The ongoing negotiations between the British government and the European Union reached a “compromise” early this morning. Yet the ramifications will leave the people of the U.K. as second-class citizens in their own country.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed to a swathe of demands from the E.U. Commission that have been welcomed by those that oppose Brexit and looked upon in horror by those that supported it. The sovereignty of the United Kingdom is at stake, and it appears that the rights of British people are the first card to be disposed of.
The decisions made this morning covered three areas (or “milestones”) that were set out by the E.U. as demands that must be met before proceeding to the “second stage” of negotiations which include trade deals. The three points included:
- Rights of E.U. and U.K. citizens after withdrawal.
- The issue of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
- The “divorce” bill.
On all three segments, Theresa May appears to have capitulated to demands from the E.U.’s negotiator, Michel Barnier. The reaction to these outcomes is perhaps best summed-up by Nigel Farage who stated:
“A deal in Brussels is good news for Mrs May as we can now move on to the next stage of humiliation.”
The Rights of Citizens
Under this newly signed agreement, E.U. citizens residing in the U.K. will be subject to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for up to eight years. This means that in reality, the U.K will have a two-tier legal system, with the U.K. courts being subordinate to the ECJ. If an E.U. citizen runs afoul of U.K. law, they have the right to appeal to an outside court on decisions. The ECJ will be the pre-eminent court in the country.
The idea that a foreign court should hold the whip hand over U.K. courts actually inside the United Kingdom was one of the main reasons that voters chose to leave the Union.
The ECJ is not even made up of elected judges but political appointments and Advocate Generals; they have, in the past, committed the gravest of sin that a court and a judge can: they have sat in judgment on themselves (and, of course, ruled in their own favor).
The Irish Border
Under the agreement, citizens of Northern Ireland (who are U.K. citizens) will retain their E.U. citizenship; again creating yet another class of citizens in the United Kingdom. This will solve the issue of not having a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but has opened the door to secessionist movements in London (led by the Mayor Sadiq Khan) to insist that London citizens have the same option.
This is perhaps one of the largest constitutional crises ever faced by the United Kingdom. In one move, Theresa May has divided the country into ranks of different privilege who can appeal to different courts for preferential (and more powerful) decisions.
The “Divorce” Bill
Under the mechanism by which the U.K. has become entwined with the E.U., the Lisbon Treaty, Britain has no legal obligation to pay any further bills or demands to the Union once they have left. Theresa May has ignored the law and offered a sum of £45 billion as a down payment and options for “top-up” payments later on for access to the Single Market.
In every conceivable way, this is a betrayal of the Brexit that the British people voted for. The U.K. must continue to pay, be under the rule of foreign nation’s courts, and has constitutionally divided the once great union. The people have been sold down the river.
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