British Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech in Florence outlining exactly what the UK’s Brexit positioning will be; all Brexiteers were shocked and appalled. Many, including Brexit front man, Nigel Farage, think this is a “Betrayal of Brexit.” She began her speech by outlining that she wanted an arrangement that would work for both Britain and the European Union, but went on to make a series of major concessions on sovereignty, freedom of movement, payments, and legal supremacy.
She said that after the official Brexit date (March 19th, 2019 according to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty), Britain would enter a transitional arrangement which would last a further two years. This will be a total of almost five years since the British people, in the nation’s largest-ever democratic effort, voted to leave the EU.
During this transitional time, the Free Movement of People (open borders) will continue unfettered with little more than a registering restriction in place. Also, during that period, the UK will remain tied into the laws of the European Union. It is unclear if this includes new laws that the EU Commission may make during that transitional period. The legal supremacy of the EU Commission was one of the primary reasons that the UK public voted to leave.
In addition, Prime Minister May has offered to guarantee the rights of EU citizens residing in the UK. This was an area that all sides of the campaign called for, but Theresa May has said that EU Courts would hold some power over British courts in relation to this. She said:
“I’m clear the guarantee I’m giving on your rights is real, and I doubt anyone with real experience of the U.K. would doubt the independence of our courts or of the rigour with which they will uphold people’s legal rights.
I want to incorporate our agreement fully into U.K. law and make sure U.K. courts can refer directly to it.
When there is uncertainty around underlying E.U. law, I want the U.K. courts to be able to take into account the judgment in the European court of justice with a view to ensuring consistent interpretation. On this basis, I hope our teams can reach firm agreement quickly.”
Many view this as a betrayal of everything that 17.4 million Britons voted for in the EU Referendum. It was, however, expected. During the campaign, Theresa May made it very clear that she was on the Remain side, and thought that leaving the European Union was a bad idea.
The British people are angry, feel betrayed, and are in need of someone strong, focused and decent to represent them properly. Will Brexit front man Nigel Farage step back into frontline politics?