THE Brexit Bill, or as it is formally known, the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20, received Royal Assent on Thursday – formally cementing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal into law.

So, that means the Prime Minister has delivered on his promise to “get Brexit done” doesn’t it? You have to give the Prime Minister credit for delivering a promise so quickly, right?

Well … no.

Because the thing is, the Withdrawal Agreement is the easy part. It’s the bit that deals with budgetary commitments that go on after the UK leaves the EU, but the UK had committed to at the time. It’s the bit that deals with paying Members of the European Parliaments’s pensions and other things of that manner.

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Of course, it deals with the backstop (which has been discussed to death) and other massively important things but, compared to what is coming around the corner, it seems trivial.

The National: Boris Johnson

Officially, the next thing on the Prime Minister’s Brexit to-do list is the future trade agreement. We might be getting dragged out of the EU and losing our EU citizenship in just a few short days, but what we enter into is a transition period. The transition period is designed to give the EU and UK Government time to sort out how they want to trade with each other.

However, the Prime Minister’s going to have to deal with a serious problem right here at home first when it comes to Brexit.

This week, the Welsh Parliament joined the Northern Irish Executive and the Scottish Parliament in voting to refuse legislative consent to the Brexit Bill. Three out of four of the nations of this “Union of equals” reject what the Prime Minister is doing.

During the Scottish independence referendum, the Union was described time and again as a partnership of equals.

It’s been very obvious every day since the referendum vote that that statement is total nonsense.

Scotland’s voice is ignored time and time again. Whenever this is brought up, the Tories make out that the Scottish Government are just being difficult. “Oh, they’re just causing trouble for political point-scoring,” they decry.

It makes it easy for them to ignore the factual imbalance of the Union. But this time, it’s not just the Scottish Government; it’s not even just the Scottish and Welsh governments; it’s the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments that all completely rejected a decision made by the UK Government.

There’s nothing equal in this “partnership” and it’s going to take more than pumping the zombie Scotland Office with advertising cash to try and fool people into believing there is.

The National:

My colleague and Westminster leader Ian Blackford raised this in Parliament this week and I’d like to quote a part of what he said here: “We are faced with a situation which is completely unprecedented, when the government in Edinburgh, in Belfast and in Cardiff has not given consent to this Act of Parliament. And this completely contravenes the devolution settlement that made it clear that the consent of the devolved administrations had to be given in Bills of Parliament to become Acts of Parliament that involve the devolved administrations.”

Bear it in mind the next time a Tory says “lead don’t leave”.

Once he’s dealt with that constitutional crisis, he’s given himself around 11 months to get a new trade deal arranged with the EU.

A study by UC Berkeley sampled 88 regional trade agreements and found that on average, it took 28 months for a trade deal to be agreed and ratified from the date of announcement. So, it doesn’t look likely that he’ll manage his 11-month goal.

So, what will happen?

I imagine that much like Theresa May did with the Withdrawal Agreement, Boris Johnson will set a load of redlines. He’ll publicly say we want to trade exactly as we do now and that’s that, and then he’ll go and negotiate something that doesn’t do that at all, and then will return from a meeting in Brussels and declare: “I’ve done it!”

The difference is, that when it comes to Boris Johnson over Theresa May, the Daily Mail and The Telegraph and The Sun and probably The Times and, I’d imagine, the BBC will probably let him get away with it.

It’s a mess that Scotland didn’t vote for. It’s a mess that Scotland actively voted against in three elections, and a referendum.

Five years on, I am puzzled more than ever as to how exactly we are “Better Together”?