The Withdrawal Agreement

This is the rule that governs during the transition phase.

The official title:

Agreement on the withdrawal of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland from the European
Union and the European Atomic
Energy Community

Dated: 19 October 2019

There are a few articles that ties in with the political statement that we need to have a look at:

  • Article 157: The United Kingdom’s obligations after 31 December 2020
  • Article 178 INCOMPLETE: Temporary remedies in case of non-compliance
  • Article 179 INCOMPLETE: Review of any measure taken after temporary remedies
  • Article 184 INCOMPLETE: Negotiations on the future relationship

Maybe more to come…

Again no index but slightly better structured so hereby a little overview:

PART ONE: COMMON PROVISIONS: Article 1-8

PART TWO: CITIZENS’ RIGHTS

  • TITLE I: GENERAL PROVISIONS: Article 9-12
  • TITLE II: RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS: Article 13-29
  • TITLE III: COORDINATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS: Article 30-36
  • TITLE IV: OTHER PROVISIONS: Article 37-39

PART THREE: SEPARATION PROVISIONS

  • TITLE I: GOODS PLACED ON THE MARKET: Article 40-46
  • TITLE II: ONGOING CUSTOMS PROCEDURES: Article 47-50
  • TITLE III: ONGOING VALUE ADDED TAX AND EXCISE DUTY MATTERS: Article 51-53
  • TITLE IV: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Article 54-61
  • TITLE V: ONGOING POLICE AND JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS: Article 62-65
  • TITLE VI: ONGOING JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS: Article 66-69
  • TITLE VII: DATA AND INFORMATION PROCESSED OR OBTAINED BEFORE THE END OF THE TRANSITION PERIOD,
    OR ON THE BASIS OF THIS AGREEMENT: Article 70-74
  • TITLE VIII: ONGOING PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND SIMILAR PROCEDURES: Article 75-78
  • TITLE IX: EURATOM RELATED ISSUES: Article 79-85
  • TITLE X: UNION JUDICIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES: Article 86-97
  • TITLE XI: ADMINISTRATIVE COOPERATION PROCEDURES
    BETWEEN MEMBER STATES AND THE UNITED KINGDOM: Article 98-100
  • TITLE XII: PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES: Article 101-119
  • TITLE XIII: OTHER ISSUES RELATING TO THE FUNCTIONING
    OF THE INSTITUTIONS, BODIES, OFFICES AND AGENCIES OF THE UNION: Article 120-125

PART FOUR: TRANSITION: Article 126-132

PART FIVE: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS: Article 133-157

PART SIX: INSTITUTIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS:

  • TITLE I: CONSISTENT INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION: Article 158-163
  • TITLE II: INSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS: Article 164-166
  • TITLE III: DISPUTE SETTLEMENT: Article 167-181
  • TITLE IV: FINAL PROVISIONS: Article 182-185

PROTOCOLS

PROTOCOL ON IRELAND/NORTHERN IRELAND: Article 1-19

  • ANNEX 1: PROVISIONS OF UNION LAW REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 2(1)
  • ANNEX 2: PROVISIONS OF UNION LAW REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 5(4)
  • ANNEX 3: PROVISIONS OF UNION LAW REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 8
  • ANNEX 4: PROVISIONS OF UNION LAW REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 9
  • ANNEX 5: PROVISIONS OF UNION LAW
    REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 10(1)
  • ANNEX 6: PROCEDURES REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 10(2)
  • ANNEX 7: PROCEDURES REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 16(3)

PROTOCOL RELATING TO THE SOVEREIGN BASE AREAS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND IN CYPRUS: Article 1-13

PROTOCOL ON GIBRALTAR: Article 1-6

  • ANNEX I: SOCIAL SECURITY COORDINATION
  • ANNEX II: PROVISIONS OF UNION LAW REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 41(4)
  • ANNEX III: TIME LIMITS FOR THE SITUATIONS
    OR CUSTOMS PROCEDURES REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 49(1)
  • ANNEX IV: LIST OF NETWORKS, INFORMATION SYSTEMS
    AND DATABASES REFERRED IN ARTICLES 50, 53, 99 AND 100
  • ANNEX V:EURATOM
  • ANNEX VI: LIST OF ADMINISTRATIVE COOPERATION PROCEDURES
    REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 98
  • ANNEX VII: LIST OF ACTS/PROVISIONS REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 128(6)
  • ANNEX VIII: RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE AND SPECIALISED COMMITTEES
  • ANNEX IX: RULES OF PROCEDURE

Here we go, only looking at the most relevant sections.

