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BREXIT- The reality behind the promises they made

September 5, 2018 10:00 PM

PROMISES, PROMISES, PROMISES - the harsh reality of the labcon Brexit

EU Remainer's Diary

by Jon James

The 'blustering Brexiteers' were cavalier with their promises to the public. As the reality dawned and the wheels of the bus started to fall off, one or two* started to secure their own escape routes, future homes and investments in other European countries and the blame game began.

First, its was the traitorous UK judges, next it was the remain supporting civil servants and then the hard right of the Tory Party turned on anyone who questioned the legitimacy of their ideological crusade and promised to hold their leader's feet to the fire. In a vain attempt to prevent the Tory party from imploding, the Cheques proposals, offered some morsels of unmatured red meat to all factions who duly found it mostly indigestible and merely widened the already deepening fissures

As the realignment continued, some of those who have presided over the shambolic negotiations jumped ship to minimise the damage to their future political careers. Now, as the consequences of Brexit unravel, the government is forced to explain as opaquely as possible what No Deal means, the paucity of the Brexiteers case becomes apparent to a largely hitherto sleepwalking public and an impotent, colluding official opposition.

It has been clear from day one who were going to be the primary losers in any form of BREXIT. /wp-content/uploads/2017/04/colander-300x170.pngMPs are fully aware of the impact BREXIT is already having on business and industry with stalled investment decisions, labour shortages and plans to move jobs to Europe being actioned. Most appreciate the impact BREXIT will have on jobs, investment, food prices and essential public services with the poorest, and most vulnerable unprotected and exposed. With some notable exceptions, most Labour MPs have remained with their heads in the sand or behind the parapet of Castle Corbyn, frozen like rabbits in the headlights and fearful of deselection by their local parties.

With the end game now in sight, the Brexit supporting media ramp up the inevitable blame game with a re-run of the divisive referendum campaign arguments and no guesses who is the number target? - the European Union. Conveniently, putting to one side the fact that it is the UK who wants to leave and triggered Article 50 without any plan, it is the EU who are being obstructive, failing to come up with any proposals, unnecessarily hyping up the Irish border issue, stubbornly sticking to the four freedoms.

It is too soon to lay any blame at the doors of our system of government for this wholesale shambles. Given the complexity and magnitude of the task, added to the need to address a backlog of other serious governmental issues; unravelling a 40 year partnership, unpicking treaties, trade agreements, regulatory systems and agencies, security protocols all in the space of twelve months would have taxed the ingenuity of a global corporation let alone a divided, centralising, micro-managing government. The best part of a year was wasted, the pre-emptive triggering of Article 50 set the clock ticking, still with no plan. Believing all their rhetoric, that getting a deal would be easy; hard line Brexiteers were put in charge of negotiating face to face with the EU they had spent years haranguing, portraying them as the enemy and perceived cause of all our problems. Little surprise then that the former Secretary of State apparently spent so very little time actually negotiating with his counterpart in Brussels and chose DDEXIT when an opportunity arose.

It is becoming increasingly clear as each deadline passes, that the space for any serious parliamentary debate on any coherent "deal" is narrowing. The European Parliament are now set to 'endorse' an 'agreement' with the UK two weeks before we are set to leave on 29th March 2019. All the indicators are that we are set for is some vague fudge presented to Parliament to get us to leaving day with all the detail left for a 20 month transition and at worst what all the hard line Brexiteers have been dreaming about - a NO DEAL. Nobody voted for a bad deal or no deal that would wreck our economy. If the Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament, then the matter should be referred back to the people to exercise their democratic right to determine our own future with the option to remain in the EU.

A LabCon Brexit

The Government and both the main parties have demonstrated a mind-blowing level incompetence, lack of leadership and crass irresponsibility in dealing with the biggest single challenge this country has faced since World War 11. Riven by infighting and divided by internal feuds and disputes both the Conservative and Labour parties have chosen to put their Party's above Country and in doing so have been guilty of colluding in a 'botched Brexit', complicit in causing long term damage to the UK economy and putting jobs and public services at risk and further damaging trust in our political system..

