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Shadow EU

The content of the political declaration accompanying the Brexit withdrawal agreement explains why Brexiteer ministers Dominic Raab and Esther McVey walked out, and why Theresa May’s fate still hangs by a thread.

Once you strip away the rhetorical language of “an ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership”, the political declaration published yesterday will be seen by Brexiteers as a ‘surrender document’ containing page after page of subservience: UK subservience to the European Union. It is like a divorce settlement in which one party pledges to continue the relationship regardless of what the other side thinks.

The 26-page document, as much as is possible, seeks to align UK laws and regulations with those of the EU. From transport to trade, defence to data, energy and environment to foreign affairs and fisheries, the text talks glowingly of the UK and the EU’s 40-year shared history, remaining as “close as possible” and “aligning with union rules”.   

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