FinancialGuy Writes!

Regulatory Alignment

Just two words – regulatory alignment – in Friday’s Brexit deal have enabled the game to move on in 2018, but at the same time, they might just have killed the whole thing.

If there is to be no hard border in Ireland or the Irish Sea, then the UK will need to remain within the Single Market and the Customs Union. In which case, the UK will need to maintain “regulatory alignment” with the EU for it to happen.

Staying within the Single Market was actually promised by all sides in the UK’s referendum, including the Conservative Party manifesto of David Cameron’s government. In which case, it seems that all this time after the referendum, we stand in a place that ought to have taken a few days to agree to.

However, if the UK remains within the Single Market, it will need to abide by huge swathes of EU laws and directives, but have no say over their text or formation. This has been argued against by the Brexiteers for months and I can understand why.

Now though, if agreement truly exists between the UK and EU on this matter, what is the point of continuing with Brexit? If the end goal is that the rules stay the same, but without the “sovereignty” that was promised, why bother? It feels to me as though the next stage of the Brexit negotiation is going to proceed just to make hardliners in the Conservative Party happy. What is the point of that? Surely Prime Minister May needs to stand up to them soon…?

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