on Wed­nes­day when the 27 mem­ber coun­tries will dis­cuss the Brexit tran­si­tional bill.

The Coun­cil of Ex­perts ad­vise that there is still a risk of un­con­trolled exit. Con­versely, the pos­si­bil­ity of the UK stay­ing in the EU can’t be com­pletely ex­cluded.

Don­ald Tusk last month re­vived the idea of the UK re­main­ing in the EU. He stated that ger­many and france have in­di­cated that Bri­tain would be wel­comed back if it de­cided to re­verse the Brexit process.

To do so it would likely have to hold an­other ref­er­en­dum or elect a gov­ern­ment led by a party which has cam­paigned on a prom­ise to stay in the EU.

This was a most il­lu­mi­nat­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Ger­many’ s eco­nomic ex­perts be­cause it shows what Brex­i­teers have been say­ing is true: that the EU has as much to lose as Bri­tain if there is no agree­ment on a Brexit deal, de­spite their blus­ter.

It also re­veals why their ne­go­tia­tors are be­ing so in­flex­i­ble and dog­matic. They will do ev­ery­thing they can to pre­vent Brexit.

The ques­tion we should be ask­ing our­selves is this: do peo­ple in the UK have the right to vote against the EU or not, and if the an­swer is in the neg­a­tive, what kind of union do the re­main­ers want us to stay in? It can’t be called a democ­racy.

LOVINA ROE Glas­gow Road, Perth, Adam Tomkins wrote in The Scotsman (8 Novem­ber) “Scot­tish Min­is­ters can­not de­velop a pol­icy of in­dus­trial sub­sidy at odds with that of the UK Gov­ern­ment, be­cause both gov­ern­ments are bound alike by the vo­lu­mi­nous EU law of state aids and pub­lic pro­cure­ment.

“De­pend­ing on the exit deal the UK even­tu­ally ne­go­ti­ates with the EU27, Brexit may well mean that the de­volved ad­min­is­tra­tions will no longer be bound by EU laws such as th­ese.”

The world has moved on since the UK joined the EEC in 1973. Obli­ga­tions un­der the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Sub­si­dies and Coun­ter­vail­ing Mea­sures Agree­ment (SCM) and Gov­ern­ment Pro­cure­ment Agree­ment (GPA) are more com­pre­hen­sive now than then.

At present, for EU states, WTO mem­ber­ship is through the EU. That is why the WTO’S state aid and pro­cure­ment rules come to all parts of the UK by im­ple­men­ta­tion of EU di­rec­tives, rather than by di­rect en­act­ment to em­body the UK’S obli­ga­tions as a WTO mem­ber.

The most likely post-brexit fu­ture would be for the UK to be bound by in­ter­na­tional state aid and pro­cure­ment rules not very dif­fer­ent from to­day’s and for de­volved ad­min­is­tra­tions to con­tinue to need to en­sure that their own ini­tia­tives were com­pat­i­ble with WTO bounds.

JAMES MCLEAN Blinkbonny Ter­race, Ed­in­burgh Con­ser­va­tive MSP Prof Adam Tomp­kins is quite wrong and per­haps more than a lit­tle naïve to ad­vo­cate the West­min­ster gov­ern­ment do­ing more to reach a com­pro­mise agree­ment with the SNP Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment over Brexit, (Avoid­ing a Brexit “power grab” cri­sis, Scot­tish Per­spec­tive, 8 Novem­ber). The 111 EU pow­ers iden­ti­fied by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment as hav­ing a de­volved in­ter­est cur­rently lie with the EU for a rea­son, namely that they are best de­ployed on a cross boundary in­ter­na­tional ba­sis be­cause their im­ple­men­ta­tion in one coun­try has the po­ten­tial to af­fect neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

If this is nec­es­sary at EU level, it may well be nec­es­sary at a UK level. If you look at the full list of 111 pow­ers, and those of us in­ter­ested in th­ese things have done so, then you come to a sim­ple and rel­a­tively ob­vi­ous con­clu­sion.

There are some ar­eas of leg­is­la­tion that could be eas­ily de­volved in their en­tirety. There are other ar­eas which must have some el­e­ment of UK co-or­di­na­tion, is­sues sur­round­ing move­ment of data or ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied or­gan­isms, for ex­am­ple.

For by far the great­est num­ber of ar­eas of leg­is­la­tion, it is not ob­vi­ous ex­actly what they are or how they might best be del­e­gated. The ob­vi­ous con­clu­sion from this is there­fore that it will take many, many years to com­plete this ex­er­cise, and the ne­go­ti­a­tions as­so­ci­ated with that must take place in our two par­lia­ments if they are to be prop­erly trans­par­ent. It would be com­pletely un­demo­cratic to do any­thing else.

To re­turn the pow­ers to Holy­rood without ques­tion is a power grab by the Scot­tish par­lia­ment, or, rather, by the SNP. The SNP need to be seen to be hav­ing this cur­rent on­go­ing ar­gu­ment be­cause they have no other con­tri­bu­tion to make. The pri­or­ity is to get the pow­ers repa­tri­ated, and the del­e­ga­tion can be done af­ter­wards.

We must not have any un­nec­es­sary dis­trac­tions to the Brexit process. Prof Tomp­kins says the SNP do not want to dis­rupt the in­ter­nal UK mar­ket, but their ev­ery in­cli­na­tion is to do pre­cisely that.

All of us who sup­port the UK want Mrs May to face down the SNP like she did ear­lier this year with con­sid­er­able suc­cess, not to ap­pease them.

There is no need for an “hon­est bro­ker” in all this. There is sim­ply a need for ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship that does not al­low un­nec­es­sary dis­trac­tions from those with their own, very dif­fer­ent, ob­jec­tives. VIC­TOR CLE­MENTS Aber­feldy, Perthshire

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.