MP Andrew Bridgen

In his OpEd for The Pavlovic Today, Andrew Bridgen writes why the UK-EU trade talks have stalled and it’s not due to COVID-19.

The UK’s trade agreement negotiations with the EU have stalled as a result of major disagreements.  As a result of the slow progress of the trade talks, the EU supported by all their usual remainer allies in the UK are calling for an extension to the transition period. This would result in another huge bill for the UK Taxpayer and a further delay to the implementation of the overwhelming democratic mandate to not only leave the European Union but also to take back control of our money, borders, and laws. A mandate reiterated for the fourth time since the 2016 Referendum with Boris Johnson and the Conservatives landslide majority only six months ago.

The negotiation stalemate is due to the EU’s demands for a “level playing field” which is code for the UK accepting EU rules and regulations now in the future. 

In addition to this, we have the French President Macron’s repeated claims for the EU to have continued free access to UK fishing grounds in perpetuity, two demands not made by the EU in trade deals concluded with Canada, Japan, or any other sovereign nation.

According to Remainer voices, any delay is ostensibly due to the COVID 19 pandemic. However, this is a completely false premise, as is most of the remainer rhetoric we have heard for the last four years. 

The real reason

The reason the UK/EU trade talks have stalled is because of the unreasonable and to any independent and sovereign nation, unacceptable demands the EU are making. I would love the BBC, SKY News or anyone to ask Tony Blair, Keir Starmer, or indeed Michel Barnier himself, how extending the transition period will break the current stalemate?

The fact is that the EU has used this extension tactic before. The first 6-month extension to the withdrawal agreement negotiations achieved nothing until the EU actually realised that they were now dealing with a Prime Minister who would take us out of the EU, deal or no deal. What happened ?

Despite the naysayers, a new agreement with the backstop removed was drawn up in a matter of days.To get the EU to move its position in the trade negotiations, two conditions have to be met. Firstly the EU has to believe that we are willing to leave the transition period without a comprehensive trade agreement and secondly to get to the “compression point “ in the negotiations the EU has to know that we are committed to end the transition period on the 31st December 2020.

The EU have consistently underestimated the U.K. s resolve regarding Brexit for the last 5 years, soon we shall see if they have learned anything from this.

Read also: Andrew Bridgen: It’s Time For The UK To Play The Trump Card

Andrew Bridgen is a Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire.

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