Boris Johnson’s “tangled web” of contradictory promises is unravelling - showing why he cannot be trusted to solve the Brexit crisis - People's Vote

Boris Johnson’s “tangled web” of contradictory promises is unravelling - showing why he cannot be trusted to solve the Brexit crisis

The People’s Vote campaign today publishes a list of contradictory promises Boris Johnson has made to different groups of MPs in recent days as he attempts to force his destructive Brexit through Parliament – and on to the people.

Commenting, Wes Streeting MP, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:

“Boris Johnson is prepared to promise anything to anyone in order to force his awful Brexit deal on this country at any cost.

“He promised Parliament on Saturday it would be able to prevent a No Deal crash out at the end of 2020, but the Withdrawal Agreement Bill hands the decision over whether to seek an extension of the transition period to the Government.

“He assured us on Saturday ‘there will be no border down the Irish Sea’, only for his Brexit Secretary to admit yesterday there will be checks on goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“He promised there was no prospect of lower standards than in Europe on the environment and workers’ rights, but the Bill leaves these vital protections open to attack from the hard-right backers of his Brexit plan.

“In the three days since he tried to force MPs to vote on his hard Brexit proposals, he has broken promise after promise.

“That’s why we need full and proper scrutiny of the Bill, rather than three days of railroaded debate. And it is why the public should be allowed to scrutinise Boris Johnson’s Brexit and compare it to our current deal through a People’s Vote.

“Boris Johnson cannot be trusted to solve this Brexit crisis. It’s time to trust the people.”

 

Workers’ rights:

  • BORIS JOHNSON IS PROMISING: Workers’ rights will “never be inferior to those of the EU”.

 

Greg Clark:           Will my right hon. Friend give a commitment, in law if necessary, that workers’ rights in this country will never be inferior to those of the European Union?

Boris Johnson:     Yes, I certainly can.
Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 

  • BUT HE IS ALSO PROMISING: “[Parliament] will be able to decide whether it is right to implement it in UK law.”

 

“Yes, of course, it is open to this House and this country to strengthen workers’ rights beyond the standards in the EU. As I said, every new regulation or directive that comes from Brussels on this matter will, of course, be capable of being scrutinised by this House, which will be able to decide whether it is right to implement it in UK law. It seems to me that we cannot say fairer than that. We can go further than the EU, but we can also track it if we choose.”

Boris Johnson, Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 

Environment:

  • BORIS JOHNSON IS PROMISING: “We will indeed have higher standards of protection for animal welfare, the environment and other matters.”

 

“I can indeed give that assurance, and I can tell my hon. Friend, who campaigned to leave the EU for those reasons among others, we will indeed have higher standards of protection for animal welfare, the environment and other matters.”

Boris Johnson, Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 

  • BUT HE IS ALSO PROMISING: “[Parliament] will be able to decide whether it is right to implement it in UK law.”

 

“Yes, of course, it is open to this House and this country to strengthen workers’ rights beyond the standards in the EU. As I said, every new regulation or directive that comes from Brussels on this matter will, of course, be capable of being scrutinised by this House, which will be able to decide whether it is right to implement it in UK law. It seems to me that we cannot say fairer than that. We can go further than the EU, but we can also track it if we choose.”

Boris Johnson, Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 

Future relationship:

  • BORIS JOHNSON IS PROMISING: Parliament will get to decide what future relationship we have: “I can certainly give that commitment.”

 

Philip Hammond:               Before I decide whether to jump on the Prime Minister’s bus, I would like to be just a little clearer about the destination; I would like to be reassured that it remains the deep and special partnership with the European Union that we promised the British people in our 2017 election manifesto. In the absence of the UK-wide backstop, which has now gone from the package, the best way to give us that reassurance is to ensure a proper role for Parliament in the process of the future negotiations. So could the Prime Minister today make a commitment to accept the Nandy-Snell amendments, which the previous Government agreed would prevail?

Boris Johnson:                   I can certainly give that commitment.

Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 

  • BUT HE IS ALSO PROMISING: Under the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, any objectives for the future relationship “must be consistent with the political declaration of 17 October 2019”, limiting Parliament’s ability to make substantive changes.

 

Withdrawal Agreement Bill, GOV.UK, 21 October 2019, page 33,https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841006/EU__Withdrawal_Agreement__Bill.pdf#page=37

 

No Deal at the end of 2020:

  • BORIS JOHNSON IS PROMISING: Parliament will be able to prevent No Deal at the end of transition: “I can certainly give that commitment”.

