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December 11th, 2020
Dear Friends and Supporters

This week began with claims a Deal would be concluded by Monday, but as expected, the supposed deadline for getting a Deal came and went - just like all those before. If anything, things have gone backwards!

The United Kingdom’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Lord Frost, has claimed the European Union has recently introduced several last-minute proposals on both fishing and State Aid which had already been ruled out early in negotiations. Included in these were demands for the EU’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund to be exempt from any ‘Level Playing Field’ restrictions, but they are now also insisting the UK’s own COVID-19 recovery package should be fully regulated and restricted by the European Court of Justice – NO Chance!

This is the kind of one-sided unreasonable logic still being proposed when there is less than three weeks until the end of the Transition Period. It baffles the mind.

Following the failure to get any significant progress this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson flew to Brussels on Wednesday night for a meeting and dinner with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Clearly there was not much agreement and both Lord Frost and the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier were instructed to continue talking, with the two leaders agreeing to set another deadline for a decision on trade talks to be taken this Sunday December 13th. This will be a significant day, with the 13th also marking precisely one year on from Boris Johnson officially winning his electoral landslide.

Frankly, we are not expecting much on Sunday.

The Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt MP, was about as non-committal as possible (just as she is when I write to her myself!) when asked by Brexiteers in Parliament if there was no agreement in place by Sunday - would the Government walk away? She simply stated: “There is a firm deadline of December 31st!”

No doubt on Sunday we will see the Prime Minister once again chicken out of walking away on World Trade Organization terms and dance to the EU’s tune by extending talks deep into the rest of December – or beyond, who knows? This will do nothing to help businesses in this country prepare for changes after December 31st 2020. However, fingers crossed the Prime Minister proves me wrong and holds his nerve!

Before I continue - if Get Britain Out is to carry on with our fight – especially now we’re on the crucial final stretch - we really do need more donations to keep us going.

We really appreciate the donations we have received so far, but at this vital stage - where everything we have fought for could be lost - donations are becoming less and less. One of our supporters told me recently, they couldn't understand why I am having to beg for donations for such an important campaign such as ours, but the fact is I AM having to do so! The only way we can keep up the pressure on the Government is if I have the money to pay for my two staff and our very small office.

We are so close now - and the next few days and weeks will either MAKE OR BREAK BREXIT. We need a REAL BREXIT instead of a Brexit In Name Only (BRINO).

I understand not everyone can afford to donate, but if we fail to keep up the pressure on the Government, we really may find ourselves with a Brexit In Name Only!
The biggest reason I’m not holding out hope for the Prime Minister sticking to his deadlines, is because backsliding and compromises have already begun. This week saw the UK Government’s resistance to the Northern Ireland Protocol collapse, and alongside this, the divide between different parts of the United Kingdom is growing even further – not helped by negotiations between the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove and EU Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič in the UK-EU Joint Committee. NOTE – these are separate negotiations to the negotiations on a Trade Deal.

As part of the compromise, Gove has agreed Northern Ireland (NI) will now remain in the Single Market. NI will have to follow EU regulations and be subject to the rulings of the European Court of Justice. In what way is this a reasonable solution when it separates off part of our United Kingdom – effectively keeping NI - and any businesses which exports to NI - still shackled to the EU?!

Of more concern is the fact we do not yet have full details of what the Government has sacrificed to make this deal. Gove has given a statement to the House of Commons, but the full legal texts are still to be released.

For the life of me, I really cannot understand why there is no transparency from Boris, Gove and the rest of our Government, when they are supposed to be negotiating on behalf of the people of the Great British Public – and those who voted them into power – and believe me, I have questioned them many times on this!

Alongside this lack of clarity, the Government has now removed sections of the UK Internal Market Bill and the Taxation Bill which would have overridden the Withdrawal Agreement. A worrying sign of acceptance which does not bode well for any commitment to our red lines.

However, not everyone in Parliament is capitulating to the EU’s underhand tactics and effective ‘blackmail’. Leading members of the ERG, the Vice-Chairman, David Jones MP and Sir Bill Cash MP have put forward an amendment to the upcoming Taxation Bill, which would once again ensure there was no doubt over sovereignty in the entire UK, by once again giving the Government power to override the Withdrawal Agreement. This is an endeavour which we wholeheartedly give support to, and we will be watching closely to see which MPs back a true Brexit in the coming days and weeks.

On another important issue, it has already been confirmed there are also rumours of a fishing sell-out on the horizon, with unbelievable suggestions of a new fishing so-called transition period of somewhere between 3-10 years.
What planet is the EU living on!

This would be a complete abandonment of our goal for annual negotiations and control of our waters and ecosystems surrounding the UK. We have already independently agreed separate agreements on fishing with Iceland, Greenland, Norway, and the Faroe Islands. So why not an equivocal agreement with the EU?

While there could be grounds for a small amount of time during which the level of fishing allowed by foreign boats could be phased out to give time for new UK fishing boats to pick up the slack, and for foreign fishermen to find other work - anything close to 10 years is frankly an insult. This would not be ‘Taking Back Control’ of our waters – so the French and the EU had better get used to the idea, once and for all…
Talks are still moving at a snail’s pace. The EU’s overall sentiment seems to be to try and keep things as they are or to still try and force us into a corner - with the aim to effectively extend the Transition Period. So far, we have rejected their proposals, but the fact they still have the temerity to propose suggestions like these seems to demonstrate they are desperate! They are trying to throw the book at us to try and rub out our red lines at the final stage of these negotiations.

