‘Rip it up!’ Withdrawal Agreement means UK to have WORSE EU trade terms than Australia

‘Rip it up!’ Withdrawal Agreement means UK to have WORSE EU trade terms than Australia

The paper by the Centre for Brexit Policy has questioned Boris Johnson’s claim that the UK will go to “Australia rules” on World Trade Organisation terms if a deal is not struck with the EU. It comes after talks reopened between Britain’s Lord Frost and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier in a last ditch effort to come to an agreement. The report backed by senior Brexiteers including Tory MPs in the European Research Group is adding to the pressure to repeal the Withdrawal Agreement if the EU refuses to come to reasonable terms.

However, a senior minister has told the Sunday Express that repealing the Withdrawal Agreement is “more trouble than it is worth.”

The minister noted: “It is an international agreement so we are entitled to interpret it in the context of our constitutional arrangements so it is not that problematic.

“Added to that as time goes on and it becomes more distant the agreement becomes less relevant.”

However, the paper by the CBP has raised concerns about the long term impact of the WA.

It concludes that the legal guarantees the Government has already given to Brussels mean that Mr Johnson’s fall-back option cannot be secured without a radical overhaul of past commitments.

The CBP also points out that unless there is a big change of tack, the Government risks breaking promises it made in the 2019 Conservative election manifesto to “take back control” of the nation’s laws, borders and money.

The report, The ‘Australia deal’: Another Impossible Dream, underlines the damaging impact of the WA and associated Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) signed into law a year ago.

This part of the agreement, which is legally binding in international law and would give Brussels lawyers a field day, binds the UK so close to the EU that it will not be able to match even the bare-bones trading agreement that Australia has with the EU.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson handed Brexit trade deal warning

CBP Director General John Longworth declared: “The Government is caught between a rock and a hard place. A Canada-style deal remains elusive.

“Even the far less attractive Aussie-style agreement with the EU, which amounts to little more than trading under WTO rules, looks like a pipe-dream while the WA exists. 

 “The only way out of this mess is to accept that the legacy deal done a year ago, which at least broke the Brexit logjam that paralysed the previous Parliament and sparked Boris’s stunning election victory, is deeply flawed and needs to be consigned to the scrapheap of history.

“Only by scrapping the WA/NIP and driving a new hard bargain with Europe can Boris deliver on his twin key promises: taking back control and getting a real Brexit done.” 

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The CBP has already warned in its previous report earlier this month that the Prime Minister’s stated objective of a “Canada-style” deal with the EU is impossible while the WA/NIP remains in place.

That report listed 12 reasons why Mr Johnson would be denied his Canada ambitions.

The new report says that the situation is even worse because the WA/NIP blocks even his last hope of a basic deal along Australian lines.

Published at Sat, 24 Oct 2020 23:01:00 +0000