Article 157: The United Kingdom’s obligations after 31 December 2020

1. Based on the accounts of the agencies, to the extent that the relevant liabilities have not been
provisioned on 31 December 2020, the United Kingdom shall pay its share of the following
liabilities in accordance with its contribution key for each of those agencies on the basis of their
audited accounts on 31 December 2020:

(a) the pension liabilities for the personnel of the European Defence Agency, the European Union
Institute for Security Studies, and the European Union Satellite Centre;

(b) any liabilities arising from the liquidation of the Western European Union.

2. The payment in relation to the liabilities referred to in paragraph 1 shall be made by
30 June 2021.

Contribution key based on 31 December 2020 will be used to pay future pension liabilities payable 30 June 2021.

Nothing about how much this is but we must assume this is part of the original £39bn.

Article 178: Temporary remedies in case of non-compliance

1. If the arbitration panel rules in accordance with Article 177(2) that the respondent has failed
to comply with the arbitration panel ruling referred to in Article 173, at the request of the
complainant it may impose a lump sum or penalty payment to be paid to the complainant. In
determining the lump sum or penalty payment, the arbitration panel shall take into account the
seriousness of the non-compliance and underlying breach of obligation, the duration of the
non-compliance and underlying breach of obligation.

2. If, 1 month after the arbitration panel ruling referred to in paragraph 1, the respondent has
failed to pay any lump sum or penalty payment imposed on it, or if, 6 months after the arbitration
panel ruling referred to in Article 177(2), the respondent persists in not complying with the
arbitration panel ruling referred to in Article 173, the complainant shall be entitled, upon
notification to the respondent, to suspend obligations arising from:

(a) any provision of this Agreement other than those contained in Part Two; or

(b) parts of any other agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom under the
conditions set out in that agreement.

The notification shall specify the provisions which the complainant intends to suspend. Before
deciding to suspend parts of an agreement referred to in point (b) the complainant shall first
consider whether the suspension of the provision of this Agreement in accordance with point (a)
would be an appropriate response to the breach. Any suspension shall be proportionate to the breach
of obligation concerned, taking into account the gravity of the breach and the rights in question and,
where the suspension is based on the fact that the respondent persists in not complying with the
arbitration panel ruling referred to in Article 173, whether a penalty payment has been imposed on
the respondent and has been paid or is still being paid by the latter.

The complainant may implement the suspension at any moment but not earlier than 10 days after
the date of the notification, unless the respondent has requested arbitration under paragraph 3.

3. If the respondent considers that the extent of the suspension set out in the notification referred
to in paragraph 2 is not proportionate, it may request the original arbitration panel in writing to rule
on the matter. Such request shall be notified to the complainant before the expiry of the 10-day
period referred to in paragraph 2. The arbitration panel shall notify its ruling to the Union and the
United Kingdom within 60 days of the date of submission of the request. Obligations shall not be
suspended until the arbitration panel has notified its ruling, and any suspension shall be consistent
with the arbitration panel ruling.

4. In the event of the original arbitration panel, or some of its members, being unable to
reconvene to consider a request under paragraph 2, a new arbitration panel shall be established as
set out in Article 171. In such cases, the period for notifying the ruling shall be 90 days from the
date of establishment of the new arbitration panel.

5. The suspension of obligations shall be temporary and shall be applied only until any measure
found to be inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement has been withdrawn or amended, so
as to achieve conformity with the provisions of this Agreement, or until the Union and the United
Kingdom have agreed to otherwise settle the dispute.

