Behind the Headlines

“Theresa May accused of delivering 'blindfold Brexit' after admitting her deal leaves key questions unanswered”

Written on 11/24/2018



What’s the story?

EU and UK negotiators have agreed a 26-page political declaration on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. This has been met with strong opposition by MPs who have claimed the agreement is a “blindfold Brexit” where the majority of key issues are yet to be negotiated. Read more at The Independent.


How reliable is it?

Reliable. Theresa May presented the 26-page document to Parliament already last week and had to wait 40 minutes before any MP endorsed it. Numerous concerns were raised over the lack of clarity as to what the UK’s relationship with the EU will look like at the end of the transition period.


What’s the background?

  • Theresa May presented the draft agreement on a future relationship with Europe to Parliament last week and it met with criticism from both Labour and Conservative MPs. Evidence.
  • The 26-page draft document sets out the government’s proposed framework for collaboration with the EU which will require further negotiations after Brexit during the two year transition period. Evidence.
  • Theresa May said in January 2017 that she would “want us to have reached an agreement about our future partnership by the time the 2-year Article 50 process has concluded.” i.e. before Brexit. Evidence.
  • In the same month, the then Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, said in that “I believe that we can get a free trade and customs agreement concluded before March 2019.” Evidence.
  • MP’s from both sides of the House of Commons have voiced concerns over the minimal detail contained in the document and how much of the UK’s future relationship with the EU is still left to be negotiated. Evidence.
  • Jeremy Corbyn described it as “the ‘blindfold Brexit’ we all feared - a leap into the dark.” Evidence.
  • The proposed agreement provides no guarantee that that the UK will be able to use transnational tools like the European Arrest Warrant, Europol, EU Agencies or to participate in research programmes or student exchanges. Evidence.
  • The withdrawal agreement and the political declaration on the future framework will be voted on by the heads of state or government from the EU27 countries on 25 November at a Special meeting of the European Council. Evidence.
  • A qualified majority of votes is required for the withdrawal agreement to be accepted and progress to the next stage of ratification by the European Parliament. Evidence.
  • A qualified majority requires 55% of member countries vote representing at least 65% of the total EU population. Evidence.
  • Spain voting against if concessions are not made in the future negotiations surrounding Gibraltar would not cause it to be defeated on its own. Evidence.
    Photo courtesy  Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE) via flickr
    This Behind the Headlines Briefing was first published on the DoorstepEU app:  https://www.richardcorbett.org.uk/app/