Radio Sputnik discussed the recent developments surrounding the draft agreement with Rodney Atkinson, founder of freenations.net website, one of Britain's most successful political economists and a former advisor to ministers.
Sputnik: Brexiteers have slammed Theresa May's plan saying it is far worse than feared. Is that the case?
Rodney Atkinson: It is perhaps the biggest betrayal by any British Prime Minister in our history. It is quite extraordinary that she claims success when […] the EU itself has clearly said ‘they, the British must align their rules with the EU and the EU will retain all the controls'. UK wants a much more future relationship so that the EU retains its leverage.
And of course, what is worse, what she has agreed will now be the basis for the future talks about any trading relationship.
So she has not only ended up in a worse position from when she started but she has also compromised a new really satisfactory trade deal for the future.
Sputnik: Well, it does appear that way. Now we have recently had the news that Dominic Raab has also resigned from the Cabinet. Is he discontent really is with the question marks around the whole agreement? Is this a back stock arrangement with the European Union, holding a veto over the UK ability to exit in their effort to develop future trade agreements globally? And that's the whole crooks of why the United Kingdom wanted to Brexit in the first place. So, a lot of people are saying it is a terrible deal and all the people who wanted to remain within the European Union are saying ‘it is a worse deal than what we have at the moment'. Do you agree with those sentiments?
Rodney Atkinson: Yes, it is quite extraordinary for a government to start off with a position which is totally unacceptable for British people who voted to leave that arrangement with the European Union, and then to end up with an even weaker position as a proposal.
In other words, we are accepting free movement, and Customs Union and Single market rules, the rule of the European Court of Justice, and in a position where we cannot of our own volition decide to leave.
I mean Mrs. May has acted not only treacherously about the referendum result but she has also betrayed many of the democratic principles of government. She set up a department for exiting the European Union and then effectively abolished it and took over the negotiations herself.
She has meetings with Cabinet colleagues who have no records of discussions took place, and then the Cabinet meetings claim to approve it. No specific vote, I understand, was taken and she has abandoned her red lines on the whole issue. It really is a despicable display of quasi-fascist government.
Sputnik: If what you are saying is true and I am sure like yourself I was glued to my twitter feed last night to pick up the various comments and statements that were coming out of London in Downing Street last night. There was a lot of conversation that the Cabinet was split 12 to 9…10 to 9, whatever it was there was going to be a rebellion: lots of people resigning, potentially a ‘Dominic effect'. Do you expect more resignations?
Rodney Atkinson: I am sure one of the arguments against the Prime Minister‘s deal is in Cabinet was that ‘okay, whether we agree with it or not, we know that Parliament will not agree to it.
So, it would be humiliating to put this nonsense before Parliament.' Therefore those ten or eleven or twelve, I don't know how many there were, Cabinet members who opposed it are probably thinking ‘well, perhaps we shouldn't resign yet. We will vote against it and then we post a resign after the vote in Parliament', I don't know. But it really is an extraordinary political and democratic situation.
And our farmers will be unable to produce what they could because of the common agricultural policy. Our fishermen will be unable to fish in our internationally recognized waters because of the Common Fisheries Policy.
We will still be in the Customs Union, our industry will be unable to cut import tariffs, we would be still unable to make any trade deals with, for instance with the USA, who are very willing to do so as indeed are all the Commonwealth countries.
As far as I know, we still have not any agreement on critical industrial issues like derivatives trade and data protection and medicines recognition. The whole thing is nothing but a disgrace. And as I say remarkably it leaves us in a weaker position than we were before we started.
Sputnik: It looks to me that the country would be better off to actually have a general election and have totally new players to actually get us out of this mess. But is that likely to happen because as we have mentioned before nobody is willing to actually to initiate the general election? Will it happen in the next few days do you think?
Rodney Atkinson: I don't think the general election is necessary. An election in the Conservative Party is necessary to kill out the May clique who has brought us to this embarrassing catastrophe.
But you got to remember that this is all being done in the name of the big business in Britain, in the whole European Union is based on […] by big business in Germany and France.
Big business in America tends to be, of course, on side of the European Union that eases their way into the Single Market. And all these people including most of the Labour party and the BBC are exactly the same forces that were appeasers of fascism in the 1930s and 1940s.
That's the position we have gotten back to and this is a disgrace for this country and for Europe to achieve that.
The views and opinions expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.