Current Affairs Politics

UK’s Theresa May Claims “Legally Binding Changes” To Unchanged Backstop

The United Kingdom’s inevitable climb down over its objections to the Backstop Protocol in the Draft Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union would be somewhat embarrassing if it wasn’t surpassed by the even greater embarrassment created by Prime Minister Theresa May and her desperate attempts to argue that “legally binding changes” to the protocol can now be found in ancillary documents issued by the UK and the EU. The grandly titled Instrument relating to the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and the related Joint Statement supplementing the Political Declaration setting out framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland contain no amendments to the text of the Backstop Protocol. Nor do they cancel the application of the Protocol as already drafted. London’s claims to the contrary are entirely false, as is much of the spin being offered today by May loyalists in the faction-riven Conservative Party government in Britain.

If a majority of pro-Brexit MPs in the House of Commons go on to support the Withdrawal Agreement, including the more fanatical members of the political axis between the Tories’ European Research Group (ERG) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), it will be with the full knowledge that “assurances” over the Backstop Protocol do not represent “changes”. Which will explain the unsettled noises already emerging from the DUP ranks, even if the leadership is holding its counsel for now. As for the UK’s self-published, self-styled “unilateral declaration” on the Protocol and its standing as an instrument of international law: bonkers!

22 comments on “UK’s Theresa May Claims “Legally Binding Changes” To Unchanged Backstop

  1. civic-critic

    As far as I can see the new addendums, being legally binding and agreed – if agreed – between the parties effectively give the UK the ability to walk from the agreement and make the ‘backstop’ temporary. It introduces terms such as ‘good faith’, ‘best endeavours’ and various political judgements to be rendered by politicised courts or simply claimed in the future. As such it represents what the British seek – to leave the EU while keeping one foot in it for the time being to continue to influence it, especially in relation to things to do with the North Atlantic, i.e. Ireland.

    As far as I can see the British are preparing for joint authority over the north, with the full backing of the southern Irish counter-revolutionary gombeen class. Of course this will be sold to the Irish people as a ‘climb down’ by the British – do you really believe the mainstream Irish media? They are thugs.

  2. “It is difficult to give a helping hand to people who stand with both hands in their pockets,” The Danish Prime Minister

  3. They always were as mad a sack full of badgers.
    Meanwhile if any deal or no-deal harder than the full Norway goes ahead this will happen, according to Wren-Lewis:

    The government will be desperate to sign a trade deal with the US to show that Global Britain is more than a slogan, and that means the US will largely get their way in terms of regulations (including food standards) and participation in the NHS. Thus, the longer-term political consequence of parliament agreeing to May’s deal is the gradual transition of the UK into a US-style economy.
    In an age where trade regulations are increasingly decided by large regional blocs, the only rationalisation of Brexit that makes any kind of sense is the transfer of the UK from the EU bloc to the US bloc. That is what a lot of the Brexiteers want, which is why they resist the backstop so much, because it ties our tariffs to the EU.
    But the political consequences of tariffs are less important in shaping an economy than labour and environmental regulation. That is why, even with the backstop, Brexit will mean we will become more like the US economy. Whatever the merits or otherwise of that, a big difference is that while we had a say over how the EU is run, we will have none over what the US does: a 51st state without representation, if you like. Taking back control it is not.

  4. This is beginning to look like a face saving game to me. They don’t want to admit they’ve backed off on some things they originally said were non-negotiable, so they pretend that the EU really has given them what they want.

  5. Did a SNP MP call Arlene the First Minister of Nowhere? Long may she remain so.

    • That’s a pretty good line of the SNPer. I really like their approach in recent times. Perhaps a touch more pro-EU than I’d be, and a little less cynical of it as an org than I’d be, but they’re saying it like it is broadly speaking.

  6. civic-critic

    I submitted a comment, it hasn’t apperaed. Any idea why?

