Theresa May’s Brexit white paper will “anger Brexiteers, Remainers, and isn’t going to be accepted by Brussels,” according to a political journalist.
Adam Payne, political reporter at Business Insider, joined James Whale yesterday (July 12) and said that the paper, the terms of which were agreed on at Chequers last week, shows the UK will still be “wedded to the EU when it comes to the trade of goods”.
The proposals triggered a string of resignations including David Davis, former Brexit Secretary, Boris Johnson, former Foreign Secretary, Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley, both Conservative vice chairs.
Andrew Bridgen, a Tory MP, also submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister.
Alastair Campbell, former spin doctor for Tony Blair, criticised the resigning Brexiteers, saying "it's always somebody else's fault", and defended May for "trying to make sense of what people voted for.”
But Whale, a critic of the Brexit process, wasn’t impressed.
“Why has Theresa May’s government come up with an idea that’s so ridiculous it isn’t going to get through parliament?” he asked.
“I’m getting sick of paying extortionate amounts of tax for rubbish politicians.
“Shouldn’t we have been further down the line with these negotiations than we are? We’re supposed to conclude this in a few weeks’ time - why is this the first thing that we’ve seen, and it’s not yet even been seen by other members of the European Union?
“We’re being led by a bunch of morons, aren’t we?”
Payne laughed and responded, “that’s certainly one analysis”.
'David Cameron brought the country to this state'
“I think you’re right in the fact that this White Paper should have been published a year or two ago,” he continued.
“There isn’t much time left until the next European Council meeting in October, and we’re meant to have a deal by then.
“Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator, said 80% of the deal has been sorted out, but that remaining 20% contains some pretty fundamental issues like the Northern Irish border.”
Whale also laid into David Cameron for calling the EU referendum in 2016.
“Quite frankly, I’d like to see David Cameron brought back and flogged publicly. He’s brought this country to the state it is now,” he said.
Michel Barnier will ‘analyse’ paper
New Brexit secretary Dominic Raab - who took over from David Davis after his resignation - unveiled the white paper in parliament yesterday.
He called it a "principled, pragmatic and ambitious future partnership between the UK and the EU" and said: "Now, it is time for the EU to respond in kind, we approach these negotiations with a spirit of pragmatism, compromise and, indeed, friendship, I hope. I trust that the EU will engage with our proposals in the same spirit.”
Michel Barnier tweeted that he would now “analyse” the paper and was looking forward to more negotiations next week.
What’s in the white paper?
Among the details revealed in the white paper were plans to have a “facilitated customs area” where EU tariffs would be applied for goods bound for the EU, and UK tariffs for goods to be consumed in the UK.
It also proposed a “common rulebook” to facilitate frictionless trade, which would likely mean the UK adhering to EU rules.
The UK is also seeking “active membership” in organisations that oversee potentially risky goods like chemicals and medicines.
Financial services in the UK will no longer have automatic access to the EU’s financial markets.
Free movement of people will end, but the government has not yet revealed what the new immigration policies will be.