That trade deal, Mr Johnson…

The timeline for when the UK will agree a Brexit trade deal with the EU keeps slipping but there isn’t much time left before the transition period ends and we otherwise crash out. 

Ahead of the crucial EU summit this Thursday, we want you to remind Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the type of trade deal he agreed to, when he signed the UK-EU Political Declaration last year, by signing our open letter.

He may have forgotten, but the document he signed pledged “a level playing field”, maintaining “environmental, social and employment standards at the current high levels”, a security partnership comprised of “judicial cooperation in criminal matters” and protecting the Good Friday Agreement, amongst other things.

If Boris Johnson doesn’t manage to negotiate a Brexit deal that adheres to all of the pledges he made in the Political Declaration he will have failed those who voted to Leave – when he promised them a deal better than our EU membership – and those who voted to Remain, after saying he would be a “prime minister for everyone.”

Here’s the letter

“Dear Prime Minister,

You have just a narrow window left to secure the “comprehensive” Brexit trade deal you promised and we, the undersigned, want to remind you of just some of the things that you signed up to in the agreed UK-EU Political Declaration, which we expect you to deliver on.

– A deal with “no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all sectors”
– “A level playing field for open and fair competition” and maintaining “environmental, social and employment standards at the current high levels”
– Aiming to deliver “a level of liberalisation in trade in services well beyond the Parties’ World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments” which covers “professional and business services… financial services… and other services of mutual interest”
– A security partnership comprised of “judicial cooperation in criminal matters”, UK cooperation in Europol and Eurojust, agreeing extradition arrangements and agreements for exchanges of information on wanted or missing persons and of criminal records
– A “continued commitment to respect the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights”
– Negotiating an intellectual property rights agreement and a public procurement agreement that goes beyond WTO standards
– Protecting the Good Friday Agreement

You said during last year’s general election campaign that the Brexit deal was “oven ready”, more recently that there was “no reason why we shouldn’t get this done in July” and decided not to extend the transition period to allow for more negotiation time.

Therefore, if you fail to secure a Brexit deal, including the above promises, you cannot blame the EU or the pressures of coronavirus. Furthermore, in this situation, you will have failed those who voted to Leave on the promise of a better future for Britain, as well as those who voted to Remain, when you told them you would be a “prime minister for everyone.”