The Letter To The EU That Says We The UK Are In Charge Of These Negotiations Now. You Will, Do As We Say Or You Lose Even More.

Graham Charles Lear
10 min readMay 21, 2020


When we British left the EU on 31 January 2020 it meant that the EU lost its very lucrative pot of gold. At the stroke of 11 pm, midnight Euro time the EU shrunk by at least 18 countrys economically that is what our lucrative trade around the world meant to the EU. It was if 18 EU countrys left at the same time leaving jus 10 countrys left in the EU.

No wonder one hour after Boris Johnson signed the historic document Charles Michel, EU Council President was dispatched to Albania and North Macedonia to discuss EU-Albania North Macedonia relations, the future of the accession process for both countrys. Problem was both of those countrys are the poorest in Europe and will be taking money from the EU not contributing one Euro for many years if ever. The EU has already been funding both for the last twelve years.

Charles Michel, EU Council President in Tirana

When you look at the economic pulling power of all the nations one that has now left and two who will be joining the EU next year or the year after you would think the EU would be falling over themselves to have a good deal with the UK

Albania and North Macedonia GDP $28 billion.

United Kingdom GDP $2. 829 Trillion

It would be a sensible thing to do, however, we are talking about the EU, they don't do anything sensible. Some readers may feel that the trip by the new EU Council President, Belgian Charles Michel, to two accession countries was coincidental on the same day he signed the Treaty. It wasn’t. I have seen this sort of thing countless times from the EU. It is pure deflection, intended to suggest that the devastating departure of the United Kingdom is somehow of little consequence to the European Union.

Its the same type of reasoning that we have been seeing in the negotiations

Let me show you what's been going on in the trade negotiations

Last Friday saw the closing session of the third round of Brexit trade talks with the European Union. Below I bring readers an exclusive analysis and summary:-

Which topics have been discussed?

And how long has been spent on each?

How did each side characterise the current deadlock yesterday?

The talks so far, overall

Round One: 02–05 Mar; Round Two: 20–24 Apr; Round Three: 11–15 May

Please note that these dates include short opening and closing sessions which were not full days

Excluding opening and closing sessions, UK and EU negotiators have met on eight days in two and a half months

Around 200 people have been involved

What have they spent the most time on?

The “Level Playing Field” and “Governance” issues have consumed the most time

Only 44 hours (less than 14% of the time) has been spent on negotiating trade in goods

Likewise, less than 14% of the time has been spent on negotiating trade in services and investment

Fisheries have racked up an impressive 12% of the total time spent

How much time has the EU wasted on each topic?

Level playing field/Governance 22%

General chats and mina issues 16%

Trade-in services/investment/other issues 14%

Trade-in goods 14%

Fishing 12%

Law enforcement 8%

Aviation 6%

Energy 4%

Road/transport 4%

The EU has a massive goods trade surplus with the UK which came to €124.4 BILLION last year alone. (Approx £111 billion GBP.) It might be assumed that the EU would wish to keep this lucrative trade going.

In regard to this, the UK has often made rather generous offers.

No wonder David Frost is now rather pissed off and has now sent the letter below.

It's actually a masterpiece of diplomacy, telling Michel Barnier he is a bit of an idiot and telling him that we British are now in charge of negotiations seeing you and the EU are not up to the job. So next time we all sit down together buck your ideas up or it will be a very short meeting indeed and you will lose, even more, now chop, chop clocks ticking Barney.

1O DOWNING STREET LONDON SW1A 2AA 020 7930 4433 19 May 2020

M. Michel Barnier UK Task Force Secretariat General European Commission (by email)

Dear Michel UK DRAFT LEGAL TEXTS As I indicated during the last negotiating round on 15 May, the Government has decided to make public the various draft legal texts we have sent you in recent weeks. The texts are available at

and you may of course now share them, and this letter, direct with the Member States.

We are making the texts public as a constructive contribution to the negotiations, and in particular as a response to your suggestions in the last two Rounds that it would help you explain our proposals in more detail to the Member States. We are very clear that we are not seeking to negotiate directly with the Member States and that it is for you, as the EU’s negotiator, to manage any differences of perspective that may emerge.

I hope that today’s publication will facilitate that work and clear up any misunderstandings about the purpose and effect of what we have put to you. I would like to make three specific points that may help in that process. First, we have tried to be clear consistently that we are looking for a suite of agreements with a Free Trade Agreement at the core.

We do not seek to remain part of the Single Market or Customs Union, as we do not believe this is in the UK’s interest. Accordingly, as you know, our legal texts draw on precedent where relevant precedent exists (and we have made pragmatic proposals where it does not, for example on road transport or energy cooperation). So, for example, our draft FTA approximates very closely those the EU has agreed with Canada or Japan. Our draft fisheries agreement is — 2 — very close to the EU / Norway Agreement.

Our aviation proposals are similar to those the EU has agreed with other third countries. Our draft civil nuclear agreement is very close to similar cooperation agreements that Euratom (and indeed the UK) has concluded with other third countries. And so on. Given this reality, we find it perplexing that the EU, instead of seeking to settle rapidly a high-quality set of agreements with a close economic partner, is instead insisting on additional, unbalanced, and unprecedented provisions in a range of areas, as a precondition for agreement between us.