Article 179: Review of any measure taken after temporary remedies

1. Where the complainant has suspended obligations in accordance with Article 178 or where
the arbitration panel has imposed a penalty payment on the respondent in accordance with
Article 178(1), the respondent shall notify the complainant of any measure it has taken to comply
with the ruling of the arbitration panel and of its request for an end to the suspension of obligations
applied by the complainant or to the penalty payment.

2. If the Union and the United Kingdom do not reach an agreement on whether the notified
measure brings the respondent into conformity with the provisions of this Agreement within
45 days of the date of submission of the notification, either party may request the original
arbitration panel in writing to rule on the matter. Such request shall be notified simultaneously to
the other party. The arbitration panel ruling shall be notified to the Union and the United Kingdom
and to the Joint Committee within 75 days of the date of submission of the request.

If the arbitration panel rules that the respondent has brought itself into conformity with this
Agreement, or if the complainant does not, within 45 days of the submission of the notification
referred to in paragraph 1, request that the original arbitration panel rule on the matter:

(a) the suspension of obligations shall be terminated within 15 days of either the ruling of the
arbitration panel or the end of the 45-day period;

(b) the penalty payment shall be terminated on the day after either the ruling of the arbitration
panel or the end of the 45-day period.

3. In the event of the original arbitration panel, or some of its members, being unable to
reconvene to consider a request under paragraph 2, a new arbitration panel shall be established as
set out in Article 171. The period for notifying the ruling shall in that case be 90 days from the date
of establishment of the new arbitration panel.

4. Where a case referred to the arbitration panel pursuant to paragraph 2 raises a question of
interpretation of a concept of Union law or a question of interpretation of a provision of Union law
referred to in this Agreement, Article 174 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Article 184: Negotiations on the future
relationship

The Union and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours, in good faith and in full respect
of their respective legal orders, to take the necessary steps to negotiate expeditiously the agreements
governing their future relationship referred to in the Political Declaration of 17 October 2019 and to
conduct the relevant procedures for the ratification or conclusion of those agreements, with a view
to ensuring that those agreements apply, to the extent possible, as from the end of the transition
period.

The Political Declaration

During the transition phase we will be negotiating a trade deal with the EU based on the political declaration.

So what does this declaration say?

The official title:

Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom

Dated: 19 October 2019

Strangely enough there is no index and the structure is a bit messy, but all in all it contains 141 chapters spread over 5 parts subdivided into a number of sections with roman numerals.

  • INTRODUCTION: 1-5

PART I: INITIAL PROVISIONS

  • I: BASIS FOR COOPERATION: 6-10
  • II: AREAS OF SHARED INTEREST: 11-15

PART II: ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP

  • I: OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES: 16-18
  • II: GOODS: 19-26
  • III: SERVICES AND INVESTMENT: 27-34
  • IV: FINANCIAL SERVICES: 35-37
  • V: DIGITAL: 38-40
  • VI: CAPITAL MOVEMENTS AND PAYMENTS: 41
  • VII: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: 42-45
  • VIII:  PUBLIC PROCUREMENT: 46-47
  • IX: MOBILITY: 48-57
  • X: TRANSPORT: 58-63
  • XI: ENERGY: 64-70
  • XII: FISHING OPPORTUNITIES: 71-74
  • XIII: GLOBAL COOPERATION: 75-76
  • XIV: LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR OPEN AND FAIR COMPETITION: 77

PART III: SECURITY PARTNERSHIP

  • I: OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES: 78-79
  • II: LAW ENFORCEMENT AND JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS: 80-89
  • III:  FOREIGN POLICY, SECURITY AND DEFENCE: 90-107
  • IV: THEMATIC COOPERATION: 108-115
  • V: CLASSIFIED AND SENSITIVE NON-CLASSIFIED INFORMATION: 116-117

PART IV: INSTITUTIONAL AND OTHER HORIZONTAL ARRANGEMENTS

  • I: STRUCTURE: 118-121
  • II: GOVERNANCE: 122-132
  • III: EXCEPTIONS AND SAFEGUARDS: 133-134

PART V: FORWARD PROCESS: 135-141


Here we go, only looking at the most relevant sections.

