The Somerset Guardian, 21st October 2020

On 31st January 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) finally left the European Union (EU) following the referendum vote in 2016.

Further to the formalities of our departure being ironed out, the Prime Minister has made great effort to strike a trade deal with the EU. However, an arrangement has not materialised since those in the EU responsible for securing a resolution have stymied our attempts at a Canada-style agreement, based on friendship and free trade, being established.

Consequently, the prospect of no final trade agreement has been brought to the fore once again in spite of the Premier’s best efforts and the UK’s compliance with the withdrawal agreement by paying the obligatory fees, obeying EU laws and respecting the transition period, all without voting rights.

From the outset, the Prime Minister has pushed for the benefits of negotiating the terms and conditions of our future doing business with the EU as an independent state. This is why, in a letter to all Members of Parliament (MPs) and Peers, Boris Johnson has asked Parliamentarians to prepare themselves for an Australian-style scenario from 1st January 2021 formulated around the simple principles of global free trade with an emphasis on protecting the UK’s sovereignty and fisheries.

Whilst I am pleased that headway has been made in areas such as aviation, social security and nuclear cooperation, it is a pity that during these uncertain times the EU continues with insincere negotiations and preferential treatment of other countries. This is the type of conduct that led to over half the electorate wanting to withdraw in the first place. I am, therefore, pleased that the Prime Minister is standing firm, putting the best interests of our nation first.

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