I discovered a new species this morning. The BRINO. It’s not even endangered — in fact it may be what we’re all talking about after March 2019.
‘Brexit In Name Only’ is what we were debating this morning at a London First event I was chairing with Labour Peer, Lord Liddle, member of the Lords EU Select Committee, and Suzi Ring from Bloomberg. The session crystallised a thought that’s been clawing away at the back of mind — Brexit will never end.
Everything points to transition
The real negotiations won’t happen until after Brexit day in March 2019, because we’re headed for a Brexit without a settlement. The terms of our new trading arrangement with the EU are getting kicked further and further into the long grass. Even in the event of a total breakdown of relations between the EU and the British government, there is enough mutual interest on both sides to prevent a chaotic exit which means even hard Brexit is likely to include the transitional period.
Basically, Brexit will be so shady that the big debates over sovereignty, market access and movement of people will be raging for years to come. Brilliant.
Natasha Ryan, Brexit Campaigns Manager, sums up the key talking points:
Liddle underlined that there would be very few new developments at the European Council summit this week.
“The EU27 do not have much to negotiate with. There has still been no detailed statement on the UK’s vision for the future relationship.”
Liddle also reflected on the lack of political bandwidth amongst the EU27. With the member states having to fight fires in all corners, the European Commission has led negotiations, taking an administrative, treaty-based view.
The trade split
Highlighting the core divide on trade, Liddle said. “The UK government believes that frictionless trade is possible and that there won’t be a need for a hard border, as this will be resolved in the trade agreement. The EU, on the other hand, takes the view that the two trading partners won’t have the same economic relationship post-Brexit, and that some kind of border will be necessary.”
With thanks to event host, Ian Smart from Grant Thornton LLP.
This was the second of a series of events about the Brexit negotiations. Read leading trade expert Alan L Winters’ comments from our first session. Our next event is in October, on ports and airports, more details to follow.
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