Trade

EU must name its price for post-Brexit trade

LONDON — Inside the U.K. government, the outstanding question in the Brexit debate is not what it wants — but what price the EU is going to charge.

In Brussels and much of Westminster, Theresa May stands accuses of dithering over her “end state” aspirations. “I think the first real big step is for the United Kingdom to say very clearly what it wants,” Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told reporters at the European Council summit in Brussels earlier this month, echoing calls for more clarity from several EU leaders.

According to this charge, May is a leader unable to make a decision, running a government refusing to face up to the realities of Brexit.

Yet to the most senior U.K. officials, this is little more than Brussels spin. From the U.K. government’s perspective, Britain’s position could not be much clearer. It wants a giant free-trade deal covering as many sectors of the economy as possible.

The U.K. expects the EU to demand a series of cross-cutting “level playing field” clauses

May made it clear back in January that she wants out of the single market and the customs union and the ability for future parliaments to diverge from the EU’s rules and regulations when it sees fit. “That’s the whole point,” May told MPs last week when asked if Britain would have full regulatory authority after Brexit.

Her Brexit vision is laid out in her “foundational texts” — her speeches at Lancaster House in January and in Florence in September.

What more is the prime minister expected to divulge, her supporters ask?

With Phase 1 of the divorce negotiations now complete, British officials believe it is now for Brussels — not London — to put its cards on the table, according to conversations with senior U.K. officials who spoke to POLITICO on condition of anonymity. It is the EU27 that must reveal the cost they want to extract for the type of Brexit May wants.

The EU might, for example, rule out certain sectors of the economy being included in the future trade deal — as chief negotiator Michel Barnier appeared to do with financial services last week. The more sectors of the economy the EU is unwilling to include, the less value the whole deal will have for the U.K.

A Southhampton port | Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Even a cut-down deal is still likely to be of considerable value, but the narrower the offer, the less Britain will be willing to pay for it in close regulatory alignment and other commitments, such as future budgetary contributions or defense and security cooperation.

Such “cost benefit” analysis can only be carried out by London once it knows the EU’s price. “We will want as much as possible but what is the cost?” one U.K. official said. “That is where the onus is on the EU. There will be rights and obligations. It’s about keeping it in balance.”

The government — and the prime minister herself — acknowledge there will be costs. “The decisions we both take will have consequences for the U.K.’s access to European markets and vice versa,” May said in Florence.

Under the plan envisaged by the U.K., a free-trade deal will set out the sectors of the economy where each side agrees to cooperate on regulation and standards in order to achieve greater access to each other’s markets than would ordinarily be the case under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Each sector has its own chapter in the agreement that sets regulatory tram lines inside which both sides are expected to remain. If either side breaches these lines — by undercutting the other with unfair business subsidies, for example — that triggers a penalty such as a return to WTO rules.

In the EU’s free-trade deal with Canada, these penalties are often agreed chapter by chapter so that if one side breaks the rules in one area of the agreement, the whole deal does not collapse.

Britain knows what it wants. It just doesn’t yet know if it can afford it.

According to U.K. officials, such clauses could be included in a future U.K.-EU deal to ensure Britain is not caught in the “Swiss Trap” where breaking one rule ruins the whole agreement.

Such a deal offers the U.K. the have-your-cake-and-eat-it possibility of free access to European markets combined with the future freedom to set its own rules and regulations. Other sectors of the economy currently covered by the single market will simply not be included in the free-trade deal, allowing Britain to diverge as much as it wants from the EU standard.

To guard against such divergence the U.K. expects the EU to demand a series of cross-cutting “level playing field” clauses, according to one British official. Such requirements could ensure the U.K. does not fall below certain environmental standards or protect against the unfair use of government subsidies to give British businesses an unfair advantage. If these are too onerous though, that would harm the entire deal’s attractiveness for the U.K. “If they make it too prohibitive, it undermines the whole model,” one U.K. official said.

Shetland fishermen hope to get a financial benefit from Brexit, but it may be complicated | Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images

Britain, in other words, knows what it wants. It just doesn’t yet know if it can afford it.

Should the price in terms of regulatory alignment with the EU be too steep, U.K. officials say the government will have to either narrow the scope of the agreement (removing chapters) or make it more shallow (providing less access).

Either way, it is for the EU to move next.

Original Article

Politico

The post EU must name its price for post-Brexit trade appeared first on News Wire Now.

Related Articles

640 Comments

  1. I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers.

  2. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  3. Hey there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  4. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for rookie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.|

  5. Awesome weblog! Maybe you have any sort of tips for ambitious experts? I’m planning to start my own website in the near future nonetheless I’m a little lost on almost everything. Could you propose starting off with a totally free website like WordPress blogs or decide on a paying solution? You’ll find so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any other ideas? Kudos!

  6. Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog. You have some really good posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested. Kudos!|

  8. Somebody necessarily help to make critically articles I might state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular post amazing. Wonderful process!

  9. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

  10. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is really irritating. A good web site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this web-site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  11. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  12. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just
    posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  13. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my users would really benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!|

  14. Thank you for some other fantastic article. The place else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.|

  15. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have remember your stuff prior to and you’re just too great. I actually like what you’ve received right here, really like what you are stating and the way in which wherein you are saying it. You’re making it entertaining and you still take care of to stay it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great website.|

  16. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!|

  17. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.|

  18. Attractive part of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually loved account your weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds or even I fulfillment you get entry to persistently fast.|

  19. Definitely consider that which you said. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the internet the simplest thing to have in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as other folks consider issues that they plainly don’t know about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top as neatly as outlined out the entire thing without having side-effects , other people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you|

  20. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!|

  21. Excellent blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Many thanks!|