The UK officially leaves the European system tonight with a structured withdrawal following a transition until the end of December.
When the clock rings in Brussels on Friday, Britain will be outside the European Union and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will deliver on his promise of a “Brexit” campaign. His country’s exit from the European bloc.
The signing of the exit agreement by representatives of the 27 European countries is the final touch following the ratification of the European Parliament, where British MPs participated in their last session of parliament and some of them were overwhelmed by the feelings of influence in exchange for the sympathy of Brexit supporters.
The British-European marriage lasted 47 years. The marriage of the two parties has not come to an end, particularly with the adoption of the euro currency and the entry into the unified Schengen space. Divorce will not go to an end, as the parties are doomed to remain in a fateful relationship, economically and politically.
February 1 will mark the beginning of a new phase of negotiations between London and Brussels to agree on the future form of the relationship between the two parties.
The parties will have until the end of 2020 to reach agreement on trade and other issues including security, energy, transportation, fishing rights, and data flow. At that transitional period, Britain will remain a member of the European Union for everything but the name, according to Reuters.
Johnson says 11 months is enough time to conclude a trade agreement based on the elimination of customs duties and quotas. He has pledged not to extend the transition period beyond 2020, although this option remains available.
Possibilities of separation
If the parties fail to reach an agreement, the legal alternative to leaving the UNION without an agreement will be subject to a deal, which may entail obstacles and two standards will apply to trade between Britain and the EU from 2021, which will result in import duties and restrictions.
Eu’s Brexit adviser, Stephane de Reinke, said that reaching the brink of “still a strong possibility” that finding common ground by December 31 would be more difficult than agreeing on the terms of the “divorce” reached by the two sides in October, more than three years after the referendum. The British voted to secede from the European Union.
It usually takes years to complete trade agreements with the European Union and almost no one in Brussels believes that the transition period will be sufficient to conclude beyond the mere basic lines of a trade agreement.
Fair competition. An expected crisis.
It would be easier to achieve more if Britain were willing to keep working along with European rules, but London insists it will not be a “recipient of the rules.”
Britain fears that continued compliance with EU rules will make it more difficult to conclude trade agreements with other countries, particularly the United States.
The European Union says it will not conclude a trade agreement with a major economic power in the neighborhood without strong terms guaranteeing fair competition.
His demands will focus on issues of equal treatment, including environmental and labor standards, as well as government support rules, to ensure that Britain is not able to put products on the European single market at unfairly low prices.
Sam Law of the Centre for European Reform, a research firm, said Britain’s desire for full control of domestic regulation and trade policy would significantly limit the extent of any agreement.
“At best, the EU and Britain are moving towards a free trade agreement that eliminates all customs duties and quotas but creates significant new administrative and regulatory barriers to trade in goods and services,” he added.
Given the current overlap of cross-border industrial supply chains in the European Union for products such as automobiles and medicines, agreement on rules on the origin of products and therefore complex regulations and taxes will apply to them.
But one of the biggest risks to an agreement will be fishing rights, for which the tug-of-war has already begun.
Regaining control of Britain’s fish-rich waters was an issue that many advocates of secession from the European Union had not been impartial. However, Brussels has linked the opportunity for fishing boats to member states to open EU markets to Britain’s giant financial sector.
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A few months to make a deal.
Although the period on paper for the EU and Britain UK to conclude an agreement governing future relations is 11 months, the time frame is much smaller.
The talks will not officially begin until EU governments agree to the mandate for negotiations late next month.
The parties must then reach an agreement by mid-October to allow sufficient time to translate it into the 23 official EU languages and obtain the necessary parliamentary approvals before the end of the year.