Ms May’s agreement is not good. But it is infinitely better than no deal.
However, Ms May’s deal is infinitely worse than the current deal the UK has with the EU.
We have full membership of a union of independent European nations.
- We have 78 trade agreements in place that give our industries access to almost 200 global markets.
- We are able to influence and change laws, policies and practices. Indeed, we have written and established many of them.
- We have a host of opt-out clauses that specifically protect our national interests.
- We have our own currency.
- We have our border controls in other EU countries – that enable us to stop illegal, dangerous or criminal persons before they travel to the UK.
- We have a special UK “rebate” that claws back almost 30 per cent of the contributions we make to the EU.
- We are members of a common fisheries policy that has resulted in rebuilding cod stocks in the North Sea and has saved many species from extinction.
- The CFP also gives our fishermen access to healthy fish stocks in Scandinavian, Dutch, Belgian, French, Portuguese and Spanish waters.
- We have access to a local European workforce, who share our culture and most of whom have learnt our language.
- These people work hard on our farms, in our market gardens, in our NHS, in care homes and on building sites.
- We have free and open access to vital foodstuffs, commodities, medicines, vaccines, raw materials and manufacturing components as well as a host of other essential needs.
- We have joint manufacturing and joint development and research projects with our partners in the EU and often funded by the EU.
- We have access to healthcare in 27 other countries.
- We have standardised mobile phone charges across 27 countries.
- We can visit, live, work and study in 27 other countries.
The list of what the EU does for us seems endless and is ignored because we take it all for granted.
If, in 2016, the referendum had offered us these three deals:
1. No deal, through which which we will lose all of the above
2. Ms May’s deal, through which we will lose most of the above
3. The current membership deal, through which we keep all of the above – and we retain the influence, the power and the chance to improve it and reform it
…what choice would we have made then?
(From the Independent Newspaper, November 23rd 2018)