Ben Habib: We haven’t actually had Brexit yet
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Brexiteer and former politician Ben Habib insisted the protocol is one of the last obstacles the UK still faces before Brexit is fully delivered. Mr Habib argued several aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement struck with the European Union, including fisheries, need to be renegotiated to ensure Brexit Britain is fully independent. The post-Brexit fishing deal with France is one of the many issues of contention that the UK Government is having as French vessels continue to reclaim the right to fish in UK waters.
Asked about Brexit during Iain Dale’s Cross Question Time on LBC, Ben Habib said: “Obviously this is a subject close to my heart, we have not actually Brexited yet.
“The definition of Brexit was for the country to leave the European Union as one United Kingdom and we’ve left Northern Ireland effectively substantially behind.”
He added: “You might be aware, together with a few other people I have taken the Government to court over this subject.
“So we have got a judicial review of the Northern Ireland protocol going through the appeals court in Northern Ireland at the moment.”
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Mr Habib then went on to say: “The worst aspect undoubtedly about the agreement was the Northern Ireland protocol but every other aspect of the withdrawal agreement was also bad.
“The trade and operation agreement, I think was a wretched agreement because it broke again the other manifesto promises that the Prime Minister made about Brexit.
“For example, when he said we wouldn’t be politically aligned with the European Union, we are actually in a level playing field on a dynamic basis unable to regress from European Union standards on competition law, employment law, tax matters, state aid.
“You know fundamental aspects of governance.”
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The former politician continued: “We’re locked into the European Union the more obvious manifestation of our alignment with the EU is in the fishing rights that they have all the way down to our six-mile limit.”
“Until 2026 is what they say but the only deviation allowed after 2026, you won’t hear any Government Minister saying this but you can read the document yourself.”
“The only deviation allowed after 2026 is through mutual agreement if there is economical or environmental damage being done by the fishing quotas at that point in time,” Ben said as he began to discuss the contentious fishing deal with France and the UK.
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The former Brexit Party MEP added: “We don’t have a unilateral right to vary fishing quotas after 2026 if any Minister and Government tells you that they’re simply lying.
“We do not have control of our waters, we don’t have control of our laws, we don’t have control of Northern Ireland. So what we have is a kind of bastardisation of Brexit.
“We haven’t really got Brexit and it’s a great shame, it’s not really, well it is the Prime Ministers fault but he did have a majority at the time that he signed the withdrawal agreement”
“I think it would have been better if he didn’t run off to Mustique and he actually stayed in the United Kingdom and perhaps tried to renegotiate that awful withdrawal agreement.”
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