On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland voted to leave the European Union. Since that time, the British people have had to wait for Brexit. Due to the fact that the previous government did no planning for Brexit, the Theresa May government has had to plan from scratch.
Since becoming Prime Minster, Theresa May has assured the British people that “Brexit means Brexit”. She has created a Department for Exiting the European Union, a Department for International Trade and she has appointed Brexiteers to not only head those two departments- but also the chief Brexiteer Boris Johnson is now Foreign Secretary. She has further said that by the end of March she will invoke Article 50 to begin the process of leaving the European Union. However, it will be this coming Tuesday, 17 January, where she will give a speech on her Brexit plan to the country.
It is the hope of the Daily Globe that Mrs. May does not abandon her long held principle of not revealing Britain’s negotiating strategy in the Article 50 negotiations. Frankly, those who want the negotiation strategy revealed in full- ie the Ken Clarkes, Nick Cleggs and David Lammys of the world- want the UK to suffer from leaving the EU- or in there more wilder fantasies, not leave the European Union at all. Negotiating strategy aside, the Daily Globe hopes she reveals Brexit goals that reflect a true clean (or “red, white and blue” as she puts it) Brexit and that place the United Kingdom as a truly independent and sovereign nation. Therefore, this site, offers our thoughts on what the five key points we believe the Prime Minister should make in her Brexit speech.
1. The United Kingdom is taking complete sovereignty over its borders and free movement of people from the EU will end.
Lord Ashcroft‘s very large poll taken after the referendum revealed that immigration was Leave voters second most important issue. Concerns about immigration from Leave voters were not based on racism, as some hysterical Remainers have suggested, but rather on the strain uncontrolled immigration from Europe has put on public services such as the NHS, schools, and housing. Taking back control of immigration would help ease the pressure on public services, but also allow the British people to formulate an immigration system that benefits Britain; such as putting a preference on English speaking foreigners from the Commonwealth and America over Europeans as Oxford University has suggested they will do upon Brexit. The European Union must be told that free movement will end.
The UK must further make clear to the EU that it is willing and able to allow European nationals currently in the UK to stay in the country as long as Britons currently residing in the continent have the option of remaining there. It really should be an easy thing to agree on, and Theresa May should demand that the EU stop playing games with people’s lives and agree to respect UK and EU citizens rights immediately. However, if the EU insists on being belligerent, the UK should threaten to withdraw security co-operation with the EU. The EU is filled with nations that are weak militarily with sub-par intelligence services. The UK has a strong military, excellent intelligence agencies, are part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing service with the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and frankly does not need as much outside security help as the EU does. Obviously, the UK does not want to withdraw security co-operation with EU nation states, but the EU must be warned the UK will not help them if they treat UK citizens like political footballs.
2. The United Kingdom wants complete free trade with the European Union outside of the Single Market and Customs Union.
Theresa May should extend to the EU the hand of friendship and offer them free trade with no tariffs. It would make economic sense for the European Union to accept this deal, as the UK buys more from the EU then the EU buys from the UK and even the arch-Remainer Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has now admitted a “hard Brexit” would be economically worse for the EU than the UK.
However, the Prime Minister must offer the caveat that the United Kingdom will cease to be a member of both the Single Market and Customs Union after Brexit. The Single Market is unacceptable because the UK would still be under the European Court of Justice, and the Customs Union is unacceptable because the UK must be allowed to make trade deals with other nations on its own. The Prime Minister must explain to the EU that while the UK does not wish to end the Article 50 negotiations without a trade deal, the UK has no problem falling back on WTO rules and trade agreements with other countries- such as the Anglosphere market (which is bigger than the EU Single Market). She must also inform the EU that the UK will be negotiating trade deals with other countries during the Article 50 period, and that the UK intends them go into affect the moment the UK leaves the European Union.
3. The European courts and European law will cease to have jurisdiction over the United Kingdom
Theresa May has already announced that the UK will pass a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act of 1998 and the Great Repeal Bill which will repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and codify European law into British law- ending European Courts supremacy over British law. She must also make clear that the United Kingdom may leave the Human Convention on Human Rights in future- depending on the will of the British people. Finally, the EU must be informed that the UK will also cease to participate in EU schemes such as the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy.
4. Future Contributions to the EU are up for negotiation, but will only be given if contributing to the EU benefits the UK
As the UK gives much more to the EU then it receives from the union, the EU is facing a a funding cliff edge upon Brexit. In fact, the UK currently contributes more to the EU than 26 EU nations combined. Although ideally the UK should not give any money to the EU, the Prime Minister should offer to pay the European Union to help with their shortfall if it is in Britain’s interest and out of the UK’s statutory foreign aid budget. For example, the UK could offer to pay some contributions to continue the passporting system of selling services from the City of London to the Single Market. However, she must make it clear that the UK cannot be compelled to give one penny to the EU in contributions if the British parliament does not wish to contribute to the EU.
5. The United Kingdom will continue to have open borders with Ireland as Ireland is not in Schengen
The United Kingdom must make clear to the European Union that the situation and borders of Northern Ireland does not concern them. Ireland is outside of the Schengan zone- and the Northern Ireland border is a matter only between the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The Common Travel Area dates back to 1923 and the Prime Minister must say to the EU that they can’t meddle in this agreement as the Common Travel Area is not up for negotiation.
If the Prime Minister affirms UK sovereignty in the areas of borders, trade, law, budget contributions, and in relations with Ireland, she will have the full support of the Daily Globe in her Brexit mission. She must not wobble in making a “success out of Brexit.” We look forward to her speech Tuesday and wish her the best of luck as she represents the United Kingdom in the Article 50 negotiations with the European Union.