Media reports today quote Boris Johnsons “official spokesman” (whoever that is) as saying “Level playing field is an EU construct, not a piece of terminology which we use”.
Not really true. Actually not true at all. In fact a complete untruth. A lie. not the first and for sure not the last. And not simply a mistake or ignorance. If you have any interest or knowledge in these talks you have to know that a “level playing field” is a key concept. And an assertion the EU have just made the term up, which you must know is untrue (see below) is just absolute total fabrication – a lie. Why would anyone trust the UK if we simply lie about what is happening? And we have not even started the talks yet.
Let me help the anonymous spokesman to understand why his (or her) statement is untrue. Its not difficult.
Simply read the Political Declaration the UK Government signed up to with the EU which accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement – paragraph 77
“77 Given the Union and the United Kingdom’s geographic proximity and economic interdependence, the future relationship must ensure open and fair competition, encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level playing field”.
See my earlier post for a more detailed analysis of the level playing field issue. An interesting question is what is the point of the lie? Its not going to fool the EU who know what is in the Political Agreement. It is presumably designed for domestic consumption so when things come off the rails because the UK tries to renege on the commitment given in paragraph 77 we can (untruly) blame the EU for something they made up which is nothing to do with us. I see trouble ahead!