Pull The Other One BBC. You Are Quite Despicable.

She has a tendency to get her self into trouble the above picture shows

“Self-interest is also — contrary to the belief of some in the UK — the reason the EU is not setting out to punish the UK in post-Brexit trade talks.”

On Monday 09 Nov 2020, the above was published by a Remainer organisation which readers may have heard of, called the BBC. It was written by their ‘Europe Editor’, Katya Adler.

The BBC’s position seems to be that the EU has not acted in an adversarial way towards the UK, and has not sought to punish the British people for voting to leave their organisation.

When Ms Adler says “contrary to the belief of some in the UK”, she is talking about people like us, and probably the vast majority of people. In the interests of balance, I must therefore publish the following facts, all of which I have reported on before, and all of which are in the public domain.

10 key facts which show how the EU set out to punish the British people

  • Fact 1 — From Day One the EU made it perfectly clear that it would punish the UK
  • Fact 2 — EU banned the UK from speaking to member states and delayed the start of talks by a year
  • Fact 3 — Numerous additional hostile announcements have been made by the EU and leaders of member countries
  • Fact 4 — EU banned any discussion of the future trading relationship until a Withdrawal Agreement was signed
  • Fact 5 — EU insisted on three arbitrary items to be agreed before true trade talks would be possible
  • Fact 6 — EU weaponised and endangered the Belfast Agreement, threatening peace in Northern Ireland
  • Fact 6 — EU weaponised and endangered the Belfast Agreement, threatening peace in Northern Ireland
  • Fact 7 — Northern Ireland Protocol has the effect of colonising part of the sovereign territory of the UK
  • Fact 8 — EU still claims the full right of access to UK territorial waters
  • Fact 9 — For the majority of the time, the EU has made the ‘trade talks’ about non-trade issues
  • Fact 10 — Demands of the EU are unprecedented in any major Free Trade Agreement in the world

The evidence for the 10 points.

Fact 1 — Evidence — From Day One the EU made it perfectly clear that it would punish the UK

On the morning after the EU Referendum, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave an interview to the German TV channel ARD and also gave an EU press conference in Brussels.

1.1 Interview with German TV channel ARD, 24 June 2016:

“This is not an amicable divorce.”

- Jean Claude Juncker, EU Commission President, 24 June 2016

Readers will note that President Juncker did not employ the future tense, nor did he suggest any doubt by using a word such as ‘might’ or ‘could’. This was a declaration. Given that President Juncker had had no contact with the UK Government at this point, his statement was clearly one of hostile intent, not a reaction to anything said or done by the British Government.

1.2 Press conference, Brussels, same day:

Herr Juncker started with: “Ladies and gentlemen and — for some of you — dear friends….”
The EU Commission President commonly used the term ‘Dear friends’ when addressing a room. The clear implication of his qualification on this occasion — “and for some of you” — was that any British people in the room were no longer friends.

He then announced that a meeting had already taken place earlier that morning at the highest levels to discuss “the situation we are in after the British people expressed its views on their… er… [long pause…] next situation.” Readers will note that speaking ad-lib like this, President Juncker could not even bring himself to utter the words “decision to leave the European Union”. Instead he refers to the British people’s “next situation”.

The angry walkout

When asked a question by a journalist about the implications of Brexit for the EU as a whole, Jean-Claude Juncker abruptly closed his papers and angrily walked out of the press conference.

And the journalist who prompted Herr Juncker’s petulant departure? Why, none other than Katya Adler, the same BBC Europe Editor who is now telling the British public that the EU is not setting out to punish the UK. What’s more, Ms Adler has been witness at first hand to numerous subsequent examples of the anger and hostility exhibited by the EU over the many years since the Referendum result was declared.

Fact 2 — Evidence — EU banned UK from speaking to member states and delayed talks by a year

After the UK voted for Brexit in June 2016, in a normal world informal talks would have started within weeks. So why didn’t they? In the UK’s case, the action was relatively swift.

  • The UK’s Chief Negotiator, the Rt Hon David Davis MP, was appointed within 3 weeks of the Referendum
  • The EU didn’t have a negotiator in place for almost 6 months

Meanwhile, the unelected EU Commission gave a diktat that there would be

“No negotiations before notification [of Article 50].”

