A post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union and Britain reached a crisis point on Monday, amid high uncertainty over the outcome of negotiations. Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that Britain will remain prosperous regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, leaving the EU without a deal would still endanger the country’s political instability. Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin also warned that there was only a 50-50 chance of a deal, with discussions moving slowly and expectations low.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, and His British counterpart, David Frost, worked late into the night in Brussels before opening talks after eight months of intense negotiations. The UK leaves the EU on 31 January, and the transition period ends on 31 December when the UK formally leaves the single market. The brexit negotiations are aimed at establishing a zero-tariff, zero-quota trade relationship to avoid a major disruption on January 1. Mr. Barnier and Mr. Frost are expected to continue their dialogue and update their leaders on progress. “We are working hard for an agreement and we will see the outcome in the next 24 hours,” Frost told reporters.
The Associated Press quoted a source close to the brexit negotiations as saying the situation was “very difficult”, explaining that “The path the UK has taken with the EU is too narrow to have a chance of predicting the outcome.” Britain is unwilling to accept a broad and binding arrangement, which it sees as an infringement of its newly established sovereignty. In essence, say EU diplomats, if the talks fail now, there will be no consensus. Irish Prime Minister Martin Luther King said there was still only a 50-50 chance of a deal.
Despite Mr. Johnson’s insistence that Britain will maintain prosper mightily, he would face severe political unrest if it ended with a no-agreement Brexit. Mujtaba Rahman, adviser to The Eurasia Group, said: “Johnson has a big decision to make in the next 48 hours. A majority of the British cabinet wants a deal to leave the EU to limit damage at the border on January 1. But if Johnson insists on a no-deal brexit after the review, then the cabinet will still support Johnson’s decision.” If no deal is reached, it now seems likely that, from January 1st, large trade tariffs will be imposed on ships passing between Britain and continental Europe.
Not only trade tariffs, but also passport delays for travelers between the two sides, as well as red tape for foreign residents and businesses. Mr Martin insisted: “A no-deal Brexit would be devastating for everyone, including the UK, Ireland and eu member states. It’s important here to spread common sense and get a deal, and this week’s EU summit will be a pivotal moment in the brexit negotiations.”
Ireland is set to be the biggest EU member hit by A no-deal Brexit, insists Its foreign minister Simon Conveney, as a deal presents an opportunity to avoid a bigger blow to the economy, as it is already beset by an epidemic of COVID-19. He added: “The failure of the negotiations will not bring any political meaning and certainly will not have any economic and social impact. For all the reasons that can be considered, I think the negotiating team and senior management will find a way to do a deal in Brussels, but at the moment, we are in a difficult position in the negotiations.”
Britain’s The Independent, The Independent) editorial notes that The UK off The agreement has been reached 98%, and in The next 24 days British chaos caused by The economic, social and cultural would be unthinkable, UK and European neighbours together after The road of The past 50 years, are advancing towards a very sad story ending, its roots in The British hubris, and Johnson’s political judgment. The editorial also stressed that Britain’s mistakes and failures in the June 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, as well as its lack of combat effectiveness, will be the focus of future generations’ discussions. It also means that the brexit trade negotiations have been conducted in the most unfavorable way since day one, during which no improvement has been made.
Until now, The UK must abide by the EU’s tariff-free single market until the post-Brexit transition period ends at the end of the year. Under current rules, this is an immutable deadline by which both Britain and the EU must reach a new agreement on their future relationship. For weeks, the same issues have blocked progress on a Brexit deal, including fishing rights in British waters. The editorial concludes that, with the Brexit deal coming to an end, whatever deal is reached will be limited and fragile, and while regrettable, there will be little either side can do at a later stage. The best scenario is that even an inadequate trade deal would be preferable to a no-deal Brexit.