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Brexit Supporters Worry Over Deal With EU After Year of Talks

© AP Photo / Matt DunhamA pro-remain supporter of Britain staying in the EU, holds up an EU flag whilst taking part in an anti-Brexit protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London (File)
A pro-remain supporter of Britain staying in the EU, holds up an EU flag whilst taking part in an anti-Brexit protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London (File) - Sputnik International
LONDON (Sputnik) - Brexit supporters remain strongly in favor of leaving the bloc, but are concerned with the recent UK-EU deal reached shortly before the one-year anniversary of the launch of the UK withdrawal.

The concern over the Withdrawal Bill has been rife across the Commons, and Brexit supporters find the slow pace of the negotiations suspect. Gerard Batten, the interim leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), considers the most recent agreement on the transition period a "betrayal."

"The agreement is just another betrayal by a British government in a long line of betrayals to the EU," Batten told Sputnik.

The United Kingdom will have a transition period of 21 months, according to this deal, however, this is not final yet. Several other issues have to be worked out in order for the transition period to be applicable.

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"Twenty-one months on from the referendum and we've still not left (the EU), but we have a transition period that takes us up to 2022. Meanwhile we continue to pay the EU money, obey its old and new laws, and have open borders," Batten said.

In addition, London has made some serious concessions: the EU fishers will have access to the UK fish throughout the transition period. Another thorny issue, the border between Northern Ireland and the republic of Ireland, has not been fully resolved yet.

"The most blatant betrayal is that of our fishing industry. We will continue to sacrifice our fish stocks and our fishermen's livelihoods to the EU," the politician said.

No to Second Vote

The UK in a Changing Europe think tank on Thursday hosted a conference to mark a one-year anniversary of the day that the United Kingdom triggered the procedure of the withdrawal from the European Union. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UKIP, was one of the guests.

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The conference focused mainly on trade policy, with discussion featuring economists and academics from several diverse organizations, but the political mood was staunchly pro-European, with Farage at one point being heckled and accused of "fibbing" by members of the audience. He was accompanied by at least one bodyguard.

However, he has not been detracted from the Brexit message.

A second referendum on Brexit would prompt a "total chaos," Farage, suggested. According to the politician, the people would be a lot more intent on voting Leave if they were asked to vote again.

More Than Money

The member of the European Parliament was adamant that a second referendum would be a political disaster for the country, claiming Britain was leaving at the "right time" as the EU was showing "genuine signs of disintegration."

The bloc is becoming "more centralised, more autocratic, more ambitious in terms of foreign policy," according to Farage.

Yet the politician appeared somewhat indecisive when questioned by think tank director Anand Menon on the likely economic consequences of Brexit, instead claiming much of the contemporary deliberations on the issue were "false".

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Farage defended Brexit by saying, it was about "more than money."

At the same time, The UK in a Changing Europe said in a report, issued Thursday, that the ration of pro-Remain voters to Brexit supporters would grow over the next eight year. By 2026, 54 percent are likely to be against Brexit.

The report also showed the apparent effects of the Brexit on the UK economy: the GDP growth slowed down in 2017, financial markets downgraded their expectations for UK economic performance, the inflation grew.


The United Kingdom still has to go through months of negotiations with Brussels before it can leave for good.

The former UKIP leader has expressed little confidence in the UK government in terms of the ongoing negotiations, despite an agreement reached by the two sides earlier this month.

Batten has pointed out that the deal is not even final yet.

"The whole leaving process is being put back to the next UK general election when Brexit could be betrayed completely," the UKIP interim leader added.

Nine senior Conservative politicians are believed to have signed a cross-party amendment to the Withdrawal Bill, partly as a means to give parliament a final vote on UK membership of the EU Customs Union.

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