Withdrawal deal and trade talks should be linked
Glorious Gloucestershire John Russell took this picture at Stanton
✒ FROM the way people talk about no deal, anyone would think the deal in question was a trade deal, but it is not.
The Withdrawal Agreement promises we’ll pay £39 billion for – what? For permission to leave the EU. “Tip your hat to the kind gentlemen. Yes sirs, thank you sirs.”
No wonder Guy Verhofstadt says we cannot start talks on a trade deal until we have paid up.
Once we have given up our main bargaining chip, he knows we shall have to accept whatever deal the EU offers us.
For example, there will be no hope of recovering our fishing rights.
This may not concern the people of Cheltenham, but it will be devastating for our poor coastal communities.
Edward Heath was so desperate to join the EEC that the six (as they were then) knew they could get him to accept a fishing deal so harsh that Norway pulled out of the negotiations.
On the first day of negotiations in 2017, the EU insisted on separating the divorce agreement from trade talks, a ludicrous idea, but for some reason we accepted it.
How can we know what would be a fair divorce deal before we know what trade deal we are to get? “Nothing’s agreed until everything’s agreed.”
Parliament has wasted a year talking about a deal so bad David Davies and Boris Johnson resigned when they heard about it.
Instead we could have been negotiating a trade deal alongside the divorce deal.
This would have had the advantage of sorting out trade with Ireland before we left.
Even now, the solution to the current impasse is to start trade talks straight away. Peter Eyres Cheltenham