 

Philip Hammond:               Before I decide whether to jump on the Prime Minister’s bus, I would like to be just a little clearer about the destination; I would like to be reassured that it remains the deep and special partnership with the European Union that we promised the British people in our 2017 election manifesto. In the absence of the UK-wide backstop, which has now gone from the package, the best way to give us that reassurance is to ensure a proper role for Parliament in the process of the future negotiations. So could the Prime Minister today make a commitment to accept the Nandy-Snell amendments, which the previous Government agreed would prevail?

Boris Johnson:                   I can certainly give that commitment.

Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 

  • BUT HE IS ALSO PROMISING: He has told Peter Bone, and likely other members of the ERG, that “we will leave the transition period on 31 December 2020 and no later”, and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill only allows Parliament to rubber stamp an extension if the government chooses to propose one.

 

Peter Bone:          I will vote for his deal if it’s made clear in the Commons today that we will leave the transition period on the 31st December 2020 and no later.

Naga Munchetty: And he’s [Boris Johnson] told you that he will anyway?

Peter Bone:          Yes.

Naga Munchetty: So it’s a yes?

Peter Bone:          Let’s have it in public.

BBC News, 19 October 2019, https://twitter.com/Haggis_UK/status/1185444386534023168

 

Withdrawal Agreement Bill, GOV.UK, 21 October 2019, page 33,https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841006/EU__Withdrawal_Agreement__Bill.pdf#page=37

 

Northern Ireland:

  • BORIS JOHNSON IS PROMISING: “There will be no border down the Irish sea.”

 

“There will be no border down the Irish sea. There are already checks for epidemiological purposes. There will be some customs checks, yes, but there will be no tariffs. There will be a single united customs union between all four nations of the UK, as she would expect.”

Boris Johnson, Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 

  • BUT HE IS ALSO PROMISING: Steve Barclay has conceded that there will be checks between goods moving between GB and NI, and the official impact assessment of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill says this will involve an administrative burden costing up to £56 per declaration.

 

Lord Wood:         Under your proposals, will Northern Ireland businesses that trade with Great Britain have to complete export declaration?

Steve Barclay:      Just to be clear the exit summary declarations will be required in terms of Northern Ireland to GB.

Lords EU Committee, 21 October 2019,  https://twitter.com/peoplesvote_uk/status/1186282116507680768

 

Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be required to complete both import declarations and Entry Summary (ENS) Declarations because the UK will be applying the EU’s UCC in Northern Ireland. […] HMRC has produced estimates of the administrative burden to traders on a per declaration basis, based upon historical UK-RoW trade. This ranges from £15 to £56 per declaration, depending on factors such as whether a business outsources the process to a customs agent, but it may not be possible to translate the same 87 estimates to Great Britain to Northern Ireland movements.

Withdrawal Agreement Bill Impact Assessment, GOV.UK, 22 October 2019, page 55,https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841013/EU__Withdrawal_Agreement__Bill_Impact_Assessment_.pdf#page=55

 

Transition period:

  • BORIS JOHNSON IS PROMISING: As per the Withdrawal Agreement, that “Union law will be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period.”

 

RECOGNISING that, even if Union law will be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period, the specificities of the United Kingdom as a State having withdrawn from the Union mean that it will be important for the United Kingdom to be able to take steps to prepare and establish new international arrangements of its own, including in areas of Union exclusive competence, provided such agreements do not enter into force or apply during that period, unless so authorised by the Union,

Draft Withdrawal Agreement, 19 October 2019, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/840655/Agreement_on_the_withdrawal_of_the_United_Kingdom_of_Great_Britain_and_Northern_Ireland_from_the_European_Union_and_the_European_Atomic_Energy_Community.pdf

 

  • BUT HE IS ALSO PROMISING: The UK will not have to follow “injurious or vexatious legislation coming from the EU during the implementation period" He said on Saturday: "I can certainly give him the assurance that we will have such protection.”

 

“He raises an important point about our ability to protect this country from injurious or vexatious legislation coming from the EU during the IP. I can certainly give him the assurance that we will have such protection.”

Boris Johnson, Hansard, 19 October 2019, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-19/debates/8C3F5267-8186-4536-83EC-56E3C88DCC8E/PrimeMinister%E2%80%99SStatement

 /ends