Like Main­war­ing, it’s time to stand up for free­dom!

Sunday Express - - SCANDAL OF OUR ABANDONED ARMY VETERANS - By Ja­cob Rees-Mogg

NO NEED to give credit to ne­go­tia­tors, I think, be­cause it’s not a good deal. These are not the words of a fierce Brex­i­teer or an op­po­nent of Theresa May. It is the pri­vate view of the CBI, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that is sup­posed to stand up for busi­ness but in­stead likes to suck up to gov­ern­ment. If even the arch toad­ies recog­nise that it is not a good deal, it must be al­most in­de­fen­si­ble.

Its fail­ure is that it does not de­liver on Brexit and, in­stead of tak­ing back con­trol, in some ar­eas it will leave the United King­dom with even less con­trol than it cur­rently has: the vas­sal state.

The With­drawal Agree­ment is de­clared to be su­pe­rior law and is de­signed to be an in­ter­na­tional treaty that would over­ride UK law, ex­actly as mem­ber­ship of the EU does.

Law is at the heart of tak­ing back con­trol, the prom­ise given in the ref­er­en­dum. Who makes the rules? Is it de­cided demo­crat­i­cally de­pen­dent upon the votes of Bri­tish peo­ple or is it to be made by a range of na­tions and bu­reau­crats in Brus­sels?

The with­drawal treaty con­tains pow­ers that would not re­turn to the UK and specif­i­cally states that the Court of Jus­tice of the Euro­pean Union will be the fi­nal arbiter when­ever the treaty con­nects with Euro­pean law. It does not recog­nise, nor does the po­lit­i­cal agree­ment, any equiv­a­lent for UK judges on our laws.

Not only will the UK’s abil­ity to set its own laws be com­pro­mised but so will tax­a­tion. The treaty al­lows the EU to set the UK’s tar­iffs as part of the back­stop pro­vi­sions. It would be il­le­gal for them to be re­duced, so tax­a­tion without rep­re­sen­ta­tion is a fea­ture of this agree­ment.

This de­nies the UK a key ben­e­fit of leav­ing: the pos­si­bil­ity to have lower prices for food, cloth­ing and footwear. Yet the con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ple of con­sent for tax­a­tion from Par­lia­ment on be­half of the peo­ple is more im­por­tant than the loss of a fu­ture op­por­tu­nity.

It shows a wan­ton dis­re­gard for good gov­er­nance.

This is also true of the Ir­ish ques­tion. Our fel­low ci­ti­zens in North­ern Ire­land are go­ing to face reg­u­la­tion from Dublin which they have his­tor­i­cally re­jected rather than from their own democ­racy. The full EU cus­toms rule­book would ap­ply without their con­sent and it re­quires that North­ern Ire­land fol­lows 291 EU reg­u­la­tions. The rest of the UK would not be bound by these but would have to im­pose an in­ter­nal bor­der within our own coun­try if we were to exercise our ba­sic demo­cratic rights.

Su­pe­rior EU law, tax­a­tion without rep­re­sen­ta­tion and a di­vided na­tion... that is what the Gov­ern­ment pro­poses to buy with £39bil­lion of tax­pay­ers’ money. In re­turn, there is a po­lit­i­cal dec­la­ra­tion that of­fers warm words to us but odd specifics for the EU. Once again, the EU is to have its court recog­nised as su­pe­rior and, pe­cu­liarly, the ob­scure cost of droit de suite is specif­i­cally pre­served.

The UK has also agreed to a level playing field but this is code for adopt­ing EU in­ef­fi­cien­cies. In an ideal world, trade would be fair and gov­ern­ments would not seek to sub­sidise na­tional cham­pi­ons but the EU is less con­cerned about this than the UK be­com­ing a more sen­si­bly reg­u­lated mar­ket.

This is not a ques­tion of whole­sale de-reg­u­la­tion but of al­low­ing free mar­kets to pros­per. As Sir James Dyson has ex­posed in his re­cent le­gal ac­tion on vac­uum cleaner reg­u­la­tions, some rules are merely there to help Ger­man in­dus­try – while the scan­dal over diesel emis­sions proved the same point. A level playing field must not be­come a sticky wicket.

THIS AP­PROACH to pol­icy-mak­ing is made in Down­ing Street. Many Con­ser­va­tives have begged the Gov­ern­ment to change course and to de­liver on the prom­ises made in our elec­tion man­i­festo.

Keep­ing faith with the elec­torate is es­sen­tial if there is to be trust in pol­i­tics. Sadly, the Prime Min­is­ter has not done this, which is why, in spite of her many virtues and great du­ti­ful­ness, I can no longer sup­port her lead­er­ship.

In re­turn, I have been com­pared to Cap­tain Main­war­ing, which I take as a com­pli­ment.

He may have had his idio­syn­cra­sies but he took his pa­tri­otic du­ties se­ri­ously and did his best.

There was al­ways some­thing sto­ically ad­mirable about him. At the con­clu­sion of Dad’s Army he spoke of pre­serv­ing free­dom, say­ing “there are thou­sands of us all over Great Bri­tain who’ll stand to­gether when their coun­try needs them”. There still are.

‘This Euro agree­ment is a fail­ure and leaves us as a vas­sal state’

BAT­TLE: Ja­cob Rees-Mogg and TV’s Cap­tain Main­war­ing

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