Theresa May and the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker [Image: Virginia Mayo/AP].

Dan Roberts in The Guardian agrees with This Site’s interpretation of Theresa May’s weak and feeble Brexit agreement.

Little remains of the many red lines set out by Theresa May in her Lancaster House speech or party conference address of 2016.

If the EU referendum was the moment the British electorate clashed with the establishment, 8 December 2017 was the day that the legal and economic consequences collided with its political promises.

The first, and biggest, concession is buried in paragraph 49 of the 15-page report published early on Friday morning. Its implications will be anything but quiet in the weeks to come, for it undermines the prime minister’s previous insistence that Britain will be leaving the single market.

It states clearly: “In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the internal market and the customs union.” In other words, the UK may not be a member of the single market, or have any direct ability to shape its rules in future, but it could yet have to play by them in perpetuity.

Then there is the UK’s promise to free itself from interference by the European court of justice. Where once this seemed the most implacable of red lines, signs of continued ECJ involvement are strewn throughout the divorce agreement.

Finally there is the question of money. May had promised an end to large ongoing payments to the EU. Boris Johnson said it could “go whistle” if it wanted an exorbitant divorce settlement.

Though the text includes no figures, detailed commitments by the UK to meet all the initial financial requests of the EU suggest both these promises may look increasingly hollow, with a total bill of perhaps up to €60bn or more than £50bn.

Source: Not much remains of Theresa May’s red lines after the Brexit deal | Dan Roberts | Politics | The Guardian


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