José M. de Areilza: Post-Brexit: Agreement or Cliff

José M. de AreilzaFOLLOW Updated: 09/05/2020 02: 10h Save Related Opinions

The Brexit saga returns in September, with its exciting scenes and unlikely plot twists. In the final season the argument is about whether it is still possible to reach an EU-UK trade agreement and avoid a break with very negative consequences, especially for the British. Most continental Europeans take the film for granted with a bored gesture, but it is worth paying attention to a decisive sequel. On December 31, the transitional period ends. If there is no agreement, the British disconnection from the internal market and European regulations will occur. The negotiating teams have gone as far as they can and now they expect their bosses to do their part. It is imperative that you spend time finding solutions in some areas where there are significant disagreements. The pending issues are not minor: fishing rights, state aid, social and environmental protection standards and mechanisms to guarantee the application of the agreement.

The English prime minister is overwhelmed with managing the pandemic. Labor, led by an effective Keir Starmer, equals the Tories in the polls. Boris is considering not reaching an agreement with the EU, pressing the button for “more nationalism” and checking if the speech of patriotic pride that brought him to power continues to work. You can blame the Union and the coronavirus in equal parts for the failure, which you would present as a firm refusal to relinquish regained sovereignty. He would then launch the plan of his black monk, Dominic Cummings, consisting of massively subsidizing sectors of the future economy – artificial intelligence, technology, life sciences – without any control by the EU. In return, the Scottish question would become even more complicated and chaos would reign in the export of goods and services. The Conservative Party would seamlessly follow its leader in the joyous leap over the cliff. The double question in Brussels is whether it pays for the 27 Member States to invest more energy in post-Brexit and, above all, whether they can still infect their former partner with realism and dispassion.

José M. de Areilza Opinion WriterJosé M. de AreilzaSee them
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