Next year, as Conservative eurosceptics pored over the specifics of his trade agreement with the EU, Boris Johnson promoted post-Brexit reforms to company taxes and regulation.
The Prime Minister said that Chancellor Rishi Sunak was “doing a big exercise on all of this,” at the moment, but the UK insisted. On workers’ rights or environmental standards, it will not backtrack.
When the 1,246-page agreement was formally released on Boxing Day morning – less than a week before its execution – criticism of the contract began in earnest.
The substitution of Erasmus after Brexit would cost more than £ 100 million next year.
Fierce criticism was quickly met by those working in the fishing industry who said they had been “sacrificed” in order to secure a deal with Brussels.
Although acknowledging that “the devil is in the detail” of the deal, the prime minister notes that he believes it will stand up to scrutiny by the European Research Community of the Brexiteers (ERG).
A self-styled ‘Star Chamber’ of lawyers, led by veteran Eurosceptic MP Sir Bill Cash, has been convened by the party to scrutinize the full text before the House of Commons vote.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph in the hours after the agreement was brokered on Thursday, Johnson said “a huge effort by the government” had gone into drawing up plans on Dec. 31 for the end of the Brexit transition phase.
However, he claimed that “might not have been fruitful” to publicly address them during the talks, citing animal care, data and chemicals alongside current proposals for the creation of low-tax free ports.
The deal requires promises not to fall behind, a point of contention for some Brexiteers, on labor rights and environmental standards.
Mr. Johnson, however, said, “All that really says is that the UK will not immediately send children down chimneys or pour raw sewage over its beaches. We’re not going to go backwards, and that’s to be expected.”
The Prime Minister added that his chancellor is “doing a great exercise on business taxes and regulation” as he tries to use “legislative and regulatory freedoms to help people who feel left behind.”
Mr. Sunak said a “new era” for the nation will begin next year as he vowed to invest in the country to “create opportunity for all” by investing in infrastructure and “rewarding risk takers and entrepreneurs.”
“I want next year to be the beginning of something much more meaningful for all of us. A moment to look afresh at the world and the opportunities it presents and how we can seize them,” the chancellor wrote on Sunday in the Mail.
As his team studied the fine print of the deal, Senior Conservative backbencher Sir Bill said “sovereignty is the key issue” but there were indications that senior Brexit hardliners were planning to back the deal despite being frustrated by the limited time they had to negotiate it.
The UK remains a reliable partner. To fulfill our common global objectives, we will stand shoulder to shoulder.
But let’s turn the page now and look forward to the future.
I say to all Europeans: the time has come to bring Brexit behind us.
In Europe, our future is in the making. QefWjB5KdHH.com/Pic.twitter.com
-December 24, 2020, Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen).
The chief negotiator of No 10, Lord Frost, hailed the agreement as the beginning of a “moment of national renewal,” which he said implies that the UK will “set its own laws again” by ensuring that the ECJ will “no longer a role”
Nevertheless, Mr. Johnson was accused by the chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation (NFFO), Barrie Deas, of “going all out” on fishing quotas to gain “only a fraction of what the UK has a right to under international law”
Mr. Deas said that the prime minister had “sacrificed” fishing to other goals, with the problem proving to be a persistent sticking point during talks as they failed to find an agreement by the end of the transition period on Dec. 31.
The fact that it was forecast by many does not make it any less galling. The Tories have once again deceived Scottish fisheries. Promises that they knew could not be maintained were broken. Letters https://t.co/2oOV7nazm4
—The Nicola Stur