“After two years the government has finally published a Brexit white paper.
It runs to 104 pages but is full of so much muddled thinking,
desperation and fantasy that they could have done it in five and saved
us all a lot of time….
At the heart of the Brexit white paper proposals – and of the whole
future relationship negotiation really – is a simple question: who is in
charge? The EU wants to remain the boss of how trade operates. The UK
wants to have all the benefits of that trade, but also shared management
rights. It won’t accept the consequences of taking back control….
As a starting negotiating position, the Chequers statement was a real
step forward. But to write it all down in a white paper as if it were a
finalised model is fanciful and embarrassing.
If a paper like this was going to be published, they should have done
so just before they triggered Article 50. That was the right time for
it. It is the kind of thing you would expect to read as an opening
position statement. But it is not acceptable for this to be height of
their thinking now, with just weeks of negotiating time left.
It skirts over issues it needs to address instead of grappling with
them. It pretends to be describing a relationship of equals when it is
really acknowledging that the EU will make the rules. And it is
criminally vague and deluded on matters which at this stage should be
dealt with in specific and detailed terms”