There have been a series of Brexit speeches recently to outline the potential relationship the UK will have with the EU. It started with Jeremy Corbyn outlining Labour’s vision, then Liam Fox, finally Theresa May at Mansion House on Friday. The European Commission also this week delivered a draft withdrawal agreement to Mrs May.

Theresa May will face problems after fresh amendments were tabled to a key Brexit bill, Boris Johnson has made the Brexit news with an absurd comparison plus more

Sovereignty and Ireland

Fresh amendments were tabled to a key Brexit bill which would force ministers to give MPs and peers the power to amend or veto dozens of potential deals, this comes after fears that the government will force through multiple bills regarding EU deals with no parliamentary scrutiny.

This will of course anger hardened leavers because the idea of parliamentary sovereignty only stretches to the implementation of Article 50 after the referendum result. The amendments are designed to hold the government to account because the deals will impact everyone in society but likely to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable and poorest.

The European Commission delivered a draft withdrawal agreement this week that outlined plans to keep Northern Ireland in the customs union, allowing goods to past freely from the north to the Republic. However, Theresa May rejected the plans and vowed that it would never happen, Donald Tusk responded by asking the PM for a “better idea” to prevent a hard border.

Unfortunately, the DUP, who prop up Theresa May, have significant influence and they are against any form of customs union.

The Irish problem that the government face is seemingly looked down on by the government as a non-issue, after Boris Johnson this week claimed that remainers were using it to score political points, he also compared the lack of the border with London Boroughs of Westminster and Camden.

This comparison is inexcusable and insulting to the Irish people because he compared centuries of oppression, violence and forced famine by the British, eventually culminating in a civil war that led to the partition of Ireland. This displaced many citizens from their homes, saw the persecution of Catholics in the northern territories of Ireland which eventually led to another war with the British using terrorism as a weapon, to moving between two London borough.

Friction or frictionless?

During the first part of the talks, rights for EU citizens was a sticking point along with Ireland. But eventually there was an agreement made, however, now May has abandoned a Brexit red line by agreeing that during the transition period, EU citizens who arrive will have the same rights as those who arrived before. This is a positive step in the right direction and it will at least appease the likes of Donald Tusk. Normally this would be called a U-turn, however, that implies that the government had a direction they were heading in the first place.

There has been constant talk of frictionless trade deals with the EU upon leaving, with key leavers, stating that this is possible, but Donald Tusk spoke to business leaders in Brussels and stated that friction is an “inevitable side effect of Brexit by nature”.

Something leavers will vehemently deny and paint Tusk as the ‘enemy’. But Theresa May followed Jeremy Corbyn and Liam Fox in Brexit speeches, key points include a warning to the EU that not including financial services in a trade deal will hurt them too, telling the British public that they must face up to some hard facts and announcing that the UK will seek to remain in EU agencies. The latter feat would be easier with a customs union.