Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
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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.

A Re-heated Vassalage Treaty will be the Mother of All Betrayals


The week of 14th – 19th October will be one of the momentous weeks in British political history. Prime Minister Johnson will attend an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th October. On Saturday 19th October, the House of Commons will sit in emergency session for the first time since 1982.

During this summit he will potentially agree a new UK-EU Treaty before the UK leaves the EU, and if so, Parliament is expected to vote on ratifying it on Saturday.

The contents of any such 'Boris Treaty' are as yet unknown.

Theresa May attempted three times to get a Vassalage Treaty ratified by Parliament. Her Vassalage Treaty was always referred to as a 'Withdrawal Agreement' by the government and mainstream media – a propagandist phrase used to deflect the British people away from understanding its permanent, debilitating consequences for the UK.

More deliberate confusion has been sown over the last three and a half years over the difference between a Free Trade Agreement and a Treaty. The word 'deal' has been used to refer to both, when they are as different as day and night.

A Free Trade Agreement where the UK and the EU continue to trade tariff-free in goods and services and recognise equivalence between each other's regulations would be mutually beneficial.

A new Treaty, however, is unlikely to do anything less than lock the UK into Single Market and Customs Union regulations, ECJ judgements, EU defence architecture and EU fishing quotas either permanently or for the foreseeable future, with the added disadvantage that the UK will be required to pay at least £39,000,000,000 for its masochistic servitude. The grave danger to the UK is that Boris Johnson agrees to a re-heated version of Theresa May's Vassalage Treaty which will do all of this and worse.

If a treaty is signed on Friday, it will be the height of irresponsibility for Parliament to rubber stamp it on Saturday without any proper scrutiny whatsoever. A new Treaty containing hundreds of articles, annexes, appendices, protocols and references needs to be thoroughly dissected, reviewed and cross-referenced by legal experts to understand the implications of every last detail and its implications for the UK and our trade, fisheries, agriculture, environment, finances, borders and laws.

This cannot be done in haste. It will need many days if not weeks to dissect such an important Treaty and understand it consequences, even if it is an entirely new document to Theresa May's Vassalage Treaty. This is a huge trap: in order to leave on 31st October with a new Treaty, proper scrutiny will have to be foregone. Thus, Parliament will have to ratify it immediately in order to avoid an extension which will become necessary in order to undertake the scrutiny needed for such new Treaty with such profound and permanent consequences for the future of our nation.

The only way to leave the EU in full is to leave without signing a new Treaty. This is what the 17. 4 million voted for – simply to leave the EU. The nation did not vote to come out of the Lisbon Treaty to sign a new Treaty which locks us into the EU system all over again.

If such a Treaty is signed on Friday and ratified on Saturday it will be the mother of all betrayals.

David Kurten

Brexit Alliance London Assembly Member 

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