It's the best you could have!
Why should British Politicians be able to lie about Europe and everyone still believes it.
To my mind, there is no reason to be unsatisfied with the deal.
First of all, I want to focus on some lies about the European Union and how they are framed in the British debate. In the last weeks, more and more people are talking about the European Army. People see the European army as sign for a European Super State. But why does then even the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom supports the idea?
European policies or ideas are presented badly in many European countries. And it can be a strategy of the government and politicians. If the politicians want something but it is not that popular among their citizens, they say it was Europe’s fault. It is a pity, that we all believe them instead of questioning why the politicians want this particular legislation.
I am convinced that the European Union does not have any interest to have the best Brexit which would be possible. They believe in a European project, whether it is a project for peace, economics or social cohesion, and they don’t want to lose their power to anti-European parties in their countries. Of course, they are not really interested in the best outcome for Britain. That is the problem of selfish nation states.
Nevertheless, this agreement is the best you can get out of it. Actually it was foreseeable already in 2016 that it is either a similar agreement like this or a “hard Brexit”. And this choice is still there.
I would like to look Mihir Joshi arguments against the withdrawal agreement.
He argues the following:
“Articled 132, 168 and 174 effectively means that the United Kingdom cannot unilaterally choose to leave the ‘customs territory’ that has been created during the transition period until at least 20xx. This is due to the fact that the European Court of Justice will be the continue to be the highest court in the land and will be the court of arbitration relied on in breach of the agreement. EU law created during this period will also continue to apply even after we have left the European Union. This is an embarrassing abuse of the right of Parliament to be sovereign and is in direct contention to the historic freedoms the British people have enjoyed”
Let’s look at these three articles. Article 168 and 174 conclude that this withdrawal agreement is the only resource for raised disputes in the future between the UK and the EU. Why should this be bad?
Article 132 says that the transition period could be extended. If you look at Annex VIII you see that this is just possible with the agreement between the UK and the EU in the Joint Committee. It is just a sentence to make sure that in case the UK changes its mind, there is an opportunity to come back.
However, the new draft published on the 25th November restricts the extension to two years.
In addition, the European Court of Justice just regulates this agreement and nothing else after the transition period. As long as the British people, the British government, want that Brexit happens, it happens. If you want to show that Brexit would never happen, I need better evidence.
If we look at the two last arguments of Mihir's post about foreign policy and the superiority of the European Commission, I would advise to look at the two articles again. The binding to the foreign policy one after the transition period. For the second point Mihir writes:
“Article 159 dictates the creation of a new UK based ‘authority’ with the same powers of the European Commission to implement this agreement in full and to continue operation post the transition period (which may never end until 2099)”
This is not true. Article 159 is restricted to the Citizen rights. The sovereign Britons have stated that this is really important, e.g. the British government on the 17th January 2017.
The evidence falls that Britain is restricted in any way. The Britons are definitely not colonised, as Mihir suggest in its last paragraph. This comparison is frightening and wrong. If the highest goal is to get sovereignty, take it now.
You never gave you Sovereignty to Brussels, so don’t worry about getting it back!
But actually, life is more than just about sovereignty. I am happy to have international systems which restrict and observe countries. It is good that people are starting to work together internationally, that political systems give parts of their power voluntarily away so that we can make a safer system for everyone.
Imagine, every county in Britain could do whatever it wants. Would be chaos, right? In the 21st century, the former distance between Coventry and London is now the distance from London to Prague. It makes sense to collaborate.
But the European Union definitely did not take the sovereignty. Most of the decision in the Council of the European Union and in the European Council are made unanimously. The European project was always a project of voluntary collaboration, never of taking power from national government
If someone want to have a look at the agreement: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/759019/25_November_Agreement_on_the_withdrawal_of_the_United_Kingdom_of_Great_Britain_and_Northern_Ireland_from_the_European_Union_and_the_European_Atomic_Energy_Community.pdf
This is the older draft of the Withdrawal Agreement:
Mihir Joshi's article: