Time is running out: is the UK and the EU threatened with Brexit chaos?

Updated November 25, 2020, 11:20 a.m.

  • Negotiations on EU-UK relations are proving difficult.
  • If both sides cannot agree on a deal, lower incomes and higher unemployment threaten.
  • The difficult situation in his country could force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make concessions.

Brexit: Everything about the UK’s exit from the EU can be found here

Stay with the negotiating partners around six weeks: The European Union and its ex-member Great Britain have to agree on an agreement by December 31, 2020. Otherwise the Transition phase with a unregulated Brexit end – and with far-reaching consequences.

Brussels and London are still far apart on key issues. A finished agreement would also have to be in good time translated and from all EU member states ratified will.

“Time is running out,” wrote EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier recently on twitter. “Fundamental differences persist, but we’re working hard on a deal.”

Less trade, less income, fewer jobs

What is clear is that both the UK and the EU would be hard hit if they did not reach an agreement. Both sides would have to duties could raise long waiting times at the borders Delivery bottlenecks as a result, trade between countries would likely decline.

“The UK will turn into a 2021 deal without a deal recession fall and should get a stagflation problem in the medium term, “explains Paul Welfens, Professor of Economics at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, in conversation with our editorial team. With Stagflation is a Combination of stagnating real income and inflation meant.

The possible ones are difficult to put into numbers political consequences: In the Europe-friendly Scotland has left the EU the desire for state independence Given a boost. After a hard Brexit, there should be a solid line between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, many experts believe that the laboriously worked peace there would be in danger.

Unregulated Brexit would also have consequences for the EU and Germany

The European side would probably get off lightly. However, an unregulated Brexit would also have consequences for Germany and the other EU countries. Paul Welfens expects the German exports to the kingdom without a deal in the next two years decrease by 10 percent will. “That would be a quarter of a percentage point of national income loss.”

It should not be forgotten that a no-deal Brexit would also hit the neighboring countries of the Netherlands and Belgium hard – which in turn are important trading partners for Germany.

A study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics comes to the conclusion that 103,000 jobs in Germany would be affected by a hard Brexit. The Bertelsmann Foundation has calculated that Income per capita of Germans could decrease by 115 euros per year. However, the decline in income would be particularly large for the British themselves (900 euros per person per year).

The biggest points of contention

There is a problem with the negotiations on the one hand fishing: So far, EU members have had largely free access to British waters. Fleets from France, Belgium and the Netherlands in particular continue to rely on it. British companies, on the other hand, want the British fish to be theirs: so far, foreign fleets have fetched more fish from British waters than the British themselves.

Another controversial term is “level playing field”what about level playing field translate. The EU only wants to agree to free trade with the UK if there are comparable social and environmental standards. The British, on the other hand, want to set these rules themselves.

Agreement still possible

In October, Boris Johnson made it clear that he did not want to change his stance. Speaking of the negotiating partners in Brussels, he said in a speech: “You are calling for the possibility of controlling the freedom of our legislation and our fishing in a way that which is unacceptable to any independent country would be. “As a success he could Free trade agreements book that his government with Japan and Canada has negotiated.

Still, Johnson is in a difficult position: a hoped-for one Free trade agreement with the USA is due to the change in the presidency in far distance. “In any case, Joe Biden will not make it as easy for Johnson as Donald Trump would have expected,” says Paul Welfens.

Cummings departure as a sign?

The UK has through the Corona-Pandemie in addition to digesting a severe economic shock – the economic consequences of Brexit would add to that. “The pressure on Johnson is maximum. Because of the massive Corona economic crisis, he should be at the end of the year but looking for a deal with the EU.

In mid-November, the British prime minister parted ways with his controversial advisor and Brexit hardliner Dominic Cummings. The move is seen as a sign that Johnson wants to say goodbye to his confrontational course in domestic and foreign policy.

Expert Welfens believes that Johnson ultimately depends on agreeing to a deal. There’ll probably be at least one Last minute deals give to get a longer transition period for further negotiations.

Von der Leyen: “Will do everything possible to reach an agreement”

The EU also continues to hope for an agreement. After difficult weeks we are now making greater progress, said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference last week.

On Wednesday in the European Parliament, however, von der Leyen said: “I still cannot tell you today whether there will be an agreement in the end.” The next few days would be decisive.

There is still very serious differences. “With very little time left to go, we’ll do everything in our power to reach an agreement,” said von der Leyen. “We are ready to be creative. But we are not ready to question the existence of our internal market.”

EU more popular than ever in the UK

In Brussels, a representative survey by the Pew Research Center should also have caused satisfaction: Say in it 60 percent of the British surveyed that they are a positive opinion of the European Union have a historical high and an increase of six percentage points over the previous year. The apparently contributed to this Evaluation of the corona crisis management: Only 46 percent of Britons think their own government is doing a good job dealing with the pandemic. The EU, on the other hand, gave 64 percent good marks on the subject.

Economist Paul Welfens, however, does not believe that the EU can rest on such numbers: the member states should have theirs Strengthen cooperation. If this is not possible with all states due to the current blockade policy of Poland and Hungary, then at least on the basis of the euro states: with parliament, government and budget for the euro zone. “The EU and the Eurozone need to be able to act, since the further economic rise of China is foreseeable and the USA can be expected to be politically weakened for years.”

About the expert:

Prof. Dr. Paul JJ Welfens is President of the European Institute for International Economic Relations at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. The expert on economic integration and the global economy is the author of the book “Brexit by mistake” (Springer-Verlag).

Sources used:

  • Conversation with Prof. Dr. Paul JJ Welfens
  • Deutschlandfunk.de: Negotiations fish
  • German Press Agency (dpa)
  • Europäische Kommission: Speech by Michel Barnier in plenary session of the European Parliament
  • Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Halle / DIW Berlin: Short-term economic effects of a “Brexit” on the German economy
  • Pew Research Center: Majorities in the European Union Have Favorable Views of the Bloc
  • The Guardian: Brexit deal close to being finalised, EU ambassadors told

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus. Since his symptoms have persisted for many days, he has now been taken to a hospital.


Fans would return to Premier League stadiums in December – ContraRéplica

Daniel Montes de Oca

The Premier League will have fans back in their stadiums at the end of 2020, once the lockdown national in the United Kingdom on December 2, reported the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It will be up to a maximum of 4 thousand people who will be able to access the sporting events that are held outdoors.

In a virtual statement before the House of Commons, said that fans living in areas with the lowest risk of contagion of COVID-19, they will return to the stands of the best league in the world.

He pointed out that once the confinement was over, the country will return to the three-tier system of selective restrictionsTherefore, in areas considered very high risk (restriction level 3), they will not be allowed to have spectators in sports venues.

In high-risk areas (restriction level 2), they can gather up to 2,000 fans or 50% of the stadium capacity starting next week, and a maximum of 4 thousand or 50% of its capacity in lower risk areas.

It should be remembered that before the start of 2020-2021 season, tests were made in friendly matches with a maximum of 2,500 people, but the gradual return plan had to be withdrawn on October 1 due to the rebound in cases.

Image: Reuters


London authorizes gradual opening of stadiums in December

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson approved the entry of the public to the sports arenas as part of a de-escalation of restrictions to control the coronavirus when a national lockdown is ended the December 2nd.

A maximum of 4,000 fans will be allowed in areas with the lowest incidence of COVID-19 and up to 2,000 in areas that fall into the following category of restrictions. High-risk areas may not open doors to spectators.

They stopped tuned

Plans to allow fans to return in October were halted due to an increase in infections from coronavirus.

The government will announce on Thursday the categories in which English cities and regions will be located.

We have been able to enable the turnstiles earlier than anticipated, “said the Secretary of Culture Oliver Dowden With a cautious strategy and starting with the lowest risk regions first.

I am confident that sport will take all the measures to ensure that its fans are insurance, and that the fans will do their part, looking after themselves, until they allow everyone to enter, he added.

Great Britain has been the European country hardest hit by pandemic, with 55 thousand 230 deaths confirmed.



This childish strategy must fail – always

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Editor-in-chief Florian Harms’ newsletter

Good morning dear readers,

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and started the new week strengthened. On this Monday I am able to present the topics of the day to you on behalf of Florian Harms. And nowadays you hardly know where to start. Which is why I was looking for one thing in common in the many hardships of our current time.


The child cries, yells, throws things on the floor and leaves the others at the table annoyed and perhaps a little embarrassed. Most parents will probably know such scenes from game evenings with their offspring. Of course, one forgives little boys or daughters for such behavior if the game together did not go as hoped for them. You have to learn to accept defeat and other uncomfortable realities. They are here, and to deny them would be pointless.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. The big, defiant kid in the White House has the game US election 2020 lost and raged against everyone who allegedly conspired against him: Communist election workers, corrupt judges, left-wing extremist media and traitorous party members. He throws letters of complaint and frenzied tweets around like the child with Monopoly pawns and cards. But it won’t do him any good. The choice is made, that’s a fact. Joe Biden made him, who prefers to call others a loser, a loser. And since then, the world has been watching the outbreak of anger at America’s leadership, stunned and embarrassed.

Boris Johnson: The British Prime Minister was a Brexit champion.  Now he is leading his country into safe decline.  (Source: imago images / i Images)Boris Johnson: The British Prime Minister was a Brexit champion. Now he is leading his country into safe decline. (Source: i Images / imago images)

It is a similar story for many when looking over the English Channel and towards Brexit. Years ago, a blond muddle head had put the flea in his compatriots’ ears that the United Kingdom could be made a great nation again just by breaking away from Europe. It goes without saying that a small country has worse chances in a globalized world than a large alliance of states. However, this contradicts the wishful thinking of many Britons to be a world power all alone. Just like in the past, when people still sailed around the world in sailing ships and showed the colonies what civilization is. But those times are gone forever, clinging to them is pointless. And Brexit will do its destructive work.

In Germany, too, many people are driven more by wishful thinking than by logic and facts. For “lateral thinkers”, the Corona crisis is pure fiction; in their eyes, the necessary precautionary measures are instruments of state repression. What consequences such strange thinking can have in the pandemic, shows up in the USA. In the country with the top lateral thinker directly in the Oval Office, 20 percent more people die in the year of the pandemic than in previous years. More than 250,000 deaths in connection with Covid-19 have been reported there and the hospitals in many places are groaning under the onslaught of corona sufferers. This is the reality that corona deniers don’t want to see.

“Unconventional thinkers” demo in Berlin: The participants consider the measures to protect against Corona to be arbitrary. (Source: F. Kern / Future Image / imago images)

Compared to another practical test, however, the corona crisis seems almost harmless. The climate crisis decides the fate of all humanity. Will we master the impending catastrophe and stay? Or are we a dying species? All the facts are on the table here too. We know exactly what is threatening us. And we know what to do to prevent the worst from happening. Are we acting now or are we ignoring the facts for a few more decades of carefree reverie? At the moment it seems fatally as if the world has decided on the latter.

It is tempting to ignore uncomfortable truths, to pretend certain problems don’t exist. That makes life easier, more carefree and less tiresome. But it is also the sure way to fail, that shows again and again. Only those who recognize the facts and react appropriately to them can persist and be successful in the fight against crises. Reality deniers, on the other hand, are always on the wrong side of history. Your thinking is reminiscent of the stubborn child who does not want to admit what should not be true and in the end does not achieve anything.


Before the Corona summit with the Chancellor on Wednesday the countries want to continue to vote on their own proposal on Monday. Already on Sunday evening it became known that the already applicable restrictions should remain in place until at least December 20th. For Christmas, on the other hand, relaxed meetings with family members and friends are planned. Apparently there is also a ban on firecrackers on New Year’s Eve.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will be on trial in Paris from 1.30 p.m. on suspicion of bribery. In 2014 he is said to have tried to obtain investigative secrets from a senior lawyer at the Court of Cassation through his lawyer.

Nicolas Sarkozy: The former French president is suspected of bribery.  (Source: imago images / Vincent Isore)Nicolas Sarkozy: The former French president is suspected of bribery. (Source: Vincent Isore / imago images)

Germany is entering this year’s International Emmys with two nominations. Emma Bading, born in Monheim am Rhein in 1998, has been nominated for her role in the ARD film “Play” in the category “Best Actress”. In addition, the second season of the historic ARD hospital series “Charité” has been nominated as the best drama series. Because of the corona pandemic, the prize gala for non-American productions will take place online this time (from 5 p.m.).


Germany made one mistake after the other in the corona pandemic, criticizes the virologist Alexander Kekulé. In an interview with my colleagues Nicole Sagener and Melanie Weiner he reveals what, in his opinion, would have been better.

The corona numbers in the USA are already dramatic and they could get much more dramatic. Thanksgiving is coming up this week and traditionally big family celebrations. My colleague Sonja Eichert wonders can the disaster be prevented?

Steve is deaf, Pascal is hard of hearing. Which hurdles they encounter in everyday life and why music is still indispensable for them, tell my colleagues Sophie Loelke, Sandra Sperling and Nicolas Lindken in our video format “Ask me”.

Steve is deaf, Pascal is hard of hearing: At t-online they report how they are doing in everyday life.  (Source: t-online)Steve is deaf, Pascal is hard of hearing: At t-online they report how they are doing in everyday life. (Source: t-online)

Knights without blame or blame, this is how we imagine the military elite of the Middle Ages today. Even centuries ago, however, fights were sometimes anything but honorable, as my colleague Marc von Lüpke describes.


Politicians also value the advantages of video conferencing.

  (Source: Mario Lars) (Source: Mario Lars)

I wish you a pleasent day. Tomorrow, Tuesday, editor-in-chief Florian Harms will write for you again.


Carsten Werner

Head of the service t-online.de

E-mail: t-online-newsletter@stroeer.de

Twitter: @Carsten_Werner

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Some recovery potential for the pound

British pound

The rate of the British currency is like a seismograph of the Brexit negotiations.

(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt Boris Johnson is currently facing many problems. The British Prime Minister must contain the rising number of corona infections in Great Britain. He also recently lost two of his key employees and is in quarantine after meeting an MP who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The time for the quarantine is extremely inconvenient. Because in the coming days or weeks it could be decided whether Great Britain and the EU agree on a common trade agreement or the talks fail. The decision is likely to have a significant impact on the development of the British pound.

Since the British voted for Brexit in 2016, the exchange rate of the British currency has been like a seismograph for the current state of negotiations. Most investors are currently assuming that both sides will come to an agreement.

“We are closer to the trade agreement than ever,” says Stephen Innes, market strategist at the broker Axi. The analyst at DZ Bank, Sonja Marten, on the other hand, expects that “a deal will not be announced before the end of the year”, if it comes about at all.

Also her colleague Esther Reichelt from the Commerzbank is rather skeptical whether a breakthrough is imminent. “Both sides have to show that they have negotiated hard,” she says. It is therefore quite possible that they will fully exhaust the deadline for negotiations.

Pound is quoted at around 0.89 pounds per euro

At the moment, however, everyone in the market would assume that both sides would agree. The signals in this direction have been intensifying since October. At that time, Great Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he wanted to end negotiations with the EU – without an agreement if necessary. As a result, however, both sides had come together for further negotiations.

Reichelt therefore assumes that the pound’s reaction should not be too great in the event of an execution. “There might be a slight relief rally, but we don’t expect the pound to appreciate any longer,” she says.

Should the talks fail, however, a stronger devaluation of the pound can be expected. DZ Bank estimates that in this case the British currency is likely to lose around ten percent of its value across the board and the British economy will slide back into recession at the beginning of next year.

However, since this is not the main scenario, the institute only predicts a slight depreciation of the pound compared to the euro: it is currently trading at around 0.89 pounds per euro – in twelve months the DZ Bank is assuming an exchange rate of 0.92 pounds . Commerzbank, on the other hand, expects a somewhat firmer pound and forecasts an exchange rate of 0.86 pounds per euro for the end of 2021. Also the major Swiss bank UBS tends to be more optimistic about the pound.


However, the forecasts are associated with high risks. Even if there is an agreement, British companies will probably no longer have as easy access to the European single market as they did in the past. How well prepared they are must be shown in practice. “Even after an agreement, there is great uncertainty as to whether the British economy will manage to adapt quickly to the new situation,” says Commerzbank foreign exchange analyst Esther Reichelt.

Key rate still positive in Great Britain

So far, investors have focused primarily on the question of what will happen to the negotiations by the end of the year. However, if the UK economy does not emerge from the crisis next year, the subject of negative interest rates could also come on the agenda even more. The key interest rate in Great Britain is currently still slightly positive at 0.1 percent.

The Bank of England is keeping the option of a cut below zero open. However, because of the possible negative side effects for the banking system, such a step is very controversial. Therefore, the UK central bank will probably only resort to the remedy if the economic outlook continues to darken, for example if a trade deal with the EU fails. Such a move would weigh on the pound according to foreign exchange expert Reichelt.


Because when interest rates fall in Great Britain, it will be relatively more attractive for international investors to invest their capital in other currency areas. This would reduce the demand for the pound on the capital market and the exchange rate would tend to depreciate.

Especially if an agreement with the EU fails, a reverse step of an interest rate hike would not be entirely ruled out. That is when the pound comes under great pressure. The vulnerability of the British currency is also great because the country has had a high deficit in the current account for years, i.e. in trade in goods and services with foreign countries.

This means that the bottom line is that Great Britain spends more capital on goods and services from abroad than it earns from exporting there. To cover this deficit, it relies on capital inflows from abroad. Usually this is not a problem, but in certain situations it is.

Long-term Brexit consequences possible

“Due to the high current account deficit in Great Britain, the pound is susceptible to exaggerated reactions,” emphasizes Commerzbank foreign exchange expert Reichelt. Especially if there is no agreement with the EU, this could set in motion a downward dynamic. In this case, Reichelt may even consider a rate hike in Great Britain possible. The UK central bank could then be forced to take such a step to stop the downward momentum.

Even if there should soon be clarity about the future status of trade relations between Great Britain and the EU, the consequences of Brexit will continue to have an impact on the pound for a long time to come. In the short term, an agreement on a trade agreement with the EU should provide some boost – failure, on the other hand, would probably lead to heavy losses. The further development depends on how the UK economy handles the situation afterwards.

More: Pound investors have to be prepared for turbulence


Johnson criticized for defending a minister accused of workplace harassment

The head of the British Government, Boris Johnson, resists an avalanche of criticism for its unconditional defense of a minister who verbally abused officials in her charge. Ministerial Ethics Advisor Sir Alex Allan, who oversaw an investigation of the allegations, concluded that Interior Minister Priti Patel broke the official code with an abusive tendency to yell and insult staff who “can be described as bullying” .

The conservative president ignored the expert’s verdict, concluded that Patel had not “intentionally” committed any wrongdoing and turned his confidence in the most eurosceptic member of his cabinet. Allan resigned from his position and the Committee on Standards in Public Activity decided to open an investigation into the case. “It is unacceptable. ‘Bullies’ (abusers) should not be allowed in the Government“The former head of the Interior, Sir David Normington, denounced yesterday to the BBC.

Violating the ministerial code often leads to the resignation of the politician. Patel herself lost her government post in 2017 by breaking the rule on private meetings with foreign officials, but this time she has saved her portfolio without receiving a reprimand from her boss.

The prime minister is the “arbiter” of ministerial standards of conduct, as Downing Street justifies. But there are no known precedents for the course followed by Johnson, who commissioned his adviser to investigate allegations against Patel for abusive behavior and ignored the independent conclusion of a report, which he refuses to publish. Several media yesterday accused the ‘premier’ of pressuring in vain for Allan “soften” and “make more digestible” your resolution.

Patel is in favor of an extreme Brexit and admired in the rank and file of the party. He manages the new immigration law and has angered legal experts with disparaging comments from lawyers representing asylum seekers and those acting in cases of deportation of long-lived foreigners in England.


The United Kingdom will strengthen its Navy as the most powerful in Europe

(VOVWORLD) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on November 19 the largest increase in the national defense budget since the Cold War, with the aim of strengthening the Navy as the most powerful in Europe.

The new aircraft carrier of the British Navy (Photo: The Guardian)

Speaking in the British Parliament, Johnson said the period of defense budget cuts was over and that the government would add £ 24.1 billion to the army over the next four years.

With this decision, the defense budget in the near future will represent 2.2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With a total budget for the sector of 190 billion pounds over the next four years (more than 252 billion dollars), London will be a member with the largest defense budget in Europe and the second in the Atlantic Treaty Organization. North (NATO), after the United States.

Johnson said his country’s Navy would restore its status as the strongest on the Old Continent through a plan to build 12 new destroyers and develop a new generation of warships.


The British Home Secretary did commit “bullying”

The UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, was accused of intimidation and bullying. The investigation that analyzes the accusations of intimidation by the head of the Interior has concluded that Patel “involuntarily” violated the rules of behavior imposed on the ministers.

It was the British Prime Minister himself, Boris Johnson, who asked officials to conduct an investigation to “establish the facts” in March after allegations were filed against Patel.

And it is that at the beginning of the year, the top British official in the Ministry of the Interior, Philip Rutman, resigned from his post claiming that he had become “the target of a vicious and orchestrated campaign against him” in which, he alleged, Patel was involved. The minister has always rejected any accusation of harassment. Although the independent government report on standards was completed in the summer, it has not yet been published.

The British public broadcaster BBC, citing unidentified sources, reported that the draft report found that Patel had violated the ministerial code. In this code, states that ministers must treat officials with respect. The report concludes that there was evidence of harassment, even if it was unintentional.

The newspaper “The Sun” indicated for its part that the investigation concluded that Patel inadvertently broke the code, but no formal complaints were filed against her, while the ITV network reported that Johnson would not reprimand her.

“The process is ongoing and the prime minister will make any decision on the matter public once it is concluded,” a government spokeswoman said in a statement in response to the reports.

The Johnson administration has had an uneasy relationship with senior officials, with several senior officials leaving their posts since Johnson’s election victory last December. Nick Thomas-Symonds, the internal affairs spokesman for the opposition Labor Party, acknowledged that the revelations could not be more serious.

“This has all the makings of a cover-up for the prime minister and raises fundamental questions about his judgment,” he said in a statement.

“His actions are practically tolerating harassment in the workplace.”


Europe would have benefited from a few more years of Trump

One of the most recurrent common places among those who make European politics and those of us who comment on it is Jean Monnet’s phrase according to which “Europe will be forged in crises.” It has turned out to be true many times: had it not been for the crisis exchange rate of the early 1990s, the economic crisis of 2008 or the current crisis of the coronavirus, it is very likely that the euro would not have been founded, nor would the union levels that we currently enjoy would have been achieved. But it is a dangerous phrase: it seems to affirm, also, that when things go well (if that happens one day, in the near future), the European Union it will stand still.

But despite the risks, let me use it one more time: the biggest inadvertent crisis the EU has suffered in the last four years, when it was just emerging from the euro crisis, has its own name: Donald Trump. Trump started a trade war with the EU, encouraged Boris Johnson to carry out a hard Brexit, threatened to remove the United States from NATO, he became the political reference for the leaders of the two countries that do the most to break the founding values ​​of the EU, Poland and Hungary, he tried to impose his criteria for the use of technology on Europe and fooled with the leader of the closest adversary from the EU, Russia.

But once again that crisis ‘forged’ Europe. European countries not only committed (not very credibly, certainly) to increase defense spending to meet the requirements of the OTAN and demanded by Trump, but even began to talk about a possible European army with a self defense strategy. When Trump imposed tariffs on European imports, The EU responded by imposing its own on the importation of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, an emblem of America that votes for Trump, which ended up taking part of its production out of the United States. The EU started talking about something akin to industrial policies to strengthen the european technology, such as the one developed by Ericsson or Nokia for 5G networks. It even had, for the first time, a relatively credible tool to force unruly countries to comply with the rule of law: to condition the receipt of aid on compliance.

The two words that were repeated in the European Comission, the ‘think tanks’ and among the European intellectuals were “strategic autonomy”. The idyll with the United States, which had lasted since the end of World War II, was ending; Trump, it was thought, had done nothing but accelerate a trend that was already there underground, and now Europeans had to learn to manage alone in military, commercial and geostrategic matters. The process would be slow. Yet it was inevitable and unstoppable.

But was it? As soon as Joe Biden won the presidential election, doubts began to be expressed. First, the German Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, public an article in the Brussels newspaper ‘Politico.eu‘in which he said that “in a world marked by increasing competition for power, the West will only be able to stand firm and defend its interests to the extent that it remains united. Europe continues to depend on the United States for its military protection, both nuclear and conventional, but the United States will not be able to carry the banner of Western values ​​alone. In an unusual act, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, disavowed it in an interview: “I strongly disagree with the German Defense Minister in ‘Politico,” he said. “I think it is a historical misinterpretation. Luckily, if I am correct, the Chancellor [Merkel] does not share this point of view. The United States will only respect us as allies if we are honest, and if we are sovereign when it comes to our defense. ” Trump’s trade for Biden, Macron said, it should be an opportunity to “continue to build our independence in the same way that the United States and China do.” In an even more unusual act, Kramp-Karrenbauer publicly stated that he agreed with the French president, but not entirely: “Without the nuclear and conventional capabilities of the United States, Germany and Europe cannot protect themselves. It is the harsh reality ”.

