Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Boris Binning the Backstop Isn't Brexit


1. This Agreement – even without the 'Backstop' - will put the UK under the de facto jurisdiction of a group of 27 foreign powers, leaving the UK powerless to veto laws or procedures affecting the UK and its citizens. (Articles 4, 86, 87, 89, 132, 168, 174)

2. The EU27 can make decisions behind closed doors which can profoundly affect British businesses, citizens, and the economy. They can impose new taxes on the UK and prevent state aid, crippling vital industries as well as the UK's all-important financial sector. Parliament will be able to do nothing about it. (Articles 86, 93, 95, 132 (2c), 159)

3. It gives the EU an effective veto on our foreign policy too. We will not be allowed to undertake "any action or initiative" which the EU thinks might damage the EU's interests, and it positions UK defence under the EU Global Strategy, threatening our position in the 'Five Eyes' intelligence alliance, and unacceptably constraining our freedom of action on the world stage. (Articles 129, 132, 156-157)

4. Any amended Northern Ireland Protocol will impose existing and new Single Market rules, with no UK say over them, and it will effectively split off Northern Ireland, breaking the United Kingdom in two. (Protocol Ireland/NI, esp. Art.6)

5. The UK will remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. This will last during 'transition' and the agreement makes provision to extend this until 01 Jan 2023. (Articles 4, 6(2), 87, 95, 128, 132, 158, 168, 174)

6. In some parts of the law, British courts will have to obey the EU's courts for over 100 years. (Article 39)

7. We will have no control of our waters for the UK's fishermen and we will not be able to make ourselves more competitive on the world stage for our industry or service sectors. (Articles 130, 185 (Art. 6 of the NI Protocol); Article 129 (7))No trade deals, a continuation of the trade deficit, and continuing to subsidise the EU27.

8. The UK will have no right to do international free trade deals – a key economic benefit of Brexit – because it must stick to protectionist EU tariffs. The British public will not benefit from an independent trade policy, which would result in cheaper imported goods and stronger exports. (Articles 40-49, 75-78, 127, 129 (4), 132)

9. The EU can do new free trade agreements with other countries, and the UK will have to match the new lower tariffs, but the countries involved will not have to offer the new low tariffs to the UK. (See 8. above)

10. Instead, our £100bn annual trade deficit with the EU will continue – a deficit which means lost jobs and lost money which could be spent on services, infrastructure and investment at home.

11. The Agreement will mean the UK paying the biggest divorce settlement in history, over £39 billion, with no new UK-EU trade deal in return. The final amount will be decided by the EU, with no say by the UK. (138-144, 152-155)This is not Brexit in any way, shape, or form, and doesn't even give us a trade deal.

12. The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration – even without 'the Backstop' - lock the UK into a continuing and subservient relationship with the EU, agreeing to match and 'build upon' current arrangements, giving away money, sovereignty, laws, and even decisions on the very composition of the United Kingdom itself. 

The UK will not be a truly sovereign nation until we leave the EU completely. A clean-break Brexit is now the only way to go forward.

For more on this go to 

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames