The EU should think twice before rejecting Boris Johnson’s proposal




The member states of the EU have a typical negotiating place on Brexit, nevertheless, they’ve utterly completely different ulterior motives.

There is one group, led by Germany, whose priority is to avoid a no-deal Brexit with a goal to minimize disruption to industrial present chains. Another group, led by France, seeks to stop the UK from exploiting the alternate options for regulatory arbitrage. The French concern Singapore on the Thames might undercut EU necessities on social protection and the environment. Then there is a third group that needs the UK to reverse Brexit altogether, as a brand of the fightback in opposition to the rising world tide of populism.

What all three have in widespread is a shortage of curiosity in agreeing to work together with UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s proposals for the withdrawal deal. They are reassured that the Brexit extension bill handed by the House of Commons has eradicated the specter of an instantaneous no-deal Brexit. Legal paperwork submitted to a Scottish courtroom state that Mr. Johnson intends to regulate to the requirements of the Benn Act and search a Brexit delay if he can’t secure a deal.

But even when the deadline is extended as quickly as further, the EU should think twice before rejecting the latest UK plan. It is trivially true that an extension buys time, avoids disruption on the day, and maybe even opens up a theoretical path in the route of a Brexit reversal. But rejection would nonetheless be a short-sighted approach. If the strategy is allowed to stray earlier the current October 31 deadline, the EU should stick with the outcomes of rejecting the deal.

The giant idea behind the British authorities’ most recent proposals is to keep up Northern Ireland contained within the EU’s single market for industrial objects and agrifoods, nevertheless exterior the EU’s customs union. That sounds tough, nevertheless it is an affordable begin line: it is less complicated to look out technical choices for customs procedures than single market pointers. What is unreasonable is to counsel a correct veto for Stormont, the Northern Ireland assembly — which has not sat since 2017 when the power-sharing affiliation between the Democratic Unionist social gathering and Sinn Féin collapsed.

But by rejecting all the bundles, the EU would reveal that it could presumably solely present a restricted differ of future relationships: Theresa May’s earlier deal or full membership of the one market and the customs union.

Since all Brexit presents proposed by UK authorities would have been rejected, no-deal would then be the one Brexit chance that is left. The Conservative social gathering would advertising and marketing marketing campaign for it on the following regular election. Also bear in mind that, without a deal, it is perhaps exhausting to know what question to position on a ballot paper in any future second referendum.

I do not think that EU leaders have thought this through. There are few people who spend their days pondering strategically on the EU’s behalf. National leaders act of their nation’s self-interest, as they did by the eurozone catastrophe. The solely European institution accustomed to performing strategically for all of the houses in the European Central Bank.

So what would symbolize an intelligent approach for the EU as a whole? Brexit has weakened the EU, nevertheless not fatally. My first priority now could be to cease a giant monetary shock. The amount of commerce between the EU and the UK was £634bn in 2018. The complete commerce amount between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic was £5.4bn. This is a ratio of larger than 100 to 1. I understand why the rest of the EU areas the following price on the pursuits of Ireland than the UK. I do not understand why they place so little price on their very personal pursuits.

There are various muddled pondering spherical. The obsession with avoiding blame is alarming. When you ask why Dublin prefers a no-deal Brexit to a compromise on the backstop, you keep getting the identical reply. Ireland’s prime minister Leo Varadkar can blame the UK for the fallout from no deal, nevertheless the Irish would blame him personally if he compromised. In Brussels, I maintain listening to that the EU would not want the blame for a no-deal Brexit. So it seems that evidently the biggest drawback with a no-deal Brexit should not be the issue itself nevertheless who’s held accountable. This blame sport might end up rising the possibility of no deal.

France and Germany have utterly completely different ulterior motives, nevertheless a no-deal Brexit serves neither of them. Strategically, it is perhaps larger for the EU to easily settle for the parameters of Mr. Johnson’s proposal, minus the nonsensical veto rights for Stormont. The EU should lengthen the deadline for remaining time to complete the negotiations in all its technical particulars and allow time for ratification. The UK should undertake to abide by widespread necessities on social protections and environmental necessities.

There is a deal to be completed — and a raffle to be misplaced.

munchau@eurointelligence.com




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