INTRODUCTION

Paragraph 4 is BAD

4. The future relationship will be based on a balance of rights and obligations, taking into account the principles of each Party. This balance must ensure the autonomy of the Union’s decision making and be consistent with the Union’s principles, in particular with respect to the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union and the indivisibility of the four freedoms. It must also ensure the sovereignty of the United Kingdom and the protection of its internal market, while respecting the result of the 2016 referendum including with regard to the development of its independent trade policy and the ending of free movement of people between the Union and the United Kingdom.

  • The EU insists on keeping the single market and the 4 movements intact.
  • The UK insists on sovereignty and independent trade policy and the ending of free movement of people

This quite clear states the red lines of the EU and the UK that the UK will not be part of the single market and customs union.

PART I: INITIAL PROVISIONS

I. BASIS FOR COOPERATION

Paragraph 7 is VERY BAD

7. The future relationship should incorporate the United Kingdom’s continued commitment to respect the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), while the Union and its Member States will remain bound by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which reaffirms the rights as they result in particular from the ECHR.

  • The UK should continue to respect the ECHR

This is a massive problem as the ECHR in many areas has overruled the UK high court and made it impossible to extradite illegal of criminal immigrants.

The word “should” however is not mandatory statement, however is a strong intension.

Currently commitment and respect of the ECHR is part of the EU treaties.

II. AREAS OF SHARED INTEREST

None so far

PART II: ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP

I. OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES

Paragraph 17 is BAD

17. Against this backdrop, the Parties agree to develop an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership.

This partnership will be comprehensive, encompassing a Free Trade Agreement, as well as wider sectoral cooperation where it is in the mutual interest of both Parties.

It will be underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition, as set out in Section XIV of this Part.

It should facilitate trade and investment between the Parties to the extent possible, while respecting the integrity of the Union’s Single Market and the Customs Union as well as the United Kingdom’s internal market, and recognising the development of an independent trade policy by the United Kingdom.

  • Mostly a repeat of section 4
  • Mentions “level playing field for open and fair competition”, which is a dangerous statement however not defined here. We will look in detail in section XIV what this is. However is can be agued that most trade agreements are like this

II. GOODS

Paragraph 19 is GOOD

19. The Parties envisage having an ambitious trading relationship on goods on the basis of a Free Trade Agreement, with a view to facilitating the ease of legitimate trade.

  • Emphasises a free trade agreement hence no intention of anything else

Paragraph 21 is BAD

21. However, with a view to facilitating the movement of goods across borders, the Parties envisage comprehensive arrangements that will create a free trade area, combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition, as set out in Section XIV of this Part.

  • Here we go again with the “level playing field”
  • Additionally “deep regulatory and customs cooperation”

These are two dangerous statements as this is not what is in a normal free trade agreement.

However we still need a proper definition of what this is.

Paragraph 24 is BAD

24. The Parties will put in place ambitious customs arrangements, in pursuit of their overall objectives.

In doing so, the Parties envisage making use of all available facilitative arrangements and technologies, in full respect of their legal orders and ensuring that customs authorities are able to protect the Parties’ respective financial interests and enforce public policies.

To this end, they intend to consider mutual recognition of trusted traders’ programmes, administrative cooperation in customs and value added tax (VAT) matters and mutual assistance, including for the recovery of claims related to taxes and duties, and through the exchange of information to combat customs and VAT fraud and other illegal activity.

  • This is unclear if we hereby bound the UK to retain a VAT regime. VAT is mandated by the EU

It is unlikely we will be able to replace VAT with a simple sales tax as this would break the EU mandated VAT regime and facilitative arrangements.

Especially as long as Northern Ireland have one foot in the EU.

III.  SERVICES AND INVESTMENT

None so far

IV.  FINANCIAL SERVICES

None so far

V. DIGITAL

None so far

VI.  CAPITAL MOVEMENTS AND PAYMENTS

None so far

VII. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

None so far

VIII. PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

None so far

IX.  MOBILITY

Paragraph 55 is BAD

55. To support mobility, the Parties confirm their commitment to the effective application of the existing international family law instruments to which they are parties.

