THE Withdrawal Agreement must be denounced. I have campaigned against the agreement ever since it was first mooted and have campaigned to ditch it ever since it was signed.
Many in the Conservative Party, including Iain Duncan Smith, now also agree it must go. Only the Government remains to be convinced. The vote for Brexit was first and foremost a vote of confidence in the UK. It was a declaration by the British people that they want to be independent, to stand on their own two feet and that they have the ability to do so.
They had experienced more than 40 years of anti-democratic political and economic governance and they wanted it gone.
Instead of rewarding this brave decision by fulfilling it our political class, pregnant with Remainers, embarked upon a campaign to undermine that self-confidence.
Four years of project fear ensued. During this time we were told we could not survive in the World on our own; that the halcyon days of yesteryear were behind us, never to return; Britain is incapable of trading independently; it is a country in decline and that the best way to manage its affairs would be to allow some Europeans to do it for us.
We would have none of it. We stood firm and we gave the nay-sayers the proverbial two fingers.
Thank goodness we saw off the EU-collaborator forces of Remain. Thank goodness we were eventually able to elect a Government that promised at last to get Brexit done. Thank goodness Project Fear is dead.
But still our governing class has not fully got the message. Throughout 2020 our Government has pursued the EU for a trade deal. In return EU commissioners and their negotiators have treated us with contemptuous arrogance.
They have insisted Britain follows their over restrictive one sided laws – the dreaded level playing; they have insisted on fishing in our waters; they are still trying to tie our forces into their command structures and they have offered us NOTHING positive in return.
They have treated us like this not because the UK is worthy of contempt. They have done so because they fear an independent competitive UK.
In fact the EU’s attitude reveals more faith in the UK than has our own governing class.
They want us tied into the level playing field so they can force us to buy their goods, prevent us from levying tariffs on subsidised EU products, prevent us from buying British first, prevent us from cutting red tape which fetters both our businesses and the City, prevent us from cutting taxes and much more besides.
And it is precisely because they are seeking to prevent us all these liberties that we must insist on them.
There is nothing good for the UK in the 572 pages of the Withdrawal Agreement – not a single thing.
The agreement also puts a border down the Irish Sea, leaving Northern Ireland behind in the EU.
It requires the partitioning of a Union that is over 200 years old, our precious union. To do so would be a national humiliation.
It is time for our Government to have the same confidence in the UK that the people do.
It is time to chart a path completely independent of the EU. This is why the Withdrawal Agreement must go. We should once again reclaim our true position as a nimble independent trading nation.
Fully enact the will of the people and show the EU two fingers – the best deal is no-deal.
Ben Habib Chairman of Brexit Watch, former MEP for London, and businessman