One of the challenges with stopping Brexit is the oil tanker effect. The machinery of the UK Government has been pointed in one direction for a couple of years. Grinding away, preparing the steps, being buffeted left and right but heading in one direction – towards 29 March 2019.
What this has meant has changed numerous times as the machinations of the Conservative Party have shaped policy. The ludicrous snap General Election didn’t help one little bit. It took a divided nation and made it a more divided nation. So much for the Prime Minister’s judgement. Here we are in December 2018, just about ready for another pivotal moment on the rocky road.
The latest UK Government Minister to resign is Sam Gyimah @SamGyimah. He’s the MP for East Surrey and local to me. He has declared he will vote against the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement. Having resigned as the Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Minister it will be interesting to see what his next moves are. His resignation statement is worth a read.
Gyimah’s reasoning starts with the negotiations over Galileo, the EU’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Back in May this year, the UK Government stated its unwavering commitment to European security meaning it should be able to continue to fully participate in #Galileo now and in the future. The reality has become that the UK Government pulled out of negotiations on this key subject. A failure.
Building a uniquely UK GNSS will be expensive. It will take 20 years and have a big annual cost to keep it working. All for what?
Back to the oil tanker that needs turning around, or at least stopping before it hits the rocks. This analogy has a lot of millage in it given that the Brexit result could look much like a giant oil spill. Damaging to all involved. Costing a fortune to clean-up. Living in the memory for a long time.
About UK Statutory Instruments (SIs), the draft Aviation Safety (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 has been laid before the UK Parliament. This SI uses powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to correct “deficiencies” in derived aviation safety legislation coming from the act of withdrawal. The intention is here to ensure that the UK legal framework on aviation safety continues to function after the March exit day in the event of a No-Deal. This is a lot of work coming from the UK Department of Transport. To nationalise legislation, in many places the legal text is changed by ignoring: “at both Union level and national level”.
Gyimah is saying that post-Brexit: the UK will end up worse off, transformed from rule makers into rule takers. I think he’s right. It’s time to turn the oil tanker around.