The Union notes the United Kingdom’s intention to accede to the 2007 Hague Maintenance Convention to which it is currently bound through its Union membership.

This “international family law” is an EU only law mainly making other EU countries law in the UK by enforcing all kinds of EU family law in the UK.

To good word is “intention”, which means it can be changed.

X. TRANSPORT

Paragraph 61 is BAD

61. The Parties agree that bilateral arrangements should be established, as appropriate, for cross-border rail services, including to facilitate the continued smooth functioning and operation
of rail services, such as the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise Line and services through the Channel
Tunnel.

This is an attempt to enforce the HS2, which is essentially an EU project to tie-up mainland Europe with Ireland via the English channel and the HS2 into Ireland.

The wording is quite firm and there is no get-out wording hence HS2 seems to be set in stone in spite of the current review of the project.

XI.  ENERGY

Paragraph 70 is BAD

70. The Parties should consider cooperation on carbon pricing by linking a United Kingdom
national greenhouse gas emissions trading system with the Union’s Emissions Trading
System.

No, no and no. Carbon pricing is an EU invention and no other non-EU countries have signed up to this, hence we should not either.

Carbon pricing is partly the reason we are exporting pollution to other countries like China and India.

The result is overpriced energy and the killing of heavy industries within the UK.

XII. FISHING OPPORTUNITIES

Hmm, a whole special section on this smells a bit.

Paragraph 73 is BAD

73. Within the context of the overall economic partnership the Parties should establish a new
fisheries agreement on, inter alia, access to waters and quota shares.

This is essentially opening the UK fishing territory to the EU.

The good word is “should”, which is a firm intention but not really binding.

Paragraph 74 is VERY BAD

74. The Parties will use their best endeavours to conclude and ratify their new fisheries
agreement by 1 July 2020 in order for it to be in place in time to be used for determining
fishing opportunities for the first year after the transition period.

This essentially makes 73 binding as part of a new trade agreement.

XIII. GLOBAL COOPERATION

Paragraph 76 is BAD

76. The future relationship should reaffirm the Parties’ commitments to international agreements
to tackle climate change, including those which implement the United Nations Framework
Conventions on Climate Change, such as the Paris Agreement.

This is none of the EU business to force the UK to the Paris agreement especially not when the UK is a sovereign country.

The good word is “should”, which is a firm intention but not really binding.

XIV. LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR OPEN AND FAIR COMPETITION

Here we go again with “level playing field”. The EU is very keen or afraid?

Paragraph 77 is VERY BAD

This is a big one almost containing all the previous chapters again. Splitting it up in paragraphs for easy reading.

77. Given the Union and the United Kingdom’s geographic proximity and economic
interdependence, the future relationship must ensure open and fair competition,
encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level playing field. The precise nature of
commitments should be commensurate with the scope and depth of the future relationship
and the economic connectedness of the Parties.

These commitments should prevent
distortions of trade and unfair competitive advantages.

To that end, the Parties should
uphold the common high standards
applicable in the Union and the United Kingdom at the
end of the transition period in the areas of state aid, competition, social and employment standards, environment, climate change, and relevant tax matters.

The Parties should in
particular maintain a robust and comprehensive framework for competition and state aid
control
that prevents undue distortion of trade and competition; commit to the principles of
good governance in the area of taxation and to the curbing of harmful tax practices
; and
maintain environmental, social and employment standards at the current high levels
provided by the existing common standards.

In so doing, they should rely on appropriate and
relevant Union and international standards
, and include appropriate mechanisms to ensure
effective implementation domestically, enforcement and dispute settlement.

The future
relationship should also promote adherence to and effective implementation of relevant
internationally agreed principles and rules in these domains, including the Paris Agreement
.

Holy moly this is a big and bad one.

