This morning in Strasbourg there was a debate on the negotiations with the UK following our notification to withdraw under Article 50. At midday we vote on a Resolution on this subject.
First of all, the Parliament has no right under Article 50 to set out conditions for the negotiations. But nevertheless those MEPs who do not wish Britain to leave, or want to punish her when we do, laid out their conditions.
The Resolutions sets out as many impediments as possible. UKIP put in many amendments to remove these impediments, but every one of them was defeated (which did not surprise us).
The European Parliament wants to make it as hard as possible for Britain to leave, and it wants the Court of Justice of the European Union to have the final say on the enforcement of the Withdrawal Agreement. We can rely on it to find reasons to delay or reject it.
The more I hear in this debate the more I am convinced that the only way Britain will leave the EU is if our Government and Parliament makes the quick and clean decision to Repeal the European Communities Act (1972) as the first step in leaving (not the final step), and sort the issues out afterwards.
The EU, its Parliament, and the Remainers in the UK, have every incentive to delay and impede the leaving process. If they can delay it long enough they hope that our Government will change its mind and reverse the decision of the Referendum. If they can delay long enough then there could well be another election, a new House of Commons elected, a new government in place, and that could well happen. Remember, that under Article 50 the withdrawal negotiations can be extended indefinitely by mutual agreement of the member states.
The Referendum was just the first battle in the process of leaving. The real fight – to actually leave the EU – is now in process. The great danger is that we will either take a unilateral decision to leave, and make it happen, or we will not leave at all.