  7. For May deal 242
    Against May deal 391

  8. Time to work for border poll, ideal date 2022, one hundred years when the Brits left the 26 counties, great cartoon on the latest defeat
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2019/feb/14/steve-bell-on-theresa-mays-latest-brexit-vote-defeat-cartoon

  9. Against
    Labour 238
    Tories 75
    SNP 35
    Independent 17
    DUP 10
    Lib DEMs 11

    For
    Tories 235
    Independent 4
    Labour 3

    • Just about right hoboroad in the scale of the defeat.

      Down by 149. Where to now Mrs May.

      Abstensionism, a hard break, and an autarky on the shores of Europe? Or an extension to article 50 for more of maneuveres. Tis chaos I tell you, to insanity at loss of Empire.

      Time the Brexiteers sent in the Royal Navy, sailed their new aircraft carrier up the channel in a display of Britannic might.

  10. Against
    Plaid Cymru 4

  11. Against
    Green 1

    • normally I would wipe my posterior with the Express, but an interesting clip

  12. gendjinn

    The absolute state of the UK. If someone had told you 5 years ago that the UK would be taking a chainsaw to their own legs you wouldn’t have given it any credit whatsoever. Yet here we are, the UK have set their shoulder to the work of self-righteous, self-immolation and there’s no deterring them.

    If it were not for the calamitous consequences for all but the already well off I’d be fully into relishing the schadenfreude of the karmic retribution the UK is reaping.

    I have the same sense of disbelief that the UK are seriously going to crash out with no deal, as I did the week before Trump beat Clinton. It was staring me right in the face but I still could not credit that Clinton would flub the easiest presidential victory in recent times. Yet she did and now the Tories are doing the same with Brexit.

    It’s time to prepare the UI emergency exit for the north and all the fall out that entails. Any party in the south that plays politics with rescuing our northern comrades, well I hear there’s a special place in hell reserved for them. Column Eastwood has the line on it. Or so I’ve heard.

    • The border poll is the ultimate backstop protocol!

    • The problem for the UK is that they are a declining power run by a bunch of eletist thugs.

      With superiority wired into the DNA who believes greatness has been bestowed upon them there is the belief that they can once again stride the world stage.

      This of course is a nonsense. The World is full of bigger more powerful countries that could economically and militarily suffocate the UK.

      But that does not stop them being disruptive or dangerous for the only thing that these people understand is force physical and economic.

      Will they elect on a no deal today? I don’t think so, but they might just be beligerently blind enough to do so.

    • One problem is that if they leave the EU rejoining might mean getting fewer of the opt outs they currently enjoy (ei Euro, Schengen Zone). If it hadn’t been for Brexit, Britain could have had the catbird seat, when it came to pushing for a more Democratic less, intrusive EU.

      That said, I don’t see much equivalence to Trump in that Presidents are time limited. Brexit will likely haunt Britain for generations even if they rejoin.

      And Clinton DID win one of the more robust majorities in recent US history in terms of the popular vote, only to lose on an archaic technicality (contrary to popular belief the technicality lies more in state legislation than the actual US Constitution). Trump had a lot of stuff going for him that weren’t Clinton’s fault. Some of the big ones that nobody’s talking about include factors such as that fact that it’s very difficult for the incumbent party in the US to win a third term after a President has served out two terms-the candidate for the incumbent party who is NOT the incumbent President has ALWAYS occupied a serious position of weakness. Also you have decreased voter turnout and heavy labor union court and local govt losses in what turned out to be critical states where the unions had fewer resources to mobilize voters. Then you have the tendency of German Americans to vote for their own. The odd thing about the last point is that they seem to to do more than they did when they actually spoke their language prior to WWI. You also had Comey. The Russian Troll farm. A lot of other social conflict that broke out during Obama’s second term.

      So yes, there were a whole bunch of thing. Clinton did NOT “flub” and “easy election”. Her election was not easy at all, and she did get a good majority vote.

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