Why should the UK reneges on the WA Stella , it seems that the EU who wants CJ oversight/ continue to fish in UK waters and a level playing field, but if you look at the WA and Political Declaration that both sides signed, a FTA is clearly mentioned, but for some reason the EU does not want to honour what it has signed to.
I’m not saying they will… but UK did promise one thing for S1 holders and then remove that promise… and subsequently reinstate the promise… so I can surely be forgiven for thinking that promises don’t hold much importance for them
and I take heart that there is an alternative in France… should that promise vanish into thin air… again…
Both sides also signed up to the level playing field, para 77 of the declaration and the uk is refusing to honour that.
We could spend all day quoting parts of the declaration that have fallen by the wayside but the declaration was simply a statement of intent, on which to start negotia tions.
The Withdrawal Agreement was a concluded treaty. There is a big difference.
Show me where in the Political Declaration Geoffrey or the WA where the UK signed to a Level playing Field ??
- Given the Union and the United Kingdom’s geographic proximity and economic
interdependence, the future relationship must ensure open and fair competition,
encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level playing field. The precise nature of
commitments should be commensurate with the scope and depth of the future relationship
and the economic connectedness of the Parties. These commitments should prevent
distortions of trade and unfair competitive advantages. To that end, the Parties should
uphold the common high standards applicable in the Union and the United Kingdom at the
end of the transition period in the areas of state aid, competition, social and employment
standards, environment, climate change, and relevant tax matters. The Parties should in
particular maintain a robust and comprehensive framework for competition and state aid
control that prevents undue distortion of trade and competition; commit to the principles of
good governance in the area of taxation and to the curbing of harmful tax practices; and
maintain environmental, social and employment standards at the current high levels
provided by the existing common standards. In so doing, they should rely on appropriate and
relevant Union and international standards, and include appropriate mechanisms to ensure
effective implementation domestically, enforcement and dispute settlement. The future
relationship should also promote adherence to and effective implementation of relevant
internationally agreed principles and rules in these domains, including the Paris Agreement., the Paris Agreement is A climate Change Agreement and nothing whatsoever to do with the Brexit agreement
This is want the EU Want.
Of course. The contradiction is clear. The Withdrawal Agreement states that the Northern Ireland is part of
the UK’s customs territory. But other parts of the protocol would — in the absence of a Free Trade
Agreement — allow the EU to impose tariffs on trade between the UK and Northern Ireland. The two are
By the way, anyone who’s only seen this argument on Quora, has not been reading widely enough. The
argument was very succinctly articulated by Charles Moore, here: The EU must climb off its Irish high
There’s another piece explaining the same point slightly differently, here:
The difficulties for the Government on the attached Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement lie in the
internal contradictions of that document. On the one hand it proports to hold Northern Ireland within
the EU Single Market, while at the same time assuring Northern Ireland is a fully functioning part of the
UK single market and specifically within the Customs territory of a now ‘independent’ United Kingdom
outside the EU.
The BBC (of course) has published a wholly inadequate précis of the issues, slanted (as is the BBC’s way) to
make it look as though the UK is in the wrong.
Yes, the UK was unwise to sign a document that (in a particular scenario) might give rise to a
contradiction. But the EU signed the same document, containing the same (possible) contradiction. And it
was the EU, rather than the UK that caused the situation to unfold, that would give rise to that
The UK’s behaviour is therefore more forgivable than the EU’s, because it was ultimately not the UK’s but
the EU’s breach of good faith that led to this situation.
What did lead to this situation? The EU imposing a negotiating mandate that was in — at least two
respects — clear contraventions of the Political Declaration.
The Political Declaration commits each party to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement. It also states (in clause
4) that the agreement must recognise the UK’s sovereignty over its internal market. However, the EU
linked the Free Trade Agreement to conditions that would clearly and unambiguously violate the UK’s
sovereignty over its internal market.
It did this by linking the Agreement to conditions that would allow the EU a continuing role in the UK’s
internal market policy, and in managing the UK’s fishing resources. There’s really no argument about this.
The EU’s behaviour is a clear breach of its own commitment.
Now, it is only the EU’s breach of the Political Declaration, that gave rise to the possibility of a no-trade deal
outcome, and therefore, the scenario in which the Northern Ireland Protocol becomes internally
The UK recognised the risk that the EU would impose tariffs on East-West trade. If the EU did this (which it
would) the EU’s failure to recognise Northern Ireland as part of the UK’s single customs territory would
itself be in breach of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The UK really had no option here. The UK had to legislate to stop the EU breaching the Northern Ireland
Protocol. In the event of failure to agree a trade deal, the Protocol was going to be breached anyway,
either by the UK or the EU. The legislation simply stops the EU breaching it in a way that damages the UK.
The situation that gave rise to this risk was in turn caused by the EU breaching the Political declaration. It
was admittedly aided and abetted by the UK naively signing a treaty, trusting the EU to be true to its
Hello Michael, I am not going to lock horns with you over this, but I would like to just make a couple of points that came to mind as I skimmed your very long post.