There was no basis in EU law nor in any Treaty provisions for this EU diktat.

Timeline

23 June 2016 — The EU Referendum

13 July 2016 — The Rt Hon David Davis MP was appointed Brexit Secretary

It is a simple fact that informal dialogue could have been opened by the Rt Hon David Davis MP in July 2016, just three weeks after the Referendum, but the EU wasn’t ready or wasn’t willing to engage.

15 Dec 2016 — After almost 6 months, the EU finally chose its negotiator

It wasn’t until the EU Council meeting of 15th December that Michel Barnier was appointed as the official Chief Negotiator for the EU — almost six months after the UK’s EU Referendum.

17 January 2017 — UK issued its 12 principles of Brexit

Theresa May outlined 12 principles of what the UK was seeking to achieve in its vision of Brexit. These were widely publicised and freely available to all — including the EU.

02 Feb 2017 — UK Government White Paper on Brexit was published

David Davis published an official White Paper. Running to 77 pages, it set out the previously announced Brexit principles in more detail. The EU continued to decline to hold any talks.

29 Mar 2017 — UK formally invoked Article 50

The UK government formally triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017. Mrs May’s six-page letter to the EU reconfirmed the UK’s position in line with what had previously been announced.

By this time, the EU’s spin machine was in overdrive. On Sunday 11 June EU Commission President Juncker gave a classic example of this to the German magazine Der Spiegel: “We have been ready to negotiate for months.” This was a gross falsehood and Juncker knew it. It wasn’t even remotely close to the truth.

The UK broadcast media then merely parroted the EU’s position as usual, without the slightest attempt to find out how false it was. Here’s the Sky News then Europe Editor Mark Stone, on the day of Juncker’s German interview, 11 June 2017: “The EU wants the negotiations on Brexit to begin. They have been ready for months and have been waiting only for the UK to come to the table.”

The EU didn’t even publish their negotiation position papers until the next day, 12 June, and they delayed talks for a further week. A modicum of journalistic competence would have uncovered the truth.

Negotiations finally started on 19 June 2017

The EU finally sent its first approved ‘position papers’ to the UK government on 12 June 2017. That was almost one year AFTER the UK voted to leave the EU. Negotiations then commenced on 19 June 2017.

So, the EU was not ready until almost 12 months after the EU Referendum.

The above shows how at all stages the EU had NOT been ready to start negotiations for almost a year. If it had acted efficiently it would at the very least have been ready to start the day after Article 50 was triggered — on 30 March 2017. After all, it had been given six months’ notice of this by the UK government, and it was nine months since the British people’s decision in the EU Referendum.

A year of Brexit negotiating time was lost — and the slowest player was the EU.

Fact 3 — Evidence — Numerous hostile announcements have been made by the EU and leaders of member countries

Below just three out of many examples of the hostile attitude from the EU to the UK, before the EU would even allow any talks of any kind to start.

“We intend to teach people… what leaving the Single Market means”

Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier, 2 Sept 2017

There needs to be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price.”Former French President Francois Hollande, 15 Sept 2016

“This is not an amicable divorce.”

(This was on the day of the Referendum result.)

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 24 June 2016

Fact 4 — Evidence — EU banned discussion of trade until the Withdrawal Agreement was signed

Even before the EU was ready to start negotiations, they demanded that no discussions of the future relationship could begin before the Withdrawal Agreement was agreed. They reiterated this many times, and here is just one example.

Fact 4 — Evidence — EU banned discussion of trade until the Withdrawal Agreement was signed

Discussions on the framework for a future relationship with the United Kingdom will only begin once sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the negotiations. It will be for the European Council to decide whether there has been sufficient progress.”

- EU Commission, 03 May 2017

Fact 5 — Evidence — EU insisted on three arbitrary items to be agreed before trade talks could start

A few months after the Referendum, the EU suddenly insisted that three items should be agreed upon before anything else could be discussed. These were:-

  • The financial settlement, meaning the ‘Divorce Bill’
  • Citizens’ rights
  • The Northern Ireland border

None of these was in any way required by the terms of Article 50 of the EU Treaty which defined the exit process. These were three arbitrary items chosen and insisted upon by the EU, and which prevented any trade talks even commencing until three years and eight months after the British people had voted to leave the European Union.