Somehow Mrs von der Leyen and others in the EU Commission and Parliament – even after over 4 years - do not understand, for the British people, these red lines are set in indelible ink!

At the Press Conference following the latest EU Council Summit and Dinner – which went on for more than 12 hours, Brexit was apparently discussed for only 10 minutes, the rejection of UK principles was there for all to see - with von der Leyen clearly smirking today, when talking about the idea of the UK regaining our ‘Sovereignty’.

Clearly von der Leyen - as a deeply entrenched Federalist - either does not understand or does not want to understand anything about the EU’s closest foreign neighbour, the UK. Perhaps she should get out of the flat she has had built deep inside the EU Commission building, and spend a little time in the rest of the world to attempt to understand what exactly makes people - like the Brits - ‘tick’! It also makes me wonder why she - and Leaders like the French President, Emanuel Macron - do not understand why so many in the EU Member States are so unhappy with the current state of play within the European Union!

Perhaps this is one of the results of the consistent loss of sovereignty those on the Continent have experienced in recent years, but we care for our sovereignty – and the individuality of our people - and we don’t find it something to be smirked about, as von der Leyen did today. This is why we have consistently fought wars to protect our sovereignty – and to help our close neighbours.

The idea of helping out neighbours seems to have been abandoned in Europe. After years of friendship and a genuine attempt to bring people closer together, EU officials are now telling Member States they should behave in a cold and disinterested way towards the UK in the event of ‘No Deal’. The Prime Minister even suggested phoning or visiting President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to try and smooth things over, but both suggestions were rejected outright by the EU Commission, who are hell-bent on holding onto control. If this really is the mentality of those in Brussels towards a country deciding to leave their little club, we want nothing to do with such a petulant and childish organisation.

Perhaps after ‘No Deal’ kicks in, and they see the strength of a new Global Britain set free from EU regulations while European businesses struggle with paying tariffs to their biggest customers in the UK, we ‘might’ consider coming back around the table. However, it would have to mean the certainty of adult behaviour from the EU instead of ‘blackmail’, meaning progress on almost 90% of trade talks so far could be put to good use. Otherwise, we will prove we can do perfectly well without them.

While the EU continues to make a mockery of the idea of our reclaiming sovereignty - and as a result, slow progress in the trade talks, the Department for International Trade has been extremely busy in the last 2 weeks, with the UK signing a further 5 trade agreements with countries around the world, including agreements with Canada, Kenya, Vietnam and the powerhouse economy of Singapore, with whom we do over £16 billion of trade. All of this comes at the same time as progress is being made in talks with Australia, New Zealand and the USA. So much for being shunned by the global community. For the full picture of the UK’s future trading relationships around the world, you can see both our Full list of trade deals the UK has signed and our Detailed analysis of the future tariffs the UK will see on its top imports and exports to/from our top trading partners.

  • UK and EU reach deal on Northern Ireland as Government DROPS controversial law-breaking Withdrawal Agreement in key step towards a final Brexit deal - but PM warns he WON'T cave in on sovereignty – Daily Mail
  • Ursula von der Leyen’s offer of ‘No Deal Contingency Plans’ - Twitter
  • 'Large gaps' remain after trade talks with Ursula von der Leyen - BBC
  • MPs could be forced to sit between Christmas and New Year to enshrine a Brexit deal into law – The Sun
  • Michael Gove says Northern Ireland companies will not need to fill out forms to export goods to Britain as he claims the UK rejected EU demands for a 'mini-embassy' in Belfast – Daily Mail
  • Boris Johnson blasts claims he was going to tear up the Withdrawal Agreement – The Sun
  • EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has become the 'most horrible swear word' in the fishing industry – The Daily Telegraph
  • 'We will take a decision on Sunday,' says EU's Ursula von der Leyen as she confirms Brexit trade deal deadline – Sky News
  • UK strikes Singapore and Vietnam trade deals, start of new era of trade with Asia – Government Statement
  • UK agrees to EU officials permanently stationed in Northern Ireland ahead of PM's Brussels trip – The Daily Telegraph
  • UK to ditch Internal Market Bill clauses after reaching an agreement in principle on Northern Ireland Protocol – Sky News
  • UK signs post-Brexit trade deal with Norway and Iceland - CityAM
  • UK signs trade deal with Canada that rolls over terms of agreement with EU – The Daily Telegraph
That’s it for this e-Bulletin.

Thank you for your ongoing support which is very much appreciated.

Best wishes from Jayne Adye, Campaign Director - and the Team at Get Britain Out.

Have a lovely weekend.

P.S. Please don’t forget, we still need your help with donations – to make sure we can help to secure the best possible Brexit for the UK for as long as these talks go on and for as long as we have enough financial support.
We appreciate all the help many of you have already given to the campaign. However, for the best possible Brexit to be delivered, now, more than ever, every penny counts if we are to continue our work. 

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Huge thanks again.

Best wishes
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