Firstly I am confused why you say “Show me where in the Political Declaration Geoffrey or the WA where the UK signed to a Level playing Field ??” because the mention of the level playing field comes in the very first sentence that you quoted.
Secondly I don’t see the relevance of the political declaration to this issue. The declaration is a basis for discussions, it gives no obligations to either side so talking about breaching it makes no sense to me. If we could all be prosecuted for not carrying out every good intention we would be in a bad way. The issue of disapplying a signed treaty has nothing to do with the political declaration.
Thirdly, as you say there is a clear contradiction. The contradiction is that there must be a border between trade blocks but there cannot be a border between NI and Ireland. The UK created this problem when it partitioned Ireland. The Belfast Agreement brought a solution but this solution was made possible by the fact that the UK and Ireland were part of the same trade block. Now the UK has left that trade block so the problem has come back. There is no perfect solution to this problem that anyone has managed to find yet; all the solution on the table involved compromise. The EU and the UK agreed a compromise that they both found acceptable. Many people were surprised that Johnson agreed to this solution in preference to May’s proposed solution, but he did.
One has to wonder what the point of any negotiations is at all, if one party can subsequently impose all the things that they couldn’t get the other party to agree to during negotiations.
Geoffrey I completely agree with your point on WA and the PD, but many people seem to assume that both are written in stone.
The WA clearly stated a FTDeal, which is something the EU seems to fudge on.
I would have thought the difference between a signed treaty that has been in force for six months, and a framework for future negotiations, was clear to most people who take an interest in politics.
The WA committed to future negotiations based on the political declaration. Achieving an ambitious fta was the stated aim. But the trade deal was alway kept legally separate from the WA, at the EU’s insistence, to stop citizens’ rights being used as ,‘bargaining chips’ (as the phrase was) in trade negotiations.
Not citizens rights but EU integrality!
Yes, the RSI has merged with the CPAM for a significant number of independent professions, not sure whether all have been brought in, or whether there are still some exceptions. My area of activity was transferred over at the beginning of the year, but I’ve only just received confirmation from CPAM that they are my exclusive go-to organisation for health care (although not pension contributions which continue to be managed by CIPAV).
However,you have written that you pay into the French system for retirement and that you work here,on that basis your S1 will not be valid nor can you re-apply as you are the responsibility of France.
I think there is some misunderstanding…
I have said that if the S1 health cover is reneged on… OH and I will join PUMA as France offers that to anyone who has lived in France legally for more than 3 months… and whose health costs are not covered by another country… (we’ve been here donkeys years and UK is supposed to cover us… )
If we have to join PUMA… there will be a cost… according to income…
At the moment… UK c overs us as UK Pensioners and we wait to see what happens…
Yes I understood however, even though you are a pensioner if you work and pay into the French system your S1 will be cancelled at renewal date (as the UK pay yearly) from what I can gather. Those in receipt of an S1 do not have to pay a percentage of income for healthcare as the UK have already paid it. So,if your S1 is cancelled then one would be liable to make a contribution towards healthcare based on income levels.
Well… we do not work and do not pay into the French system…
my "plan"is only for what happens if UK follow up their previous threat to NOT continue paying the health care of their pensioners… which threw many of us into a flap last year…
The Agreement to which the UK signed… should guarantee our health care… but UK are now playing silly beggars and who knows what will come out of all this in the end…
I’m sure you wrote that you paying into the French system for pension and that you paid charges relating to employment from gite income.This being the case could be why you had a finishing date on your S1 (although the UK do renew every year.) As yet, I have heard nothing about mine having a termination date. How do you know it is the UK end that are going back on their word and not France taking the initiative?
Hi Jackie… you’ve got me confused with someone else…
no problem though…
I am hoping the UK are NOT going back on their word.
But… they already did so way back in the Summer of 2019… their govt website changed dramatically within just a few days… it was an awful shock… and personally I have been wary of them ever since…
@jac I’d be interested to know more Jackie. Are you saying that if, in addition to having a pension, one is also receiving income from a gite that an S1 carte vitale becomes invalid? So how, under those circumstances does one obtain a carte vitale?
That depends if your classed as working as to whether your S1 becomes invalid. This being the case your carte vitale would still be valid but you would then be the responsibility of France for your healthcare and so,would be liable to a contribution for your healthcare depending on income.
@jac I hope you don’t mind Jackie, but since you are offering a FOURTH reason why those of us in Lot-et-Garonne might be facing expiry of our cartes vitale in fewer than 12 weeks, I’d be grateful if someone else could confirm that this has been their experience. Thanks.
If you are working in France and paying cotisations into a caisse for a pension then you are building up pension entitlement in France. This will be added to your UK entitlement. However as I understand it, your country of residence takes priority, so even if you only have 3 years here and 30 in the UK it will be France who takes responsibility for your health cover after retirement.
But people with gîtes are not necessarily in this position as many of us are LMNP, rather than LMP, so this doesn’t apply.
I didn’t think French pensioners paid for their statutory health cover, just a mutuelle is they so wish.
Thanks for your reply Jane, but sorry to be a bore. I don’t know what LMNP and LMP mean.