  • future relationship must ensure open and fair competition: this is bad as it included the word “must”; so without this we will not get a trade agreement. This continues into the next part of the sentence:
  • robust commitments to ensure a level playing field: this is even worse as “level playing field” can be anything around regulation, taxation and access to resources like fishing
  • Parties should uphold the common high standards: this is about regulation, Word should indicates an intension
  • robust and comprehensive framework for competition and state aid control: so we would have to abide by the state control rules (beyond the one stated by WTO) and maybe even abide by EU tender rules?
  • commit to the principles of good governance in the area of taxation and to the curbing of harmful tax practices: so we should not be allowed to lower our taxes or remove VAT?
  • they should rely on appropriate and relevant Union and international standards: again not only should we abode by WTO rules but also EU rules. REALLY BAD
  • relevant internationally agreed principles and rules in these domains, including the Paris Agreement: so the EU decides for the UK we have to abide by the Paris agreement and other “relevant” treaties

This chapter is really bad and is unlikely to result in an agreement by 2020 unless the UK government beds over backwards and adheres to several EU rules and other treaties.

This chapter alone would be enough for me to say: “walk away”.

PART III: SECURITY PARTNERSHIP

I. OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES

Non so far

II. LAW ENFORCEMENT AND JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS

Paragraph 81 is BAD

Again a big one with lots of bad points reiterating earlier paragraphs.

81. The Parties agree that the scale and scope of future arrangements should achieve an
appropriate balance between rights and obligations – the closer and deeper the partnership
the stronger the accompanying obligations.

It should reflect the commitments the United
Kingdom is willing to make that respect the integrity of the Union’s legal order
, such as with
regard to alignment of rules and the mechanisms for disputes and enforcement provided for
in paragraphs 129 to 132.

It should also be underpinned by long-standing commitments to
the fundamental rights of individuals, including continued adherence and giving effect to the
ECHR
, and adequate protection of personal data, which are both essential prerequisites for
enabling the cooperation envisaged by the Parties, and to the transnational ne bis in idem
principle
and procedural rights.

It should also reflect the Union’s and its Member States’
commitment to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
.

  • commitments the United Kingdom is willing to make that respect the integrity of the Union’s legal order: so the UK would have to abide by an EU extradition order, which is much more intrusive that normal extradition agreements
  • fundamental rights of individuals, including continued adherence and giving effect to the ECHR: here the UK is tied to the ECHR again. The same ECHR preventing the UK to return criminal terrorists to their own countries
  • Ne bis in idem principle: is “not twice in the same [thing]”, is a legal doctrine to the effect that no legal action can be instituted twice. This is ok
  • commitment to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: This ties the UK to a number of other international treaties and is interpreted by the ECJ, so quite bad.

So all in all is quite bad for the UK and nothing to lose for the EU here.

III.  FOREIGN POLICY, SECURITY AND DEFENCE

Paragraph 91 is VERY BAD

91. The Parties will promote sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

In this
regard, they will continue to support the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals and the European Consensus on Development.

The European Consensus on Development is a EU directive encompassing the 2030 agenda in areas as stated:

“The Consensus highlights important cross-cutting elements such as: youth; gender equality; mobility and migration; sustainable energy and climate change; investment and trade; good governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights; innovative engagement with more advanced developing countries; and mobilising and using domestic resources”

So almost everything; so once we sign-up to this we get into all kinds of other treaties we can’t get out of. It is like a double lock.

The word “will” is dangerous as it designates a commitment in order to agree on a free trade agreement.

The UK should NOT sign-up to this.

IV.  THEMATIC COOPERATION

Paragraph 109 is BAD

109. In particular, the United Kingdom should cooperate closely with the Computer Emergency
Response Team – European Union (CERT-EU) and, subject to the conclusion of an
agreement as provided for in Union law
, participate in certain activities of the Cooperation
Group established under the Union’s Directive on Security of Network and Information
Systems and of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security
(ENISA).

The UK should not sign-up to any EU treaties or directives based on Union law as such as these may be amended without the agreement of the UK and it also implies the involvement of the ECJ then.

PART IV: INSTITUTIONAL AND OTHER HORIZONTAL ARRANGEMENTS

I. STRUCTURE

None so far

II. GOVERNANCE

Paragraph 131 is BAD

131. The Parties indicate that should a dispute raise a question of interpretation of provisions or
concepts of Union law, which may also be indicated by either Party, the arbitration panel
should refer the question to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) as the sole
arbiter of Union law, for a binding ruling as regards the interpretation of Union law.