In fact, the UK had already offered to guarantee citizens’ rights in November 2016. This offer was rejected on 29 Nov 2016 by the then EU Council President Donald Tusk and by Angela Merkel, German Chancellor.

Fact 6 — Evidence — EU weaponised and endangered the Belfast Agreement, threatening peace

Regrettably, the EU colluded with the government of the Republic of Ireland to capture part of the sovereign territory of the United Kingdom, as part of its intended punishment of the people of the UK for voting to leave the EU. Any objective look at the facts demonstrates this beyond a doubt.

IRISH BORDER SUMMARY

  • ”The Withdrawal Agreement clearly rips the Good Friday Agreement apart” — Lord Trimble, Peace Prize winner
  • The Irish border is only mentioned once — in passing — in the Good Friday Agreement (GFA)
  • The GFA does not require membership of the EU, Customs Union, Single Market [NI court ruling]
  • HMRC, Irish Customs, and the EU Parliament’s expert report all saw no problem & no hard border
  • The EU and the Irish government then prevented HMRC and Irish Customs from talking to each other
  • Brexit for Northern Ireland presents almost no risk to the EU or its Single Market
  • The N.I. exports over the border will account for only 0.2% of total EU imports
  • The EU and the Irish Government prevented UK and Irish Customs from agreeing on a simple solution

It is worth reading what one of the two main architects of the Belfast Agreement, The Rt Hon The Lord Trimble PC had to say on what the EU has done. Lord Trimble received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work leading to the Good Friday Agreement, so his words carry weight.

The EU’s Withdrawal Agreement breaks the Good Friday Agreement
Says Nobel Peace Prize Winner — and one of the two main architects of it

“The Withdrawal Agreement clearly rips the GFA [Good Friday Agreement] apart.

“Since the laws governing 60 per cent of economic activity in NI will no longer be made at Westminster or by the devolved Assembly, but by an outside law-making body, the EU, and those laws will be subject to interpretation by a non-UK court, clearly the constitutional position of NI has been changed without the consent of the people of NI as required by the GFA.

“Furthermore, there is no way in which the people affected by those decisions will even have a say in the making or application of them.”

  • The Rt Hon The Lord Trimble PC, 11 July 2020, CBP Report

Naturally, the intervention of Lord Trimble has received virtually no coverage from the BBC, nor from other broadcast media, and nor has it been used by any of the Government’s communications departments. As a result, Senator Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the United States are still under the impression that it’s the UK Government who are at fault. In reality, it’s the bullying and hostile EU that is threatening peace in Northern Ireland, as it continues its attempts to “make the UK pay” for voting to leave the sclerotic and dysfunctional EU.

Fact 7 — Evidence — Northern Ireland Protocol ‘colonises’ part of the sovereign territory of the UK.

Here was the Prime Minister in September

“We are being told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but that they might actually stop the transport of food products from GB to NI.

I have to say that we never seriously believed that the EU would be willing to use a Treaty, negotiated in good faith, to blockade one part of the UK, to cut it off; or that they would actually threaten to destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK. This was for the very good reason that any such barrier, any such tariffs or division would be completely contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Good Friday agreement. By actively undermining the Union of our country, such an interpretation would seriously endanger peace and stability in Northern Ireland.”

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, writing for the Daily Telegraph, 12 Sept 2020

The EU’s ‘Northern Ireland Protocol’ foisted on the UK breaks the terms of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, as it rides roughshod over the basic principle of consent contained in the Agreement in addition to many other egregious clauses. A new treaty — the Withdrawal Agreement — cannot and should not contravene or replace the terms of another treaty, especially not the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement. Yet that is what the EU’s Withdrawal Agreement does.

It needs repeating. A foreign power is effectively threatening to annex part of the United Kingdom.

Fact 8 — Evidence — EU still claims UK territorial waters as its own or no trade deal.

As if the quasi-annexation of part of the United Kingdom’s landmass were not enough, the EU has pursued its claim for unfettered access to the UK’s coastal waters.

For a foreign power to assume rights over UK waters is in and of itself quite extraordinary. Yet that has been the default position of the EU since the beginning. Even at the time of writing the EU Parliament continues its insistence that no trade deal will be approved unless the UK meekly hands over its new international rights to its coastal waters to the EU from 31 December 2020.

