Friday, 19 January 2018

The truth about Brexit, by President Macron

French President, Emmanuel Macron, yesterday told Prime Minister, Theresa May, something she already knows but strangely doesn’t want us to know: To secure single market access after Brexit, Britain must pay into the EU budget and accept EU laws.

On his visit to Britain, Mr Macron said in a joint press conference with Mrs May:

“I am here neither to punish nor to reward. 

“I want to make sure that the Single Market is preserved because that is very much the heart of the EU.

“The choice is on the British side, not on my side. But there can be no differentiated access for the financial services.

“If you want access to the Single Market - including the financial services - be my guest. But it means that you need to contribute to the budget and acknowledge European jurisdiction.

“Such are the rules, and we know the system already in place for Norway.”

A free trade agreement would not provide full access to the Single Market for financial services at the same level as that offered to members, he said.

“There must be no hypocrisy in this respect, otherwise it will not work or we would destroy the Single Market and its coherence,” said Mr Macron.

“It’s simple. I do not want to exclude any sector in the trade agreement to come... but it does not mean that the access that it will allow will be equivalent to the access of a member.”

Of course, Theresa May already knows all this.

Before the referendum, Mrs May said clearly and loudly:

“It is not clear why other EU member states would give Britain a better deal than they themselves enjoy.”

But since the referendum, she’s been insisting that she can get a new trade agreement with the EU that’s unique to us, that no other country in the world has ever achieved.

Mrs May is expecting to get a trade deal between the EU and the UK that gives us most of the benefits of EU membership, but without any of the responsibilities of EU membership – such as contributing towards the EU budget and obeying its rules.

She is desperate for Britain to continue to enjoy frictionless trade with the EU after we have ended our membership, because she knows that our economy’s survival depends on it.

Of course, it’s not going to happen.

And embarrassingly, cringingly, President Macron – standing next to Prime Minister May – has had to spell this out to her. 

What’s the point of a club if you are going to allow non-members to enjoy the same or better benefits as members? What club allows that? 

The French President made clear that there were two just options: the Norway model or a Canada-style free trade deal. 

A third option of allowing Britain to have full access to the Single Market without accepting the obligations of that market would “destroy” the integrity of the trading bloc’s rules, he said. 

Norway, although it's not a member of the EU, has full access to the Single Market but accepts the EU rules and pays an annual contribution to the EU. 

Whilst Canada has negotiated a free trade agreement, which has removed tariffs on most goods, but does not include financial services.

Theresa May is attempting to fool the British public into thinking we really can have our cake and eat it. We must be fooled no longer.

Labour MP Wes Streeting MP, who wants the UK to stay in the Single Market, laid the truth bare last night:

“The message from President Macron and Theresa May’s press conference was very clear: if we want to freely trade in both goods and services then we need to be in the Single Market and Customs Union. 

"The hard Brexit alternative being promoted by Theresa May and her ministers will cost Britain jobs, investment and influence.

“The cake-and-eat-it fantasists have once more collided with reality. The claim we can leave the Single Market and Customs Union and enjoy ‘the exact same benefits’ has been exposed as a fallacy.”

Britain and Britons: it’s time we faced reality. We are being led astray by the most incompetent and reckless Prime Minister and government. 
Other articles by Jon Danzig:

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