The Promises they made...

With acknowledgement to Jon Henley & Dan Roberts 'Brexit promises the government quietly dropped'

Guardian 28 March 2018

Promise 1

Brexit will be easy, and have no downsides - David Davis 10 October 2016

The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want - Michael Gove, 9 April 2016

Getting out of the EU can be quick and easy - the UK holds most of the cards - John Redwood July 17, 2016

The free trade agreement that we will have to do with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human history. - Liam Fox, 20 July 2017


David Davis now says: 'Nobody has ever pretended this will be easy. I have always said this negotiation will be tough, complex and at times confrontational'

Promise 2

Trade talks would take place in parallel with divorce talks

How on earth do you resolve the issue of the border with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland unless you know what our general borders policy is, what the customs agreement is, what our trade agreement is? It's wholly illogical … That'll be the row of the summer. - David Davis 14 May 2017

Most of the EU states are very sympathetic to our view - David Davis,15 May 2017

We have to establish the ground rules. The first crisis or argument is is going to be over the question of sequencing. - David Davis,21 May 2017


Davis caved in on the first day of talks on 19 June 2017

Promise 3

The UK did not need a transition deal and would not be subject to EU rules or budgets during one. We're not really interested in a transition deal, but we'll consider one to be kind to the EU - David Davis, 15 November 2016

The idea that we'll do a transitional arrangement where you're still in, paying money, still with free movement of people - that we'll do the long-term deal in slow motion … That is plainly not what we're after. - David Davis, 15 March 2016

We made it clear that control of our own borders was one of the elements we wanted in the referendum, and unregulated free movement [during transition] would seem to me not to keep faith with that decision - Liam Fox, 30 July 2016


The UK will have to abide by all EU rules and regulations including those agreed by members states during the 21-month transition

Promise 4

The transition serves merely to implement the final trade deal, which would be agreed by Brexit day. I believe that we can get a free trade and customs agreement concluded before March 2019 - David Davis,18 January 2017

The point of the implementation period is to put in place the practical changes necessary to move to the future partnership, and for that you need to know what the future partnership is going to be. - Theresa May, 23 October 2017


The transition period will be used to negotiate (as much as possible) of the future relationship, not to implement a relationship that is already agreed

Many EU capitals believe even the 21-month transition period will not be anywhere near long enough to conclude a comprehensive free trade agreement and will have to be extended.

Promise 5

The transition would be short but open-ended

The period's duration should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes and new systems that will underpin the future partnership

Government transition paper, 21 February 2018

These considerations point to an implementation period of around two years. - Theresa May, 22 September 2017


The period is fixed at 21 months, with no easy way to extend it. This merely postpones the regulatory cliff edge business is desperate to avoid until December 2020. Even this measure of stability is uncertain, since the transition period could be rescinded if there is not wider agreement this autumn.

Promise 6

The UK would owe no money to the EU after it left in March 2019

The last time we went through line by line and challenged quite a lot of the legal basis of these things, and we'll continue to do that … [Of rumours of a £40bn bill:] They sort of made that up. David Davis, 25 September 2017

Because we will no longer be members of the single market, we will not be required to pay huge sums into the EU budget. - Theresa May, 17 January 2017

The sums I have seen that they propose to demand from this country seem to me to be extortionate and I think that 'go whistle' is an entirely appropriate expression. Boris Johnson, 11 July 2017


UK told EU in November 2017 that it was ready to honour its share of all financial commitments made while it was a member of the bloc, estimated at €40bn to €45bn, through the transition period. It has since become clear payments will continue until about 2064, and indefinitely if the UK wants to continue to be part of EU agencies and programmes.

