Further to yesterday’s post which pointed out how a timely spat with Russia is just what the spin doctors ordered to make Mrs May’s government look tough and combative prior to a major Brexit betrayal, today we hear that the EU’s “negotiators” have conceded something we already had.
The Continental Telegraph has the story:
Britain will be free to sign trade deals during the Brexit transition period without permission from the European Union after a climbdown by Brussels, The Times has learnt. EU negotiators have accepted the UK’s demand that it should be able to pursue an independent trade policy while remaining inside the customs union and single market. Publicly, the EU’s negotiating guidelines still state that Britain will not be able to implement trade deals “unless authorised to do so by the union”. Behind closed doors the position taken by Michel Barnier, the bloc’s chief negotiator, is understood to have softened significantly. The latest draft of a potential transition deal says that Britain will be able to both negotiate and sign trade deals during the period.
In two weeks there is an important EU Council meeting at which it is expected to settle the Irish border question, and given May’s record so far it is hard to avoid the conclusion that someone and probably lots of people, are going to be sold down the river.
As Christopher Booker writes in the other Telegraph, the time is drawing nigh that various illusions about Brexit are going to be shattered. One such risks being fishing grounds:
Hammond says EU fishermen could have access to British waters post-Brexit .He then stated that we would be reclaiming full control of our fishing waters, oblivious to the fact that this would be against UN law, which protects other countries’ “acquired fishing rights”.
The going is getting tougher, and as usual Mrs May has only herself to blame.