Great Britain and the EU need a fresh start

A year ago, I advocated that the EU and UK should mutually agree not to conclude a trade deal and instead opt for a minimum trade facilitation with a transition period – and then starting from scratch. needed.

The Northern Ireland Protocol states that certain provisions of the agreement may be overridden if they can avoid “serious economic, social or environmental difficulties”.

There has been a risk of tripping for some time. The EU could in principle react to the mechanism provided in the Withdrawal Agreement or opt for the nuclear option by denouncing the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The notice period is one year. This would mean the introduction of tariffs between the UK and the EU from the beginning of 2023.

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This will undoubtedly create a significant amount of friction. It is trivially true that the smaller country has more to lose than the larger country, but this bird’s eye view of the macro obscures the fact that there is a lot of friction on the EU side as well.

If the EU repeals the TCA, the fishing rights granted to EU members, including France, will also be revoked. The EU has a huge trade surplus with the UK. So imposing a tariff would tax EU exports and the flow of money from the EU into the UK.

the way back is not easy

I find it difficult to support either side in this dispute. Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May held talks in good faith, but hit an impasse because her parliament did not support her strategy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson found the impasse by accepting the existing arrangements for Northern Ireland with the hope that they would not be sustainable.

boris johnson

Johnson clearly wants to run again on the topic of Brexit in the next elections.

(Photo: AP)

The European Union has made a big mistake in aligning itself with parliament’s backbenchers against the May government. Johnson is the result of a political miscalculation by the European Union.

The EU has misused the prospect of a technical extension of the Brexit deadline for political purposes in hopes of expanding the process beyond a hypothetical second referendum. That was when EU-UK relations were no one to lag behind.

It’s not easy going back now. I think the least bad outcome would be the termination of both agreements – the Northern Ireland Protocol and the TCA.

Then we must put things to rest for a few years and, after Johnson’s term is over and a new commission unrelated to this debacle has been set up, we must start all over again – whenever that happens.

apply Brexit

Johnson clearly wants the topic of Brexit to run again in the next elections. This is also understandable. In 2019, the focus was on meeting Brexit. There will be talk of making Brexit in 2024. The Labor opposition is divided over Brexit and is determined to keep it going. If the EU repeals the TCA, it would provide Johnson with the best possible campaign platform.

The EU should be aware that by eliminating the TCA, the UK will choose to have a more disruptive regulatory environment for goods and services. And he should prepare for the fish debate at the European Council. Those seeking compensation will be defeated.

fishing dispute

If the EU repeals the TCA, the fishing rights granted to EU members, including France, will also be revoked.

(Photo: DPA)

That’s why I’m not ruling out a deal. There are interests at stake that are not currently being heard in the briefing wars. Around this time last year there was widespread information on both sides that Brexit was unlikely.

Abolishing Border Controls – A Compromise Effort?

Then they agreed on a deal at the last minute. At the time, however, it was easier to bridge the gap than it is today. No clear technical solution to Northern Ireland’s problem is in sight.

The EU’s recent proposal to end border controls between the UK and Northern Ireland was, in my opinion, a genuine agreement. However, the UK government believes it will make little difference at the grassroots level. As far as the content of the debate is concerned, we are going in circles. There isn’t much that can be done to keep one territory in two separate customs unions.

So triggering Article 16 is a very plausible scenario. The same applies to the termination of the TCA by the European Union. As bad as it sounds, it might not be the worst outcome.

Wolfgang Munchau . is the director of

more: “If Polexit arrives, our business is dead” – Poland’s companies fear exit.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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