30th December, 2020 – The SDP broadly welcomes the agreement reached between the European Union and the UK Government, and acknowledges it as a vital step in the restoration of national sovereignty.
SDP leader William Clouston says: “The conclusion of a UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is the culmination of years of struggle for Britain to re-establish its independence and in doing so to restore the bond between government and people. As nation-state democrats, our fundamental concern has been whether the British public can elect and remove officials who preside over our lives and our nation. I now believe, going forward, that this is finally the case.
“I’m on the record in arguing for a different post-Brexit outcome, namely, a WTO arrangement with a degree of trade friction. Tariffs, I believe, would have presented the UK with a rare opportunity to totally reset the terms of trade with the EU and help reverse the UK’s colossal goods trade deficit, which stands at nearly £100bn. Nevertheless, the deal agreed by the Johnson government is sufficient – with the right policies – to enable the UK to build a more sustainable, productive, re-industrialised and equitable economy, which the SDP seeks.
“Those of us who fought so hard for the 2016 vote to be honoured are entitled to feel some satisfaction that democracy has prevailed. Looking to the future we must, as a nation, put our differences behind us, work together and make the very best of our opportunities in the years ahead.”
SDP Brexit spokesman Patrick O’Flynn added: “Boris Johnson and the UK chief negotiator David Frost deserve credit for achieving this deal, especially given the disgraceful betrayal of Brexit that had earlier been set in motion by Theresa May’s administration.
“It is far from perfect, in that it delays a meaningful revival of the UK fishing fleet and potentially compromises Britain’s ability to reduce its trade deficit in goods via policies that support a domestic industrial revival. But it does pass the essential sovereignty test which has always been the absolute crux of Brexit, and it therefore finally honours the verdict of the British people of June 23, 2016. There have been many times over recent years when such an outcome seemed in great jeopardy.
“It certainly could not have been achieved had the Prime Minister followed the advice of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats by ruling out ending the transition period without a deal. Such a course would have left this country a passive recipient of whatever crumbs Brussels had chosen to offer, if any.
“As a patriotic party of the common-sense centre-ground, the SDP is proud to give its backing to this long overdue restoration of democratic accountability within the nation state. We look forward to playing our part in helping Britain go from strength to strength in the years ahead.”