Promise 7

A raft of new trade deals would be ready on 29 March 2019

Within two years, before the negotiation with the EU is likely to be complete, and therefore before anything material has changed, we can negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU … The new trade agreements will come into force at the point of exit, but they will be fully negotiated. - David Davis, 14 July 2016


Britain has won the right to negotiate deals with third countries during the transition period (not before) but they cannot be implemented until after December 2020. New deals will anyway take a long time to negotiate, especially since few countries are likely to want to sign them until they know the state of the UK's final relationship with the EU. And while the EU will ask third countries with which it has trade deals to keep Britain in them, there is no certainty they will.

Promise 8

A high-tech customs solution would make frictionless borders simple

The UK is currently implementing a new customs declaration service, which will replace the existing HMRC customs system. This is a high-priority project within government and HMRC is on track to deliver by January 2019

Department for Exiting the EU, 15 August 2017

I am confident that using the most up-to-date technology, we can get a non-visible border operational along the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. David Davis, 5 September 2017.


Theresa May now concedes customs arrangements are difficult and will take time to set up

May told the Commons liaison committee on 27 March 2018: "I think it is fair to say that, as we get into the detail and as we look at these arrangements, then what becomes clear is that sometimes the timetables that have originally been set are not the timetables that are necessary when you actually start to look at the detail and when you delve into what it really is that you want to be able to achieve."

Promise 9

Free movement would come to an end on 29 March 2019; any EU citizens arriving after that date would be subject to a different immigration regime

It is a simple matter of fact that the four key principles* of the European Union include free movement - we won't be a member of the European Union when we leave. Brandon Lewis, 27 July 2017 (*it is the Four Freedoms not the EU principles)

Free movement will end in March 2019. Government spokesperson, July 31 2017

I'm clear that there is a difference between those people who come prior to us leaving and those who will come when they know the UK is no longer a member. Theresa May, 1 February 2017


Free movement continues, the only difference being a registration system for newcomers. Even May's commitment that arrivals after Brexit day would be treated differently was abandoned in the negotiations. EU citizens arriving in Britain before the end of the transition period will be treated as before.

Promise 10

There would be no role for the European court of justice in Britain after Brexit day. The simple truth is we are leaving. We are going to be outside the reach of the European court. David Davis, 14 May 2017

The authority of EU law in this country has ended forever … We are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the ECJ. That's not going to happen. Theresa May, 5 October 2016


The ECJ will have full jurisdiction during the transition period and the ECJ interpretation of relevant civil rights laws are likely to hold thereafter. In addition, the transition agreement makes clear that Britain will be "consulted" but is expected to ensure the "proper implementation and application" of all new draft EU rules and regulations during transition.

Promise 11

Britain will take back control of its fisheries after Brexit

Leaving the EU means we will take back full control of our territorial waters and for the first time in 50 years will be able to grant fishing access for other countries on our terms. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 3 August 2017

The UK will regain control over our domestic fisheries management rules and access to our waters. Theresa May, 3 March 2017


The EU will have continued access to UK fishing waters throughout the transition period and has demanded reciprocal access afterwards too as a condition of any future trade deal

Promise 12

The Brexit campaign promised £350m-a-week NHS funding.


Brexiteers abandon £350m-a-week NHS funding pledge.


*Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose City firm has just opened a second investment fund in Ireland to avoid the impact of leaving the EU, is now telling ordinary people they'll have to wait 5 decades to see the 'benefits' of Brexit.

*Nigel Lawson, a former chair of the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum and one of tens of thousands of Britons living in France, is to apply for his official French residency card. The former chancellor said he had started the process of applying for one of the cards, known as a carte de séjour, which British expatriates are being encouraged to obtain to help bolster their rights after the UK withdraws from the EU, but added that he was "not particularly worried".

*Nigel Farage is also among prominent leave campaigners who have been accused of hypocrisy after the referendum result. He sparked outrage last year by refusing to give up his taxpayer-funded EU pension after Brexit, asking: "Why should my family suffer?" It is understood the 53-year-old former Ukip leader will be entitled to an annual pension of £73,000 when he turns 63.

For more promises watch Brexit: A Titanic Disaster- Comedy Central