Updated: Jan 4, 2021
Matthew Goodwin is professor of politics at the University of Kent. He is the co-author of National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. He begins his article with these words:
For some Prime Ministers, their premierships are defined by one thing. Winston Churchill and the war, Anthony Eden and Suez, Tony Blair and Iraq, Gordon Brown and the financial crisis, David Cameron and that referendum. For Boris Johnson, it will be Brexit.
True, Johnson’s relatively short time in office has been dominated by the pandemic. But his premiership was both created and defined by Brexit; it was a response to a crisis that our political system showed itself unable to resolve. From the very beginning, it was anchored in a promise to do what MPs had shown themselves incapabable of doing – to Get Brexit Done.
By securing the Withdrawal Agreement, and now a Brexit trade deal, Johnson has delivered what so many of his critics said could not be delivered. And along the way he has challenged our understanding of him as a leader and politician. While many said that he would prefer a no-deal over the withdrawal agreement, he went for the latter; while many said that he would prefer a no-deal over a trade deal, he went for the latter; and while much of our increasingly shrill media and Twitterati has presented him as an ideological zealot, comparable to the likes of Donald Trump, he has once again shown himself to be what many people on these islands consider themselves to be — a pragmatist.
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Since uploading this article, the so-called Star Chamber of legal advisers to the European Research Group of Conservative Parliamentarians, which includes Lawyers for Britain Chairman Martin Howe QC, has now produced its verdict on the deal: ERG Legal Advisory Committee Opinion on EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
This highly condensed opinion deals only with the central question of whether the deal preserves the UK’s legal and practical sovereignty, and not the wider merits and demerits of the deal. Lawyers for Britain are undertaking further work on different aspects of the Agreement, and importantly on regaining the UK’s sovereignty from the Withdrawal Agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol, which remain in force alongside this new deal. That remains unfinished business.
Since uploading the above articles, David Collins who is Professor of International Economic Law City, University of London, has written this article for Global Vision dated 04.01.21:
Level Playing Field obligations under the Brexit agreement unlikely to impact UK’s regulatory goals
The Level Playing Field (LPF) obligations contained in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) have drawn much attention for their supposed potential to tie the UK into the EU’s regulatory sphere on a permanent basis. But a close reading of these provisions and the rebalancing mechanism through which they can be enforced suggests otherwise. It is doubtful that these obligations will have much impact on the UK’s regulatory goals.
The full article in pdf can be downloaded here: