IIn the Brexit dispute, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expects a hard break without a treaty with the European Union on January 1st. The EU clearly has no interest in a free trade agreement desired by Great Britain, such as with Canada, said Johnson on Friday in London. Accordingly, one now expects a relationship like with Australia, i.e. without a contract.
Nonetheless, Johnson left a back door open to negotiate a trade pact with the EU. To do this, however, the EU must change its stance, said the prime minister in a televised statement.
For a long time there was almost no movement
Johnson had actually asked for an agreement by the EU summit on October 15, which did not succeed. Then Johnson considered breaking off the negotiations. But he did not announce a crystal clear decision, but announced the preparation for a break without a deal.
The EU, on the other hand, offered Johnson further intensified negotiations for the next two to three weeks with the aim of reaching an agreement by the end of October or beginning of November. At the same time, the EU summit demanded concessions from London, to which the British government reacted disappointed.
The negotiations are about a comprehensive trade agreement from 2021. Great Britain left the international community at the end of January, but is still a member of the EU internal market and the customs union during a transition period until the end of the year. Only then does the economic break come. Without a contract, there is a risk of tariffs and high trade barriers. The economy on both sides warned of major upheavals. Losses can already be felt.
For a long time there was almost no movement in the negotiations that have been going on for months. The main points of contention from the beginning were the access of EU fishermen to British waters and the demand of the international community for equal competitive conditions for the economy, i.e. equal environmental, social and subsidy standards. In return, Great Britain should be able to deliver goods to the EU internal market without customs duties and quantity restrictions.
Third important point for the EU are rules for arbitration in the event that one side breaches the agreement. This has recently come to the fore because a British law is supposed to nullify parts of the already valid EU exit treaty. This concerns special rules for the British part of Northern Ireland. Brussels reacted indignantly to the so-called internal market law.
The British voters had voted in 2016 with a narrow majority to leave the EU. Johnson won the general election in 2019, among other things, with the announcement that Brexit would actually be carried out.