The two sides of the discussion are somewhat right: strategic autonomy is the objective that the EU should pursue, but it is doubtful that it has the political capital necessary to achieve it in the medium term. Meanwhile, dependence on the United States will persist. But, in any case, this public shock shows that the presence of Trump allowed to forge consensus which, in its absence, will be more difficult to sustain. His presence functioned as a accelerator of the tasks that the EU had pending but He was in no hurry to do it, and as much as we celebrate his departure from power, it is possible that the European tendency to leave things by halves is underpinning. Why should we continue with the frenetic pace of autonomous technological, military and commercial plans if old America is back in Washington, the one that was politically hardened in the Cold War and the sacred notion of protecting Europe?

Trump, in that sense, leaves a huge void in European politics. All analysts have been hoarse to repeat that the good old days will not return and that, no matter how much the Democrats rule, or later a more traditional version of republicanism, United States it will continue to urge Europeans to, for example, spend more on defense or align with them in the confrontation with China. But not seeing that man in the White House will make us relax. Macron It will try not to make it happen, but it will. And, in a sense, we will be able to invoke Monnet again, but with a twist: “The Trump presidency was a crisis that allowed Europe to be forged, but it was too short a crisis.”


Trade Brexit, between disaster or compromise

Brussels.— Throughout the Brexit trail, the negotiating teams of the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) have been setting deadlines.

This Thursday, when the heads of state and government meet in videoconference format, one more expires, the one established to agree on the agreement that offers certainty to commercial relations as of the expiration of the transition period set for the next 1 of January.

“Time is almost up, we must come to an agreement this week,” says Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. Also the team of Michel Barnier, European chief negotiator, handles the November 19 summit as the last opportunity for European leaders to certify the document that avoids Brexit without an economic agreement with Europe. However, throughout the divorce the deadlines have not always been respected, they have sounded more like negotiating tactics than authentic ultimatums.

Article 50 of the Treaty of the Union establishes that once activated, the member country that requested the exit must specify it within a period of two years. In the end, it was not like that, Brexit was postponed three times, from March 29, 2019 to April 12, from April 12 to October 31 and from October 31 to January 31, 2020.

Even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who repeatedly said “we have to leave on October 31” and said he would rather die in a ditch than ask for an extension, had to give in, as did his predecessor, Theresa May.

The leader of the British Conservatives declared last September that he would suspend the dialogue if there was no agreement by October. The threats from the tenant of 10 Dowining Street turned out to be wet gunpowder.

The date that remains fixed on the calendar as final is January 1. To avoid arriving at B Day empty-handed, the parties must pick up the pace by adopting creative solutions, only then will there be enough time to complete the complex ratification process. At least the European Parliament must give its approval to what has been agreed at the ministerial level.

Negotiations have long been bogged down around fair competition, that is, the drafting of a regulation that guarantees a level playing field between British and EU industry. Nor has the issue of governance, the mechanism that allows the solution of future disputes or the delicate and sensitive chapter of fishing been resolved.

British Eurosceptics have long claimed the right to self-determination for their waters, but after 47 years of membership, the Union and Great Britain fishing industries are tightly integrated within a rigid regulatory framework.

US President Donald Trump reinforced in Johnson the idea that beyond Brexit, the “special relations” that Churchill and Roosevelt once had would become a reality again. For this, it was imperative that London achieve complete independence from Brussels, in order to negotiate an ambitious trade agreement that is not subject to the rules and interests of the EU.

After seeing his dream crumble along with the electoral fall of Donald Trump on November 3, Johnson is forced to reach a compromise with Europe.

The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner. Half of their exchanges are with Europeans; trade with the United States, $ 72 billion, is equivalent only to that with the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium.

In times of historic economic contraction due to preventive measures to stop the spread of Covid-19, a no-deal Brexit would be a true haraquiri.

Johnson, a political chameleon known for stretching the timer to the last minute, now has only two options left: disaster or compromise.