13 September 2018
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
The Conservative minority government has, in the last couple of hours, released 28 documents detailing the impact of a no-deal Brexit on various parts of British life. This is something that should have been done before the referendum, or at very least, in preparation for the first meeting with the EU on Britain's withdrawal. The government should have started with what the risks are if nothing gets done. Instead, many of these disasters will come to pass by default. If there is any way to halt Article 50, this would be a good time to start.
Some of the differences are merely minor irritants. For instance, a British passport holder traveling to a Schengen area country may need a new passport. If the document is older than nine years six month on the date one intends to travel, it will not be acceptable. Most people won't notice the difference.
Others areas where the rules change without a deal affect only a handful in highly specific activities. The British space program, for instance, will undergo significant technical changes, but most Britons are unaware that their nation even has a space program.
In some fields, this will cause significant inconvenience to large numbers of people. Broadcasting and video-on-demand will get very complicated immediately. HM Government states, "You should be aware that you may need to have two licences. You would need an Ofcom licence for services receivable in the UK. An Ofcom licence can also cover services that are receivable in other ECTT countries (because under the ECTT those countries must recognise Ofcom licences). However, Ofcom licences would not be capable of covering services receivable in EU countries that are not party to the ECTT. There are seven such countries, in which a further licence may be needed. You should consider taking local legal advice on the licensing requirements in those countries." Clear as mud.
Then, there are the cases where Britain is simply cut off. Most damaging to struggling areas, "the UK's departure from the EU would mean UK organisations would be unable to access EU funding for European Regional Development Fund projects after exit day." That's it. No more money for loads of projects thanks to Brexit. And in all likelihood, the British government will not replace those funds. The programs will simply cease to function.
While that is bad, there are some areas where the situation will be worse because their status will be unclear. Civil law is going to be a mess. "Most of the EU rules operate on the basis of reciprocity between EU countries. If the UK continued to apply the rules unilaterally after exit, the UK's status as a third country would mean that EU countries would not consider the UK to be covered by these rules. As a result, UK citizens, businesses and families would not benefit from these rules.
"Because of this loss of reciprocity, in the event of a no-deal scenario, we would repeal most of the existing civil judicial cooperation rules and instead use the domestic rules which each UK legal system currently applies in relation to non-EU countries. In some specific areas, detailed below, we would retain elements of the current EU rules, where they either do not rely on reciprocity to operate or where they currently form the basis for our existing domestic or international rules."
Had these data been available before the referendum, had the potential cost of Brexit been clear, the Leave campaign would not have won. Based on the deception that lead to the ultimate result, there is a clear case to invalidate the decision, or at very least, hold a new referendum ratifying the ultimate deal or no-deal.
© Copyright 2018 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.