Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I don't get the logic of trying to negotiate a trade deal AFTER Brexit, when any deal negotiated requires unanimity and can be held up by the regional parliament of Wallonia. Trade deals typically take 7 years to negotiate and some are never ratified. So what does Boris think is going to happen in the meantime? WTO rules? Any Brexit deal only requires a weighted majority of the Council and is therefore much easier to achieve.

Has anyone here ever heard the EU side agree that WTO rules will then apply? I haven't - all that talk has come from Brexiteers. Even dividing up EU WTO quotas requires an agreement, and to the best of my knowledge no division of quotas has been agreed by the WTO - all of whose members have to agree. Again -no guarantee this will ever happen.

So we could be left with a scenario where the UK simply has no WTO trading quotas, and full tariffs apply to all exports. Added to this, without a deal there is no mutual recognition of regulatory authorities. So even if there is no mass deregulation in the UK, existing exports will have to be checked and tested to ensure they comply. Simply unmanageable with the volume of exports involved.

So Boris seems to be betting the EU will allow a de facto free trade situation to arise without any guarantees of regulatory alignment or compliance. I can't see how the EU can allow this. So half of all UK exports will be stuck in UK ports awaiting clearance. Can't see this situation being sustainable either.

So a megaphone war will break out and both sides will did in. Does Boris really believe "they need us more than we need them"? I can see all UK/EU trade, and some travel grinding to a halt as UK airlines won't have landing rights within the UK. Virtually a war situation. Does Boris think Trump will put a gun to the EU's head?  Can't see that de-escalating the situation either.

There simply is no rational explanation for this strategy beyond a belief the EU will simply lie down and die. Boris has made life so much easier for Varadker and EU leaders - no difficult trade-offs or compromises necessary. Simply hunker down until a different UK government is formed. At that point the UK will be begging for something like the now Hated Withdrawal Agreement.

Presumably Boris thinks he can win a general election on a no deal basis. From an EU point of view it doesn't matter if he does, especially if it is held after Oct. 31st. No deal is no deal. The UK electorate possibly think no deal simply means a return to the status quo ante 1973. But it doesn't. The world is a much more integrated and regulated place now. There was no Blue skies or WTO then. Trade volumes were much lower and there was no transnational JIT production processes.

So the bottom line is utter chaos unless the EU undermines its own legal order, and does so unanimously. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 5th, 2019 at 05:25:30 PM EST
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