Once again the UK is getting nothing from Brexit – apart from a firm date of departure

David Davis and Michel Barnier: One of them is walking all over the other (metaphorically). Guess who?

Is anybody willing to say that the UK is winning concessions from the European Union in Brexit negotiations? Because I’m not.

The Tory government will say that the latest serious of capitulations is a great victory because it ensures that businesses have time to make their preparations.

But how many of those businesses will decide that those preparations involve their departure from the UK?

In these days of international free trade agreements, it’s easier for a business to relocate for the sake of tariff-free commerce than to stay in a country that is about to lose those benefits.

Those changes will worsen the UK’s economic situation – of course. But business is business.

Right, Brextremists?

The EU has agreed to park outstanding disagreements for now and proposes a 21-month transition period that would last until December 2020.

Considering it could have refused to budge unless everything was resolved, this is what counts for progress in Brexit-land. The pound duly recovered some of its recent losses on the news.

The UK has paid a high price to get to this point. A series of once unimaginable concessions are now baked into the withdrawal agreement, with more likely to come if Britain wants to avoid everything falling apart again in nine months’ time.

Last month Theresa May insisted no British prime minister could possibly agree to the “backstop” proposal outlined by the EU. It sought to prevent a hard border after Brexit by keeping single market rules the same in Northern Ireland. Now, the UK has gone back to a position it appeared to accept in December that a backstop is acceptable – so long as both sides keep working toward technological and legal alternatives that might avoid this necessity for full regulatory alignment.

Almost as hard to swallow for Brexiteers is the British decision to abandon any immediate attempt to take back control of its fishing waters.

David Davis accepted the 21-month transition period on offer from Brussels rather than the 24 months he once proposed because he said the two were “close enough”. But the real surprise is the absence of any provision to extend the period if the future trade talks are not all wrapped up in time.

The treaty will commit the UK to a £40bn divorce bill stretching out until 2064.

Throughout the transition phase, Britain has now accepted it will have to abide by EU rules, particularly freedom of movement.

The only bright spot is confirmation from the EU that the UK will be allowed to negotiate new trade deals elsewhere during the transition period – something both sides have always said was likely anyway.

There is certainty for EU citizens as a result of another climbdown over whether they will continue to enjoy their rights in the UK during transition, but campaigners fear the concession is not entirely reciprocated.

Source: The five costs of UK’s pyrrhic Brexit victory | Politics | The Guardian

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6 thoughts on “Once again the UK is getting nothing from Brexit – apart from a firm date of departure

  1. Barry

    Nothing is agreed till everything is agreed at this rate the eu will determine that we get what we voted for which is to leave not the remoaner dubbed soft Brexit stay in all but name situation.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If that’s what we get at the end of this, I promise you won’t be very happy for long!

  2. Growing Flame

    The Brexists were bound to cry “Betrayal!” regardless of the outcome of negociations because their desires are built on fantasies of a kind of national separation that has not really existed for decades. As the world economy grows ever more integrated, the fearful ones who vote to withdraw from international agreements will inevitably face their own decline while the wealthy just move their money, investments and homes anywhere they fancy across the globe.

    The current “Russia” controversy is a good example. The governments bandy about news of conflicts including sanctions and expulsions and firm denunciations for mass consumption, but , meanwhile , the Tories are accepting over £800,000 from Russian oligarchs, Russian billionaires continue to buy up houses, hotels and football clubs in London and the Home Counties, and Jacob Rees-Mogg invests nearly £60 million in Sberbank in Moscow, a Bank we had been told was the subject of sanctions.

    “Patriotism” and “Nationalism” are urged on the masses by the elite politicians and newspapers but the elites themselves are already globalised.

  3. NMac

    The country is in the hands of a cabal of right-wing bigots who are incapable of working alongside other people. Without a shadow of a doubt Britain is stronger and more prosperous in the EU. These clowns are attempting to turn the clock back 45 years and, at the same time they are losing control of the strong influence and clout which we have as full members of the EU. I suspect that “Barry” will be among the first to bemoan his loss of human rights, the loss of jobs and the lost opportunities for our Grandchildren. It is an act of Tory lunacy.

  4. rotzeichen

    The EU is a none issue, the only way we can influence the outcome is by getting rid of the Tories, whether we stay in is no longer relevant, the referendum decided that.

    Will there be costs for leaving, undoubtedly, but how much, we won’t know until it happens.

    Will those costs last forever, I doubt that very much, we are a sovereign country with its own sovereign currency, unlike countries like Greece that are tied to the Euro, that matters.

    Europe is not our saviour, they are as much a problem as the Tories here for the same reasons, so why arden’t Europhiles continue keep pondering over the incalcuable outcomes id beyond me, except for blind faith.

    Neo-Liberal Europe is as big a disaster as the Neo-Liberal Tories are here, but at least we can get rid of the Tories, we can’t say the same for those in Europe, ask yourself why is fascism growing in Europe???

    We can use our currency here, to rebuild and fashion Britain as we did after the last war, that is the goal to be won, that won’t happen if we stay in Europe due to their legislation already in place.


    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I heard an argument today that fascism grows among the working classes when they realise that the middle- and upper-classes don’t have any interest in their well-being at all – as the UK’s working classes learned during the time of the Coalition government (Conservative/Liberal Democrat). Luckily for this country, Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party and started dragging it back to a position where people could put their faith in it again, after two decades under neoliberals who held the same disdain for the plebs as the Tories and LDs (if you ask me).

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