( A three-minute read)
The March 29, 2019 deadline looms large.
A lot could still go wrong.
Different member states have different priorities regarding future relations, which could give London a degree of leverage over the proceedings, while internal divisions are fragmenting May’s cabinet weaken the UK’s position for phase two of Brexit negotiations. Notably, the disagreements have thus far resulted in a lack of detailed proposals that may allow the EU to take the initiative, ensuring outcomes more favorable for Brussels.
The issue of where the UK will and will not uphold EU regulation standards has proved a persistent issue throughout the negotiations.
The UK wants to maintain EU regulations in some sectors, such as the financial passport while diverging from others, namely immigration.
The EU rejects such cherry-picking, maintaining an all-or-nothing approach to regulations.
Regarding the transition period, the UK wants a transition period without a pre-determined end-date, whereas the EU wants to end the transition by December 2020, as the new EU Budget cycle will kick in 2021.
The role of the European Court of Justice and the EU body of laws from which the UK wants exemption during any transition period (and in some cases, beyond) also remains an important source of disagreement.
Although negotiators reached an agreement on Northern Ireland’s border in phase one of the negotiations, it is by no means a closed chapter. The agreement implied the UK would propose a solution that avoids a “hard border,” but has yet to deliver one. Thus, the draft agreement released by the EU is not acceptable to the UK because it suggests a common regulatory area between Ireland and Northern Ireland if no other solution is found.
This means that for all practical purposes, Northern Ireland would remain part of the EU while creating a border on the Irish Sea.
Here is what will happen:
The UK continuing failure to come up with proposals will damage its economy further resulting in a general election. The election will in effect be a second referendum.
The resulting vacuum will affect the whole of the European Union.
Real Negotiations will be put on hold while some sort of agreement on mutual interest emerges. While £37 billion leaving bill will be jacked up.
The result of the elections will put the Uk in no position to walk away from the negotiating table, or even to threaten to do so if it wants the United Kingdom not to break asunder.
Britain will fall into a Brexit which will not deliver the benefits that it could or should to either side.
An EU disintegration will make the 2008 financial crisis look like a walk in the park.
The worst is to come.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.