Cheery news this week, as the UK and Canada have agreed a post-Brexit trade deal, rolling over the terms of trade seen while the UK was an EU member state. This paves the way for a more comprehensive UK-Canada deal to be negotiated next year.
We are still waiting to hear what the result of the UK-EU negotiations will be. The Prime Minister told the Cabinet this week that a deal was still not certain. And progress may be slowed following the announcement that a member of Michel Barnier’s team has contracted Covid-19.
The EU, meanwhile, has been warned that its proposed data sharing regulations are likely to breach WTO rules. The EU’s digital plans are indicative of many of the flaws of the ‘Fortress Europe’ mentality. EU data protectionism is an act of self-harm in the online trading world, because it stops overseas customers buying goods from them.
If journalism is the first draft of history, beware of Remainer rewrites of history in the making. The Economist magazine’s (Nov 14th) take on Brexit is that it is an emotional appeal to the heart not the head based on patriotism and resentment rather than facts about trade flows. In the Economist’s view Brexiteers stand, like Princess Di, for emotion over reason and for the people over elites. This reminds us of the time that Aneurin Bevan denounced another economist as ‘a desiccated calculating machine’.
BfB co-editor Robert Tombs has taken part in an exchange of ‘letters’ with vocal Remainer journalist Ian Dunt, discussing their differences and attempting to reach some agreement about what the future of post-Brexit Britain should look like. This is the sort of measured conversation we hope ex-Remainers and Leavers will be having all over the country as the end of the transition period approaches. A new ‘letter’ from Robert will follow soon.
We’re also pleased to be able to share two Youtube videos discussing last week’s BfB report about how the costs of No Deal have been exaggerated, co-authored by Harry Western, Julian Jessop and BfB co-editor Graham Gudgin.
Graham and Julian took part in a video interview about the report, organised by the Foundation for Independence.
Meanwhile, Michael Heaver (a former Brexit Party MEP) has produced a video discussing the report’s findings for Westmonster.
On the website this week
Baroness Claire Fox made the following powerful speech during the House of Lords debate on the Internal Market Bill on November 10th. She defends part 5 of the Bill which allows UK ministers to over-ride the NI Protocol in matters of trade damaging to the integrity of the UK. In her view democratic will trumps international treaties every time.
“Noble Lords may be worried about the damage to the UK’s reputation abroad. I worry about the damage this House might inflict on the UK’s democratic reputation here at home if it insists on emasculating this Bill by amendments.”
An actually green carbon capture initiative is available now, by Catherine McBride
Catherine McBride argues that a number of simpler and more immediate measures could be taken to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, and these can have a much more timely impact than long-term technological solutions.
“Let’s actually turn Britain into a green and pleasant land all year round with cover-crops on every baren field in the winter and with hedge rows encasing every highway.”
We are also on Twitter, posting articles and retweeting the daily events that bring Brexit to the fore in the national news.
Discussion also continues over on Facebook.
How you can help
There is much about Brexit still to be decided. Our MPs listen to their constituents. Do continue to send them links to our articles, especially on matters relevant to your constituency – for example, in rural areas, articles on the threat to British agriculture. Alternatively, make an appointment to speak to them at their next surgery. Let them know what you want post-Brexit Britain to look like.
As Boris Johnson said in in his post-election address, it is also time for unity and reconciliation. Keep reading our posts and share links to our quality content to help others understand how leaving the EU will be good for the UK economy and for our own democratic governance. We aim to educate our critics to think differently and more positively about the long-term impact of Brexit.
An Oxbridge PhD Student
Dr Graham Gudgin
Economist, Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School University of Cambridge
Professor Robert Tombs
Emeritus Professor of French History, University of Cambridge