We've suffered 47 years of penal servitude, says JACOB REES-MOGG

It is not an easy task as the Government's negotiating hand has been undermined by those who never accepted the result of the referendum and think that they - with their preternatural powers - know best. On the other hand, it is simple.TheAttorney General needs to insert an end date into the treaty or something of equal legal force. The Withdrawal Agreement is a rotten accord.

It condemns the United Kingdom to at least 21 months of vassalage at a cost of £39billion, yet everything other than the backstop has an expiry date - after a certain point the nation's freedom and control would be restored.

After 47 years of penal servitude a final few months is tolerable. However, the backstop could last forever and would tie this country's hands in terms of regulations, customs and the rulings of the European Court of Justice in these areas without a formal ability to leave.

Although fewer areas of British life would be affected than is currently the case, in these departments there would be even less control than there is now.

There would also be the absurdity of replacing a treaty that can be revoked with two years' notice with one that is perpetual.

The LisbonTreaty, the de facto constitution of the EU, allows a member state to depart after giving two years notice. The Withdrawal Agreement contains no such provision.

There would seem some logic in saying to the EU "let us copy Article 50 and paste it into this agreement" as then the backstop could be cancelled with fair notice and the position would be no worse than today.

If Geoffrey Cox could achieve this then his return to Westminster would be a heroic one.

If this cannot be achieved then the default position is that the UK leaves without a deal.

Some MPs say that they could never agree to this but many of them voted for the Article 50 Act that sets out the timetable and then stood on a Conservative manifesto which stated clearly that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

If such people were to use Parliamentary prestidigitation to delay, in the hope of preventing Brexit, the honour and trustworthiness of politicians would fall to a new low. If honour and truth prevail instead, then on March 29 there would be an opportunity to use the gains of departure for the nation's benefit.

Leaving without an agreement is nothing to be frightened about. It opens the door to prosperity.The Chancellor ought to welcome it and use the £39billion, which would otherwise be wasted in Europe.

It could be spent on projects that would help the country and taxpayers keep more of their own money which they would, on the whole, spend more wisely than the Government spends it for them.

EU taxes that hit the least well off most, such as the requirement to putVAT on domestic fuel, should go, as could tariffs on goods not produced in this country. Perhaps taxpayers may even want some of their money spent on more police to help reduce knife crime.

The EU, as its Eurozone economies stagnate again, is jealous of this potential success and obdurate in negotiations. It constantly offers too little and asks for too much and has shown over the last two years why it is so important to leave. If the Attorney General succeeds it is the EU that would benefit, the UK will gain as long as it is out of this failed system.

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