Senior Conservative MPs voiced alarm Saturday night over plans to accelerate the historic UK-EU trade deal in parliament in just one day, as fishermen leaders accused Boris Johnson of “giving in” to the 11 hour to close the deal on Christmas Eve.
And there were growing fears among senior conservatives, who will spend the next three days carefully studying the 2,000-page deal released Saturday, that details in fine print could still allow the EU to impose punitive tariffs on British exports if companies do not comply. European rules.
While the deal unveiled by Prime Minister and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen appears certain to pass through the Westminster parliament, largely because Labor will back it, pro-Brexit MPs remain determined not to fall. into the trap of backing up the entire deal sooner. having subjected each clause to a full scrutiny.
Downing Street Brexit chief negotiator Lord Frost said the deal would allow for “national renewal” and allow the UK to “establish its own laws again.”
But as he did so, British fishermen increasingly expressed their anger, saying that promises made by the Leavers that they would regain control of all UK fishing waters by voting for Brexit had been broken. Barrie Deas, executive director of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations, claimed his industry had been betrayed to win a broader deal. “In the end, the prime minister made the call and gave in on the fish, despite rhetoric and assurances that he wouldn’t do what Ted Heath did in 1973.”
UK Fisheries CEO Jane Sandell was less outspoken but agreed that promises made had not been kept: “We are pleased that the UK-EU deal will bring some kind of certainty to parts of our industry, although we are still looking for ‘prodigious amounts of fish’ we were promised, and for us nothing changes. “
MPs will have just one day to debate and vote on the deal that will effectively seal Brexit and create a future framework for the relationship between London and Brussels, on Wednesday.
The UK left the EU on January 31 this year, prompting an 11-month transition period to implement the decision. This will end on New Year’s Eve, so that will be the time when the country leaves the single market and the customs union.
Conservative MP and former Brexit Secretary David Davis told the Observer it wanted assurances that the deal would not allow the EU to impose a wide range of tariffs on UK products if there were disagreements over fishing rights in the future.
Davis also said that more time should be taken to analyze and debate such an important issue and a historic change in UK international relations. “Regardless of what you think of this treaty, it will affect the rest of our lives. It is a treaty that is going to end a discussion that has dominated the first half of our lives, and the result will be for the rest of our lives, and it requires more than a simple rubber stamp, “he said. Davis added that the One day’s debate was “too fast”.
“I am perfectly happy to agree in principle in one day if I reach that point of view, but [only] agreement in principle … because the European parliament will take days to analyze this, having had more time to read it, and all European parliaments will take longer, ”said Davis.
Another senior member of the 1922 committee of conservative backbenchers said: “There are concerns among colleagues. We need time to look at this very carefully to make sure it passes the sovereignty tests. “
Peter Bone, the veteran Wellingborough MP, said he understood that time was very limited, but compared the problem to budgets, which often seem to please everyone when they are first revealed, but are riddled with problems and loopholes later. “It is exactly like a budget. Most of us think it looks good, but let’s take time to double-check and establish what it appears to be. “
On Saturday, legal experts from the so-called star chamber of judges and lawyers appointed by the hard-line European Inquiry Group in favor of Brexit were beginning to review the fine print. When asked when the white smoke of approval might emerge, another senior MP said it was premature to think that Eurosceptics would give unconditional backing to the deal: “It may not be white smoke. It could be black smoke. “
Although the prime minister can rest assured that the legislation to implement the deal will make it into the statutes, he is desperate to minimize any rebellion or discontent from the Conservative party, and would like to finally draw a line on the internal arguments that did so much to destroy government. Prime Minister positions of three of his predecessors: Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron.
While fishing represents a very small part of the UK economy, it has been one of the most politically sensitive issues and was used by the Leave campaign in 2016 as a key area in which Brexit would allow the government to “regain control. “.
In the Christmas Eve deal, the UK government and Brussels agreed that 25% of the fishing rights of EU vessels in UK waters will be transferred to the UK fishing fleet over a period of five years and means, medium. The UK had originally demanded that EU duties be cut by 80%. However, the UK reduced the number of years during which the change will be introduced to less than half what the EU originally required.
After this period, the two parties will negotiate future fishing rights, and the agreement will allow one party to impose tariffs on the other’s fish exports in the event of serious disagreements.
Sam Lowe, a trade expert at the Center for European Reform, described this type of arrangement in a trade deal as “unusual.” MPs are also concerned about the EU’s potential to impose tariffs on other types of exports, including cars, if UK manufacturers do not comply with Brussels’ rules on the origin of components used in production.
Scotland’s Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon complained on Saturday that promises made to her country’s fishing sector had been broken, insisting that this was “yet another example of conservative governments forcing Scotland in the wrong direction” .
He added that an independent Scotland could be a “bridge between the UK and the EU.”
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