I recently asked my MP, Paul Holmes, whether he would be voting to break the Withdrawal Agreement which he had been elected to deliver. I suspect his reply was similar to most Conservative MPs and it confirms that he has decided to break his election pledge to deliver the Prime Minister’s oven ready deal.
“There has been much speculation about the Government’s commitment to treaty obligations and international law. I believe that some of the commentary has misrepresented the situation.”
It is not speculation that the government intend to break international law, it is a matter of record.
“The end of the Transition Period is fast approaching, and with no agreement yet reached, the Government has proposed a safety net to protect the Union and ensure that the UK’s obligations under the Belfast Agreement are met.”
The end of the Transition Period is fast approaching because the government chose not to extend the deadline, despite it being obvious that the UK will not be ready. The Northern Ireland Protocol is the safety net, which was specifically intended to protect the Belfast Agreement even in the case that no further agreement was reached with the European Union. The Government may have finally understood what it signed up to but however much Paul regrets the Prime Minister signing the Withdrawal Agreement, it is too late. You cannot unilaterally change an agreement between two parties without consequences.
“There is no reason why these provisions should undermine the future relationship negotiations with the EU.”
I wonder if Paul might want to reconsider this risible statement after sleeping on it. Perhaps he has noticed that the EU has begun legal proceedings against the UK.
“Remedying the unintended consequences of the Protocol may breach the Withdrawal Agreement in a limited way but the consequences of inaction could break up the UK. I hope you understand that while I remain fully committed to international law, I have a duty to protect the integrity of the Union – the overriding purpose of this Bill.”
Wow, those are quite some contradictions! If Paul was fully committed to international law, he would vote to uphold it. If he cared about the integrity of the Union, he might start by apologising for his complete lack of scrutiny of the Withdrawal Agreement before it was signed.
Instead of threatening to renege on the fantastic oven ready deal Paul was elected to deliver, the government could still protect the integrity of the Union by reaching a comprehensive deal with the EU which respects the wishes of NI, Scotland, and Wales, which have so far been completely ignored.
Before the election Paul said,
“For me, it is a question of integrity and honesty. I am the only candidate in this election who will deliver on the referendum result and get Brexit done.”
We’re still waiting Paul.