"Johnson Accord" on track, a step win for deregulation supporters

The endorsement given Tuesday by MEPs to the implementation of the agreement negotiated with the EU can, on paper, allow ultraliberals to realize their dream of creating a kind of "Singapore on the Thames".

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In London, in October 2017.
In London, in October 2017. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP

Dan Hannan is delighted. The British MEP, an ideologue of Brexit, who has been working for decades at the exit of the European Union, believes that the ambition of his life is about to come true. "For the United Kingdom, it's the beginning of a national renaissance, He said. In twenty years, we will look back, wondering what took us so long to leave. "

By voting on Tuesday 22 October for the application of the Brexit agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson with the EU, by 329 votes against 299, the British deputies have, for the first time, cleared a majority. However, they rejected the accelerated parliamentary process, which may require pushing back October 31, and there are still some twists. But the Grail seems at hand: "One way or another, we will leave the EU with this agreement," said Boris Johnson after the vote.

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This half-victory is that of the supporters of a certain vision of Brexit, carried especially by Mr. Hannan: economic deregulation, total free trade, opening of borders. "Singapore-on-Thames", cas his opponents have dubbed him. Her supporters, who have often grown up under former Conservative premier Margaret Thatcher, adulate the Iron Lady.

Borders open to American hormone beef and GMOs

This is a very different vision than Nigel Farage, another long-time Brexit lawyer, who focuses instead on reducing immigration and some form of protectionism.

Mr. Hannan does not reject the comparison with the Asian city-state. "Singapore has decided to accept unrestricted imports, without imposing standards, and today it is one of the richest places in the world. Public transport, education, aid to the poor are among the best. "

"The coal industry has disappeared, travel agencies have disappeared. They have been replaced by many new jobs "

He advocates a unilateral opening of British borders, removing tariffs and import standards. And so what if it kills certain sectors, such as the automobile industry, for example. "The coal industry has disappeared, travel agencies have disappeared. They have been replaced by many new jobs. And at the same time, the standard of living has seen a record improvement. " This vision of a UK that would open its borders to American hormone beef or GMOs, far from European rules, has made a leap forward with the agreement on Brexit Boris Johnson. Unlike the one signed by Theresa May, his predecessor, his stated goal is to progressively diverge British standards from those in Brussels, and to conduct an aggressive trade policy with the rest of the world.


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