The following is a guest post by UKIP London MEP and BREXIT spokesman, Gerard Batten
The 17.4 million people who voted to leave the European Union on 23rd June 2016 expected that to happen without delay. But six months later Prime Minister Theresa May has done nothing to make it happen. What is more she does not intend to do anything for another three months, and even then she will not commit to what Brexit actually means.
We have no reason to trust Theresa May. She was a Remainer in the Referendum campaign, and had Remain won she would be telling us it was the right decision and in our best interests. Having been on the losing side, she now finds herself in charge of implementing the winning sides decision. But instead of outlining her EU exit strategy, she merely mouths the slogan ‘Brexit means Brexit’ without explaining what it means.
If Mrs May were serious she could have taken immediate action and triggered Article 50 the day after she was appointed Prime Minister, merely by writing a note to the European Council to that effect. Instead she did nothing, except to give the Remain camp the time to re-group and counter attack, which they duly did by taking their delaying tactics to the High Court.
Having dilly-dallied and delayed, what does Mrs May propose? When she eventually gets around to triggering Article 50 she will enter in to two years of protracted negotiations with the EU regarding our terms of exit. Bear in mind that the EU does not want to negotiate with us, it has no incentive whatsoever to offer us the fabled ‘good deal’ Mrs May hopes for and at the end of the process the European Council and/or the European Parliament can veto that deal, putting us back to square one. Not so much negotiations as a game of snakes and ladders.
If Mrs May is serious she should adopt UKIP’s policy. She should forget Article 50 for a start. Parliament should immediately repeal the European Communities Act (1972). This would return law-making supremacy to our Parliament. All EU Directives and Regulations have been transposed into our law by Acts of Parliament and they would remain in place. Chaos would not ensure, but we would then be free to repeal or amend those laws according to our own priorities and in our own timescale. The British Government would be in control of the leaving process and not the EU.
She should offer the EU continued tariff-free trade, or World Trade Organisation rules with low tariffs, just as they prefer. Thy will ultimately make that decision anyway. If they chose to impose the EU’s Common External Tariffs on us it would impact on continental businesses far more than ours since we have a £70 billion trading deficit with the EU. Meanwhile our businesses would be freed from EU bureaucracy and we can once again make our own international trade deals.
What we must fear is that Mrs May will prevaricate until mid-2019 and then agree an EU deal along the lines of the Swiss or Norwegian models. Under such a ‘deal’ we would have to pay the EU billions every year, continue to obey many of their laws, and have open borders to all EU citizens. She might then go for an early general election and put Her ‘deal’ to the people wrapped up in the threat: vote Tory and for my deal or get Jeremy Corbyn.
UKIP is now needed more than ever. Just as UKIP achieved and won the Referendum campaign, now we have to fight to win a genuine exit from the European Union. The Referendum of 23rd June was just the end of the beginning. The real battle only began in June.