The EU Parliament is at one with the EU Commission’s negotiating mandate regarding fishing. Here is their resolution in June of this year about this:

“The European Parliament… reaffirms that no trade agreement can be concluded between the EU and the UK if it does not include a complete, sustainable, balanced and long-term fisheries agreement, upholding the continuation under optimal conditions of existing access to waters, resources and markets in accordance with common fisheries policy (CFP) principles and adopted before the end of the transition period.”

Adopted text by EU Parliament, 18 June 2020

In other words, the extraordinary demands of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy must stay in place — full access, everything — or the EU will not approve a trade deal. It almost defies belief, but I have it all from them in black and white.

Fact 9 — Evidence — For the vast majority of the time, the EU has made the “trade talks” about other issues.

One example of how the EU machine has never been serious about maintaining its member countries’ trading relationship with the UK is its strange insistence on discussing a wide range of non-trade issues in the ‘trade talks’.

I chose a week from this year at random. In the week commencing 29 June 2020, only two 2-hour sessions took place specifically on trade issues. In that week there were:

  • Two hours negotiating on trade in goods
  • Two hours negotiating on trade in services

The rest of the time was spent on a range of side issues, at the EU’s insistence.

Fact 10 — Evidence — Demands of EU Commission and Parliament are unprecedented in any Free Trade Agreement.

On 12 Feb 2020 in Strasbourg, the MEPs of the EU Parliament debated the draft negotiating guidelines put forward by the EU Commission, as strengthened by their own even stronger demands. The eventual motion passed with ease.

  • EU Parliament demands full UK subservience — or no trade deal
  • 93% of MEPs impose impossible conditions on the UK, in punishment vote

MEPs voted by 543 to 39 in favour of a motion which would destroy any hope of a reasonable EU-UK trade deal by the end of this year.

Let us summarise

The demands of the “Trade Prevention Officers” of the EU Parliament

  • UK laws must follow EU laws — existing and future
  • The European Court of Justice will arbitrate on all matters of EU law imposed on the UK
  • The UK must give up its rights to its own territorial waters, or no deal
  • The UK must guarantee to have equal laws on social, environmental, tax, state aid, consumer protection, climate matters, competition, labour standards, environmental protection, and more
  • UK must follow EU actions on almost everything
  • Gibraltar will not be included so that the Spanish can use it to claim sovereignty once again.

Here is Michel Barnier last month, in typically intransigent form

In its latest debate on Brexit on 21 October 2020, MEPs stressed the need to reach an agreement on EU-UK future relations that does not compromise EU interests and values. Here is Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, addressing the EU Parliament on that day, and going even further

“The European Union’s attitude to these negotiations has in no way shifted and will not shift, not up until the very last day and not even then. We will remain calm, constructive and respectful, but we will also remain firm and determined when it comes to defending the principles and the interests of each of the EU member states and the EU itself.”

- EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, 21 Oct 2020

Never to my knowledge has any party to a trade negotiation ever insisted that its demands from the start to the end of the process are so immovable. To do this would be to remove the element of ‘negotiation’ from the term ‘trade negotiations’. Yet this is effectively what the EU has done.

I would like to thank the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier for making it so clear that the EU has never acted with goodwill or in good faith in the course of its ‘negotiations’ with the United Kingdom. “The European Union’s attitude to these negotiations has in no way shifted and will not shift, not up until the very last day and not even then.“ With an inflexible attitude like this from the EU, what was the point of having ‘trade talks’ with them in the first place?

It is now essential that the UK Government abandon the trade talks and put all its time and energies into preparing for a WTO terms exit from the EU’s Transition Period on 31 December 2020.

In my own humble opinion, I would suggest Lord Frost and his team could use the remaining time wrapping up some simple side deals with the EU to ensure that life continues as normally as possible from 01 January 2021, in the interests of the citizens of both the EU and the UK.

This article has highlighted the unacceptable way the EU has acted towards the UK since the moment the British people voted to leave. The evidence that is provided completely discredits the BBC’s claim that “the EU is not setting out to punish the UK in post-Brexit trade talks.”

I would also say that any British Remainer who is OK with all this from the EU does not actually have the UK's wellbeing and are more comfortable selling out their own country to a foreign power which makes them in my estimation quite despicable.

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What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.

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Sir Ron Harrison

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What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.

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