Ten reasons why the Johnson ‘deal’ is even worse than Theresa May’s

The Brexit settlement which now forms part of the Conservative’s General Election programme is substantially the same agreement negotiated by Theresa May’s administration. The few changes agreed with the EU27, however, make this version of the deal substantially worse for the great majority of people in the UK.

Here are ten reasons why:

  1. It prolongs the risk of a ‘no deal’ situation. After a short transition period to the end of 2020 the UK faces another cliff edge and the spectre of a ‘no deal exit’ after 2020.
  2. The UK would be outside the customs union with no prospect of any form of new arrangements in which manufacturing and other cross border production can easily take place.
  3. The commitment to a ‘level playing field’ on matters such as rights at work is curtailed at the end of the transition making way for the possibility of the deregulated, low wage, low tax, low standards future that will accelerate the ‘race to the bottom’.
  4. The ambition to take part in EU programmes is even more limited, raising questions over future involvement in Erasmus+ and Creative Europe to name just two well established programmes.
  5. The UK will be even further outside the regulatory framework of the Single Market with no prospect of taking part in a single market for service – financial or otherwise. Services make up the bulk of UK exports.
  6. The UK has a large trade surplus with the EU27 in services which far outweighs the trade deficit for goods.
  7. The agreement drives apart the nations of the UK, with Northern Ireland effectively remaining in the EU without representation while Mr Johnson lies about the reality of the intended customs border in the Irish Sea.
  8. There is no improvement in the situation of EU citizens in the UK nor, shamefully, in that of UK citizens in the EU whose interests have been effectively abandoned.
  9. It makes the UK less safe. As things stand not only will the UK be outside the European Arrest Warrant and locked out of Europol and security databases, British defence industries will lose access to European markets.
  10. It is still a disaster for the NHS. A more distant relationship will make matters such a mutual recognition of qualifications much harder to resolve. It will NOT ‘Get Brexit Done’. Quite the reverse. It will simply be the beginning of a long and difficult process of the next phase of negotiations. In those negotiations the will be at a massive disadvantage and the position of the EU27 considerably stronger. The UK would no longer have a seat at the table nor any MEPs to make the UK’s case.

For all these reasons and many more, Labour was right to oppose the new agreement and argue that the decision should be returned to the people.