The Brexit negotiations have been questioned and irreconcilable fronts indicate that the EU and the UK are unlikely to agree on an agreement within the deadline, according to a Brexit expert.
The clock is ticking relentlessly towards the Brexit deadline. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resigned because he believes the EU demands that Britain be responsible for all the compromises and has canceled further talks.
Britain’s Brexit negotiations with the EU are faltering again on the brink of collapse after Johnson went out again on Friday and said that his government had had enough and was prepared for a non-agreement with the European Union.
His chief negotiator, David Frost, has also canceled next week’s talks with his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, according to the New York Times.
This is a continuation of the war of words between the EU and the UK, which really took off when the Brexit negotiations started up again after the summer.
The deadline for an exit agreement is still 31 December 2020, but there is a real rush to reach a negotiated result. Both parties believe that there should be a proposal for an agreement by the end of October because it will be ratified in the political decision-making bodies in both the EU and the UK, and that process will probably take several weeks. Johnson has even said that an agreement must be ready by October 15, the day before the EU countries’ summit this week.
At the summit, EU leaders made it clear, according to Sky News, that it is the British who must make the necessary changes to reach an exit agreement.
Boris Johnsons was upset about the EU leaders.
“They want to continue to be able to control our legislative freedom and our fishery resources in a way that is clearly unacceptable to an independent country,” Johnson said after the EU summit on Friday, according to Reuters.
There is little indication that the UK – under Johnson – will comply with these requirements.
– With great courage and full of confidence, we will prepare to embrace the alternative, Johnson added.
And the “alternative” in this regard is a non-agreement with the European Union.
But Britain’s Brexit minister Michael Gove said on Sunday that he still hopes for a free trade agreement, if the EU is willing to change its demands.
– I want an agreement, and I want to complete one. But both sides must compromise in order for us to reach an agreement. The EU is not doing this now, Gove told Sky News.
The statement comes despite Johnson in reality saying on Friday that he was ready to leave the EU without an agreement.
– It is not my preferred choice, Gove wrote about a non-agreement in a post in the Sunday Times.
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– Do not agree and no one will fire
– Are the negotiations in reality over now?
– It has been stated from Downing Street that the talks are over. But whether this is another tactical maneuver or whether there is actually nothing more to talk about is still uncertain. But if you look at what is being said, it’s over. They do not agree and no one wants to fire, says Erik Mustad, editor of the website britiskpolitikk.no and senior lecturer in British and American studies at the University of Agder.
– What does it take for the parties to meet again and reach an agreement?
– It is about the EU having to meet the requirements for the UK is now an independent country and they will no longer comply with the EU and EU rules as they had to before they went out, Mustad says.
And here lies the core of the deadlocked negotiations.
– But the EU is adamant that the UK must relate to the EU’s internal market as the other 27 member states do, he says.
The lower house passed a law that violates the Brexit agreement
Fishery resources and customs union
Boris Johnson gave an irreconcilable and pathos-filled speech to the press corps at 10 Downing Street.
– We left the EU on 31 January (…) and since then we have been in a transition where we have obeyed EU laws, paid our fees as a member without the right to vote and worked for future cooperation, he said.
Johnson further said that, right from the start of the negotiations, he did not want anything more complicated than an agreement that Canada has with the EU, based on friendship and free trade.
– What does a “Canada agreement” mean?
– This means that they get an agreement with the EU’s internal market and a duty – free trade with the EU. The problem for the British is that it took six years of negotiations to reach such an agreement with Canada – and not a few months as they have now, Mustad says.
According to Mustad, the EU requires access to fishery resources in British waters and that the UK must be part of the customs union in order for them to gain access to the EU’s internal market.
Now there are only ten weeks left until January 1 and the British Prime Minister said he felt a need to orient people to reality for what he thought would be the likely outcome of the process.
– Since they (EU, editor’s note) have refused to negotiate seriously in recent months and since the EU summit has stated that they exclude an agreement in line with what Canada has, I have concluded that from 1 January 2021 must prepare for a relationship with the EU that is more similar to what Australia has, based on simple global free trade, Johnson said.
– What does this mean?
– This means that in that case it is the WTO’s trade rules that apply. These are rules that all countries adhere to when you do not have your own trade agreement, Mustad says.
For the British, an Australia solution will in reality be a non-agreement, he believes.
– It is now speculated whether Johnson has wanted this all the time and that he has wanted a non-agreement from the very beginning of the negotiations. Because this is what the Brexitists basically wanted: to break all ties with the EU.
Are the UK and Northern Ireland going up in the glue?
– Britain loses the most
– So Johnson is not desperate about the negotiations?
– No, he does not sound like that. But the British negotiator David Frost has on several occasions said that he wants an agreement because it is important for the UK, says the senior lecturer.
– Do you think there will be an agreement?
– As it looks now, I do not think so, Mustad says.
– Who loses the most on a non-deal?
– I think Britain loses the most, at least in the short term. This is because there are customs barriers, a hard border on the Irish island and a complicated trade bureaucracy that causes goods to pile up on the borders and complicate the relationship between the EU and the UK.
According to the Norwegian Government, we are seeking as close and comprehensive cooperation as possible with the United Kingdom after the country has left the EU. Here is information on how Norway works with Brexit.