Second, we find it surprising that the EU not only insists on additional provisions but is also not willing even to replicate provisions in previous FTAs. For example, your proposals to us contain no provision for mutual recognition of conformity assessment (which the EU agreed with or proposed to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US); no sector-specific provisions for key industries with particular technical barriers such as motor vehicles, medicinal products, organics and chemicals (agreed with or proposed to one or more of Canada, South Korea, Chile and the US, among others); and no equivalence mechanism for SPS measures (agreed with or proposed to Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Mercosur).

In services, the EU is resisting the inclusion of provisions on regulatory cooperation for financial services, though it agreed on them in the EU-Japan EPA. The EU’s offer on lengths of stay for short-term business visitors (Mode 4) is less generous than CETA and does not include the non-discrimination commitment found in EU-Mexico. The EU has also not proposed anything on services which reflects the specific nature of our relationship: indeed your team has told us that the EU’s market access offer on services might be less than that tabled with Australia and New Zealand.

Overall, we find it hard to see what makes the UK, uniquely among your trading partners, so unworthy of being offered the kind of well-precedented arrangements commonplace in modern FTAs.

Third, on the “level playing field”. We agreed in good faith a set of commitments in the Political Declaration in this area. Although it continues to be suggested that we are not willing to deliver on these commitments, as you know, our text sets out a comprehensive set of proposals designed specifically (as the Political Declaration puts it) to “prevent distortions of trade and unfair competitive advantages”. Our proposals are closely modelled on similar arrangements already agreed by the EU with similar countries, notably in the Canada FTA. Commissioner Hogan described the Canada provisions in March as “solid and anchored in a vast network of underlying international conventions and agreements”, and no doubt this is why the EU has found it possible to come very close to zero-tariff, zero-quota access in this and other agreements (some eliminating tariffs on over 99% of tariff lines) without finding it necessary to go beyond such standard “level playing field” provisions.

The EU is now asking the UK to commit to much more than that. Your text contains novel and unbalanced proposals which would bind this country to EU law or standards and would prescribe the institutions which we would need to establish to deliver on these provisions. To take a particularly egregious example, your text would require the UK simply to accept EU state aid rules; would enable the EU, and only the EU, to put tariffs on trade with the UK if we breached those rules; and would require us to accept an enforcement mechanism which gives a specific role to the European Court of Justice. You must see that this is simply not a provision any democratic country could sign since it would mean that the British people could not decide our own rules to support our own industries in our own Parliament. Similar issues manifest themselves across labour, environment, climate change and taxation. We have been clear that the UK will have high standards and, in many cases, higher standards than those in the EU. However, we cannot accept any alignment with EU rules, the appearance of EU law concepts, or commitments around internal monitoring and enforcement that are inappropriate for an FTA.

The EU has used various arguments to justify its proposals:

  • You claim that we are being offered a future relationship of unprecedented depth. As I have set out, this is not obvious on the basis of the evidence we have so far. We have nevertheless suggested that, if it is the mutual commitment to zero tariffs that makes these provisions necessary in your eyes, then we would be willing to discuss a relationship that was based on less than that, as in other FTAs. You have said that you are not willing to have such discussions.

You claim that it is the level of economic integration between the UK and the EU which justifies such provisions. In fact, as a share of our economy, the UK is already less integrated in trade terms with the EU than Switzerland, Norway, or Ukraine. Alternatively, you justify it in terms of trade flows: yet the EU did not insist that the US made any “level playing field” commitments in the TTIP negotiations beyond those typical to an FTA, although US and UK trade flows with the EU are roughly similar.

You claim that the provisions are required on grounds of “proximity”. This is a novel argument in trade agreements and is hard to justify from precedents elsewhere. The US and Canada, for example, trade together through a trade agreement without provisions of the kind the EU would like to see. This proximity argument amounts to saying that a country in Europe cannot expect to determine its own rules, simply on the grounds of geography, and that it must bend to EU norms. That is not an argument that can hope to be accepted in the 21st century.

I could set out similar concerns about the EU’s approach in other areas:

on fisheries, where the EU’s position that access to our waters after the end of this year should be the same as now is clearly not realistic;

on governance arrangements, where you propose a structure that is not replicated in other EU agreements with third countries except those which aspire to join the EU;

on law enforcement, where you describe EU proposals as providing for an unprecedentedly close relationship, but in fact, they do not go beyond agreements you have made with other third countries, many of whom have far less data to offer the EU and are less closely involved in the mutual fight against crime. We do not agree that the simple fact of putting a set of standard measures into a single agreement can itself justify the exceptional and intrusive safeguards you are seeking in this area.

Overall, at this moment in negotiations, what is on offer is not a fair free trade relationship between close economic partners, but a relatively low-quality trade agreement coming with unprecedented EU oversight of our laws and institutions.

It does not have to be like this. I remain convinced that it would be very straightforward for us to agree a modern and high-quality FTA and other separate agreements, like those you have agreed with other close partners around the world, and that we could do so quickly. I do hope that in the weeks to come the EU will think again about its proposals in a way that will enable us to then find a rapid and constructive alternative way forward.

I am copying this letter to Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, Secretary General of the Council, and David McAllister at the European Parliament.

With best wishes DAVID FROST Sherpa and EU Adviser

Sources: №10 Downing St



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.