Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I've always been in two minds as to Boris's strategy... and completely appalled as to the non-transparence of his dictatorial powers over Brexit...

I have most often thought that he would hit the brakes just before the cliff edge, though I often entertained the idea that he would enjoy the freedom of soaring into the vacuum... But then again, perhaps the departure of Cummings and his lemmings enabled him to get a proper briefing from economists rather that electoral marketing men?

So he has finally acknowledged that he can't have his cake and eat it, and that it is entirely legitimate that sovereign entities may fix tariffs if production conditions are not equivalent (duh). Obviously, this boots major economic impacts down the road, and when it happens, Westminster will be in a position to evaluate the probable economic damage from diverging from existing, or not implementing new, EU standards.

No sovereignty lost, obviously. As for face... a little bit perhaps.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Dec 13th, 2020 at 07:07:54 PM EST
Colour me a little sceptical as to how much competitive advantage the UK could gain from de-regulation in any case. There is no EU minimum wage, so they can lower labour wage rates if there is large scale unemployment. Sterling devaluation will give them an added boost.

Boris claims to be committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in any case and being tied to EU quality standards could be a marketing boost. Think of the PR damage if they imported chlorinated chickens or hormone fed beef.

So a lot of this is about arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. UK manufacturing is almost dead anyway, and hardly a threat to EU industry. Key will be preventing (say) Chinese goods circumventing EU tariffs via the UK, but that is a customs control issue.

Fishing is even more irrelevant in the larger economic scheme of things. It would be easy to link how much British caught fish can be exported to the EU to the amount of fish EU boats can catch in UK waters. In cash terms, the volumes are miniscule.

So the bottom line is that there is a deal to be done if the parties really want one, what remains is merely the showboating and chest-thumping - "mine is bigger than yours"! A display of machismo over Christmas should do the trick.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 13th, 2020 at 10:09:40 PM EST
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