The Most Important Aspect of the Brexit Trade Deal
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that he had finally agreed on a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union. Reviews of the deal are already in, and they’re surprisingly positive.
But these reviews all come with a crucial caveat: The deal is 1,249 pages of dense legal language; it could take months before we fully understand all its implications.
Today, the deal was approved unanimously by ambassadors from the 27 EU member states. With both Labour and the Conservative parties promising to back it, it seems set to sail easily through Parliament and become law by the end of the year.
On the surface, Prime Minister Johnson has signed a deal that removes Europe’s control from Britain. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said that while the deal was “not perfect” the negotiators “have done far better than their predecessors and they do deserve some credit.”
Melanie Phillips asked, “Has the UK achieved the apparently impossible? Has it forced the EU finally to acknowledge that it needed to make real concessions in order to avoid the (for it) calamitous prospect of no-deal? If so, this will have proved the point that was so sneeringly dismissed for so long: that the only way to get a deal in the UK’s interests was for the UK to threaten to walk away with no deal—and to mean it.”
If so, she wrote that “this will have been a most remarkable triumph for both Boris Johnson and his chief negotiator, Lord Frost.” And again, there’s the critical caveat: “if.”
Peter North, another pro-Brexiteer who’s been very critical of Mr. Johnson, wrote that the deal “successfully changes our relationship from being a subordinate of a supranational authority to a sovereign equal in a wider community of technical regulation.”
The treaty removes Britain from the single market. Britain will still be able to trade with the EU without any tariffs or quotas, but trade won’t be as smooth as before. There will be more paperwork to show the goods meet EU standards and a whole set of “rules of origin” regulation to prove goods were actually produced in Britain, not brought in from another country.
I use “Britain” deliberately here. Northern Ireland will remain in the single market. There will still be an invisible barrier in the Irish Sea dividing Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. With tariff-free trade, that barrier will not be very substantial, but it will still exist.
In return for those slightly higher barriers to trade, Britain gets independence. British law is no longer subordinate to EU law. The European Court of Justice holds no role in the UK. The UK and EU are equals signing a deal with each other. If members of the EU believe British law gives it unfair competition, they can refer the question to a neutral arbitration panel—they can’t introduce sanctions unilaterally.
As Mr. Farage pointed out, some parts are far short of perfect—it gives the EU a lot of control over our fish, for example. But it looks like the deal many Brexiteers wanted—and many remainers said was impossible.
The deal does contain a lot of regulation. As Richard North wrote, “One of the greatest misnomers of this modern world is the term ‘free trade.’ We have managed trade.” It’s overseen by about 20 different councils and committees. Peter North warns that Britain may have escaped Brussels’ direct rule—only to see the same rules imposed by a cloud of international regulatory bodies. These are good points. The EU’s way of managing trade through regulations, committees and experts has gone global. Earlier in the year, I explained how even America has failed to escape it.
But it would take a bigger revolution than Brexit to free the country of this. The big takeaway from the deal is that we are finally and properly leaving the EU.
Even if you don’t live in the UK, this has a critical and practical lesson for you. Brexit is a clear and direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Herbert W. Armstrong spent decades warning about world events based on Bible prophecy. He consistently said Britain would not be in a soon-coming European superstate.
In 1945, broadcasting as World War II ended, Mr. Armstrong predicted that Germany would rise again within “a European union.” This union, he was adamant, would not include the UK. When Britain joined in 1973, he said that Britain would not be part of the superpower that would rise out of the Common Market.
Today it is clearer than ever that he was right. How could he make these forecasts with such boldness?
It is because the Bible prophesied Brexit. If you’re unfamiliar with what Mr. Armstrong taught, that could sound like an outlandish statement. Does the Bible really speak so specifically about news events in our time?
In my article “Brexit Was Prophesied!” I explain the answer. I give you the broad outlines of what Mr. Armstrong taught, and show you where in the Bible he got his dramatic forecast.
If you really want to understand world events, I encourage you to read it. And once you understand that the Bible is so powerful and specific, you can build a relationship with that book that will change your life.