Conversely, there should be no reference to the CJEU where a dispute does not raise such a
question.

This chapter just confirms if we sign-up to any EU law related areas we will be subject to EU law and the ECJ, hence why I warned against the in earlier chapters.

Paragraph 132 is BAD

132. The future relationship will also set out the conditions under which temporary remedies in
case of non compliance can be taken, in particular obligations arising from parts of any
agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom may be suspended in response to a
breach by the other Party, including as foreseen in article 178 and 179 of the Withdrawal
Agreement.

This chapter ties the political agreement with the withdrawal agreement, making these dependent of each other.

First thig when looking at the WA is to look in these two articles 178 and 179.

III.  EXCEPTIONS AND SAFEGUARDS

None so far

PART V: FORWARD PROCESS

Just a lot of administrative details in here. Nothing really of interest except for the fact that there will be a high-level meeting in June 2020, which might be the crunch-time.

Autonomous and Remote Warfare

I always thought the recent UK investments in nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers and related F35 fighter jets was old hat conventional warfare.

So will start to make notes on future autonomous and remote warfare machines.

Aircraft

Boeing’s autonomous fighter jet:

https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/27/boeing-autonomous-fighter-jet-2020/

Russia’s combat stealth drone Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-07/russia-hunter-stealth-combat-drone-unveiled-maiden-flight

The Kamikaze drone:

https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/26/kalashnikov-kamikaze-drone/

Submarines

TBD

Tanks

https://futurism.com/military-build-deadly-ai-controlled-tanks

Political Issues

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: An Update from the United Nations

Useful Brexit Quotes

Maybe this will become a proper post later.

CPI inflation

Just have a look just after we joined the EU:

https://www.inflation.eu/inflation-rates/great-britain/historic-inflation/cpi-inflation-great-britain.aspx

Chart - historic CPI inflation Great Britain - long term inflation development

Our EU debt

“The UK could walk away from the European Union in 2019 without paying a penny, the House of Lords has said, in a report bound to raise tensions with Brussels in the run-up to Brexit talks.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/04/uk-could-quit-eu-without-paying-a-penny-say-lords

WTO Article 24

Article 24 says if a free trade area or customs union is created, duties and other trade barriers should be reduced or removed on substantially all sectors of trade in the group. Non-members should not find trade with the group any more restrictive than before the group was set up.

https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/understanding_text_e.pdf

Canada Model

“EU-Canada trade deal is only model that fits Britain’s terms – EU’s Barnier”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-barnier-trade/eu-canada-trade-deal-is-only-model-that-fits-britains-terms-eus-barnier-idUKKBN1E214U

VISA non-requirement for EU

Listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement, as regards the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/plmrep/COMMITTEES/LIBE/AM/2019/01-29/1174204EN.pdf

British:

image

Ireland

image

Irish Border and WTO

WTO says its rules would not force EU or UK to erect hard Irish border

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/wto-says-its-rules-would-not-force-eu-or-uk-to-erect-hard-irish-border-1.3710136

Vienna Convention

Article 70 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties says that terminating a treaty does not affect obligations incurred under the treaty “unless the treaty otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree”.

The Treaty of the European Union arguably does provide otherwise in the form of Article 50, which Britain triggered to leave the bloc.  Article 50 says nothing about financial obligations and lawyers could argue it trumps the Vienna Convention anyway.

No Deal Concessions

UK clearing houses approved to continue EU business under no deal Brexit

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-exchanges/uk-clearing-houses-approved-to-continue-eu-business-under-no-deal-brexit-idUKKCN1Q70JN?fbclid=IwAR1BPaWY7_i1JSHgf5xH8t4KMDPNiDpPxzYiQB4Gwuya2AIdrAErEB6WqJM

European Commission reiterates flights will go ahead post Brexit

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/319768/updated-european-commission-reiterates-flights-will-go-ahead-post-brexit?fbclid=IwAR1rgyMOGnXenaEDKleDg9e_C1RZPVjibIOtisa6J_3v-SzJ3r5yqfejpO4

Broken Promises

Lots of good quotes in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPcmebRH904

What should be fixed post-Brexit

  • MP’s changing party or becoming independent should trigger a by-election
  • House of lords should be fully elected maybe on proportional basis to counter first past the post in parliament
  • Special Order SO24 should be abolished. Only government should be allowed to put forward legislation. Opposition can only put forward non-binding motions
  • Fixed term parliament should be abolished. If opposition is unhappy with legislation put forward they must table a motion of no confidence to become government
  • Postal voting should be limited to special cases only. Luton by-election is a good example of how bad it can get
  • The speaker should be elected by each government as this position now cannot be assumed to be neutral going forward
  • Supreme court to be abolished. The last decision to completely overrule the high court is highly dubious and indicates political influence
  • We need a written constitution. Maybe copy/paste from Australia or similar
  • Parliamentary practice should be set in law. Erskine May book of practice is open for interpretation and uncontrolled changes as John Bercow has shown
  • License fee should be abolished. BBC has clearly shown during Brexit that it is not impartial and should therefore compete equally with other media outlets

The Withdrawal Agreement

Papers are here

Analysis will be in separate posts.

Two things that are interesting to look at:

  • The transition: When will the UK actually leave the EU? The transition period ends 2020. Could we leave without a deal then? Transition can be extended to 2022 but if no trade deal has been agreed upon can this period be further extended or will the discussion about leaving without a deal start all over again?
  • The trade deal: The political declaration may be the most important as this may tie the UK forever once agreed upon. So what subjects are up for grabs by the EU?

ECHR – European Court of Human Rights

The ECHR is part of the EU treaty therefore the as long we are in the EU with must comply with the Human Rights Act.

The EU became a signatory to the ECHR via the Lisbon treaty: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/factsheets/en/sheet/5/the-treaty-of-lisbon

The Policy Exchange paper implores the next government to amend and limit the Human Rights Act and refuse to comply with judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

This is said in connection with “the UK military is being undermined by the over-reach of human rights laws and soldiers being unfairly pursued for alleged wrongdoing on the battlefield”.

Only issue is that the Political Declaration in the Withdrawal Act says:

7. The future relationship should incorporate the United Kingdom’s continued commitment to respect the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), while the Union and its Member States will remain bound by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which reaffirms the rights as they result in particular from the ECHR.

Web 3.0

The Web 3.0 will be the proper uncontrollable internet.

Today more and more websites and social media outlets are becoming sources of de-platforming, media control and data mining for advertising purposes.

De-platforming is when websites are removed from services for using their free speech. The de-platforming can range from technical to monetary suppression and defunding.

Media control can be both government controls and industry controlled interests maybe controlled again behind the scenes by government or other major organisations. In the UK some events are not reported on deliberately and some are suppressed with a D-notice order.

Data mining is performed on personal data to produce an advertising product based on knowledge about you, that pays for your services. Therefore this service becomes indirectly controlled by the businesses that pay for the advertisements and your data.

So now I have created this holding page for links to new web 3.0 services that may break this cycle.

Once broken the Web 3.0 will be a myriad of autonomous sources and services impossible to control but still with ease of use.

To break this cycle, you have to break the control of the full technology and monetary stack either individually or as a organisation.

However as soon as a service is centralised it is at risk at being blocked easily.

So making a start below. Watch this space as I will find more.

Technology Stack:

  1. Hardware: Servers and network equipment holding and transferring your data
  2. Network Services: Network providers like ISP’s and backbone providers
  3. Domain Services: The domain name and service holding it pointing to your data
  4. Server Software: Software for serving webpages and other data feeds
  5. Client Software: Browsers and other clients reading feeds
  6. Cloud Services: Public services providing the above infrastructure

Monetary Stack:

  1. Payment Systems: Transfer and clearing of value
  2. Currencies: A piece of value that can be exchanged
  3. Banks and wallets:  Containers or holders of value
  4. Credit: Access to funding

Technology Stack Examples

Hardware:

  • None so far

Network Services:

Domain Services:

Server Software:

Client Software:

Cloud Services:

Monetary Stack Examples

Payment Systems:

Currencies:

Banks and Wallets:

Other References