What does Brexit deal mean for UK sovereignty?

Boris Johnson: Brexit deal is ‘glad tidings of great joy’

Brexit will take its final form on January 1, as the UK becomes the first EU nation to revoke its own membership. The Prime Minister and EU Commission President arrived at a deal which would smooth this process last week, and the Government published full details of this yesterday. The draft agreement has set out the EU-UK trade relationship for years to come but will leave many hardline Brexiteers displeased.

What does the Brexit deal mean for UK sovereignty?

Sovereignty, in short, means a country has the power to govern its people and control laws without external intervention.

While in the EU, the UK had to follow rules passed for the bloc in return for a litany of membership benefits.

But Brits never relinquished sovereignty in the first place, as the country’s elected MEP’s had a hand in forming EU-wide policy, and the UK had a veto for decisions it didn’t support.

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Brexit removed the UK from this decision-making process, and supporters intended to concentrate power in the UK.

The new deal retains the UK’s sovereignty but keeps the country tied to some EU regulations.

For instance, those in the leave camp overly concerned with fishing may find themselves disappointed.

Negotiators on either side of the channel agreed to a “mutual compromise” on the issue of total allowable catch (TAC), granting the EU continued access to UK waters and nearly a 50 percent catch of some fish for years to come.

EU legislation will also no-longer apply, according to a Government document, which lists the UK’s exit from the European Court of Justice and law enforcement provisions as “victories”.

But Brexit delivered a double-edged sword in terms of border control.

Although the UK now requires additional documents for people and vehicles to enter, this has caused pile-ups on the border.

People will now be familiar with the pictures of hundreds of hundreds of truckers waiting in line at Manston International Airport in Kent as they awaited the trip to Dover.

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A new lorry park in the county will host lorries as they await the trip across the channel, securing borders but ultimately complicating some trade arrangements.

Brexit, rather than the deal itself, will also take away some policies which gave the UK additional local control.

For example, the Government used emergency legislation passed by the bloc to approve the Pfizer vaccine.

Without it, ministers may have taken longer to roll out the Pfizer jab, which nearly one million people have now had.

EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said joint policies like these which provide vital aid define what sovereignty means in the 21st century.

Unveiling the deal on Thursday, she said: “Of course, this whole debate has always been about sovereignty.

“But we should cut through the soundbites and ask ourselves what sovereignty actually means in the 21st century.

“It about pooling our strength and speaking together in a world full of great powers.

“In a time of crisis, it is about pulling each other up instead of trying to get back to your feet alone.”

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