Deal or no-deal? Brexit jitters enter next round

Deal or no-deal? Brexit jitters enter next round

Important week for the brexit – once again. In the next few days, it may become clearer whether the saga of britain’s exit from the EU, which has been going on for more than four years, will come to a smooth end.

This monday, the EU commission will again urge britain to respect the current withdrawal agreement. Tuesday sees the start of the last round of negotiations on the follow-up treaty that is to govern trade relations in the future. The most important information on the state of affairs:

Why is there a dispute about the withdrawal agreement??

With its so-called single market act, the british government wants to scrap some of the clauses of the exit treaty that was put into effect before the brexit at the end of january. This is about special rules for northern ireland that are intended to prevent a fixed border with the EU state of ireland: the british province remains more closely tied to the EU customs union and the EU single market than the rest of the country. That would divide the united kingdom, prime minister boris johnson complains. The EU counters that johnson personally negotiated the treaty and had it ratified by parliament. The clauses are necessary to keep the peace on the island of ireland.

What does the dispute mean for future relations??

A trade deal is planned for early 2021. The brexit transition period will then end, and the uk will also leave the customs union and the single market. But the EU says: why stay in a new deal with a partner who won’t honor the old one? She has issued an ultimatum to london to withdraw its plans to breach the withdrawal agreement by wednesday. This monday, the so-called joint committee, a conciliation body, will discuss the issue. London stands by its plans so far. If it stays that way, there will be no annexation agreement, EU diplomats say.

What are the sticking points?

The EU offers its ex-member a very close trade partnership: unlimited trade in goods without tariffs. But it is calling for the same environmental, social and subsidy rules. In short: equal competitive conditions under the keyword "level playing field. Great britain does not want the EU to interfere with its future standards – after all, the main goal of brexit is self-determination. London also sees itself as having the longer leverage on the second sticking point: access for eu fishermen to britain’s rich fishing grounds. Eight rounds of negotiations yielded no tangible results, but frustration for EU negotiator michel barnier. Round nine runs until friday. Johnson has the 15. October set as deadline.

What are the chances that it will work out after all??

The brexit expert from the european policy centre in brussel, fabian zuleeg, sees a black picture. "We are clearly heading for a no-deal," he said last week. Elvire fabry of the jacques delors institute made a similar comment: "the internal market law was of course a shock for everyone." She is even more pessimistic now. But there are also other voices. A british government spokesman spoke of "constructive discussions" last week after EU negotiator barnier met with his british counterpart david frost. "Both sides still see a broad trade pact as a real possibility," oracles the bloomberg news agency. British brexit expert anand menon of the think tank UK in a changing europe criticizes johnson’s policy as haphazard but says: "i think the prime minister would rather have a deal than no deal."

What happens without a treaty?

An economic rupture without an agreement means above all that both sides had to levy tariffs. That was going to make were more expensive and the settlement at the border zah and timely. Dozens of legal issues were not settled, from licenses for train drivers to travel documents for pets. Business europe association warns of "devastating consequences for businesses". Researchers at london’s king’s college estimate that a brexit without an agreement could hit the british economy three times as hard as the covid 19 crisis. British minister of state michael gove also came forward with a "worst-case" scenario: in january, there could be traffic jams with 7000 trucks at the border with france. But this is also true with the treaty, because there will be stronger controls even without customs duties.


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