Debate Magazine

We Don't Need *a* Withdrawal Agreement

Posted on the 15 February 2019 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

The whole notion of having a single, all-encompassing EU Withdrawal Agreement was a nonsense from the start, even assuming a lot of goodwill and willingness to compromise on both sides. The whole notion is Remainer propaganda to make it all seem more complicated than it is.
The sensible thing to do is work on a case-by-case basis and have lots of little agreements, just as international relations are governed in the real world.
The starting position is leave everything running exactly as it is, making a few tweaks where necessary. Take EHIC cards, for example, that is an agreement between members of EU, EEA and Switzerland, we just change that to read "members of EU, EEA, Switzerland and the UK", and so on.
To give a few examples;
1. The airports, airlines, aviation authorities do their arrangements, which is lots of supra-national stuff, not really an EU thing.
2. The police and justice departments are responsible for extradition and deportation agreements, co-operation and information sharing. We can chuck the European Arrest Warrant in the shredder and revert to normal extradition rules.
3. Home Office agrees with corresponding department in each other country (or groups thereof) what the rules on emigration, immigration and right to reside are.
I have no idea how long this list would be (very long), but that doesn't matter, the people affected by cross-border and supra-national agreements know who they are and can get in touch with their counter-parties in other countries. Once they dig down, they'll find that most of this was never an EU-competence and so is barely affected by Brexit.
They can all work in parallel at the same time, they are the experts in their own area and know what needs to be done. The NHS/BMA knows about mutual recognition of qualifications of doctors and nurses, but they have no idea about world-wide rules on car safety standards, that doesn't matter. NHS/BMA do their bit, and the car manufacturers/transport ministries do their bit. There is no need for politicians to get involved, except in their capacity as minister responsible for a particular department.
Here endeth.

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