Your response yesterday to Jacob Rees Mogg’s suggestion that Britain would become a vassal state during any transition period during following our departure from the EU was unsatisfactory and leaves the UK in the quagmire of no man’s land. Given what appears to be current government policy on the Brexit negotiations, Mr Rees Mogg’s suggestion about the status of the UK during any transition period is absolutely correct.
Mrs May has committed to withdrawing all our MEPs on 29 March 2019 and plans to leave the UK unrepresented in the institutions of the EU, while the government continues to pour UK taxpayers’ money into the bottomless pit of the EU.
Thus, the Conservative Party, in leaving the EU, is prepared to break the centuries old tradition of no taxation of its citizens without representation. That is unacceptable and a betrayal of a fundamental principle of democracy.
While I and other true Brexiteers have made clear that we would love to march out of the Parliament building on 29th March with our Union flag held high, we cannot in conscience do so if our government intends continuing to subsidise EU activities in which UK MEPs would have no say.
I am aware that part of Mrs May’s motivation for withdrawing MEPs is partly to cut off Nigel Farage’s funding, media opportunities and thus rid the Tory party of UKIP’s presence in UK politics once and for all. But is that really the right British thing to do? It would clearly be preferable for the UK MEPs to continue to represent the UK if we are still paying our membership fees?
Constitutionally this does not cause you a problem. Richard Corbett MEP, self avowed ‘expert’ in these matters, is clear that, even though British MEPs’ mandates expire on March 29, they can simply be extended to ensure that representation is retained during any transition period in which the UK is still paying into the EU.
I would still prefer that we did not have a transition period and revert to World Trade Organisation rules on 29th March and for all UK MEPs to leave at that time. The EU, on this type of notice, would very quickly give us a free trade deal.Sadly, that does not appear to accord with government thinking at the moment.
You will be that Tory MEPs, whatever their public posturings, are generally bereft at leaving the Brussels gravy train, while Labour MEPs are almost suicidal. Maybe it would be kinder to put them out of their misery by agreeing to the UK having representation whilst handing over taxation.