At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Round table on Brexit: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 1st from the left, Martin Selmayr, his Head of cabinet, 2nd from the left, Tim Barrrow, British Permanent Representative to the European Union, 3rd from the left, and British Prime Minister Theresa May, 5th from the left. Date: 22/06/2017. Location: Brussels – Council/Europa. © European Union , 2017/ Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Etienne Ansotte.

After more than one year, the Brexit road map has been more or less drafted between the two opposing groups of the governing Tories, the hard Brexiteers and the Bremainers. Minister for Finance, Philip Hammond, and Trade minister, Liam Fox, leaders of the Bremainers and Brexiteers respectively, jointly wrote an article published in the last issue of the Sunday Telegraph.

They propose a transition Brexit period of about four years, an issue which, until now, was the bottom line for the Brexiteer bullies. In short, the soft version is winning all the way, after the leaks that 10 Downing Street is to accept exit payments of around €40 billion to Brussels. Let’s take one thing at a time.

An interim period

Last week, unconfirmed information appeared in the British Press, that the government of Theresa May is to accept to settle the cost of the divorce at €40bn. Understandably, London is to pay this amount in yearly installments. The last issue of the Sunday Telegraph included an article signed jointly by Hammond and Fox. The fact alone that the two senior government ministers heading opposing views about Brexit decided to co-author an article, let alone its content, is a clear sign of a breakthrough. As for the substance of the article, it’s a clear road map for the smooth exit of Britain from the European Union.

For one thing, the four years transition period is a long time. For many people in Britain, just this postponement of the divorce is equal to watering down or possibly neutralizing the entire procedure of the Brexit. Some of the 52% who voted for Brexit last year are rather furious with this prospect. At the same time though there are many Britons who strongly supported ‘remain’. In June 2016, it was 48% of them, and now their ranks have possibly grown. Many important figures like the ex-prime ministers, the Tory John Major and Labour Tony Blair have repeatedly asked for a second vote and an immediate stop of the negotiations between Brussels and London.

Is Brexit still an option?

As things stand now it’s not clear at all if a real Brexit is still an option. Right from the beginning of the negotiations a few weeks ago, May’s Brexiteers confronted a solid wall, with the EU demanding tens of billions in divorce indemnities and full protection, under the EU law, of the mainland citizens working and living in Britain. Otherwise there will be no discussion about the future trade relations, a matter of life and death for Britain. Reportedly, 10 Downing Street has already accepted to pay €40bn for the divorce costs in order to get a good trade deal.

But at this point the ‘Bremainers’ acquired an unbeatable argument: why pay a hell lot of money to leave and not stay at a much lower cost plus full and free access to the EU markets? Seemingly then, this week the London Brexiteer political elite found itself in a very awkward position; more than half of all the political classes of Tories, Labour and Liberals plus the entire business and financial community accuse them of pushing Britain to take a jump into the abyss and paying a hell lot of money for that.

‘Remain’ gains momentum

The difficult thing, now, for 10 Downing Street is to find a way to make ‘remain’ look like Brexit. And, a long transition period, during which very little or nothing is to change, will be the way to do the trick. The trick serves to avoid payments while remaining in the EU. Fox and Hammond actually mention this indirectly: “We believe a time-limited interim period will be important to further our national interest and give business greater certainty – but it cannot be indefinite”. Obviously, a four or more years interim period is not an indefinite time but, politically, it’s enough to actually neutralize Brexit through one more general election or another referendum.

From this side of the British Channel, Brussels is ready to accommodate London in every respect for as long as it’s needed to keep Brexit semi-dead or semi alive. Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and Donald Tusk, the EU Council President, have both said that the door of the EU is always open for Britain.

In conclusion, during the next few years, we are going to witness exactly this, an effort to keep Brexit officially alive, but not have any influence on reality. Very few things or nothing important will change regarding the position of Britain in Europe.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

How storytelling can be a force for social change

An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

On Human Rights Day European Youth Forum calls for end to discrimination of young people

The Banking Union may lead to a Germanic Europe

We need a new Operating System for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Inflation not a problem for Europe

The US and EU decisively oppose Erdogan’s plans for Turkey and beyond

FROM THE FIELD: Weaving profits in Azerbaijan

Vote at 16 in Malta: next stop Europe

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

Responsible Artificial Intelligence

Eurozone officials play with people’s deposits and minds

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

May a parody constitute a copyright infringement? European Court of Justice to give the answer

How dearly will Germany pay for the Volkswagen emissions rigging scandal

Bugged Europe accepts US demands and blocks Morales plane

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

Regional competitiveness and growth: a Gordian knot for Europe

Indoor air pollution is deadly. Here’s an unconventional solution

UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights: a step forward for youth rights

EU Budget: A Reform Support Programme and an Investment Stabilisation Function to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

A Sting Exclusive: the EU referendum is about fighting for an outward-looking Britain

Forget about growth without a level playing field for all SMEs

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

10 Downing street: Another desperate attempt to unite Britain on Brexit

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

Do we have to choose between creating jobs and protecting the climate?

Financial Transaction Tax: More money for future bank bailouts?

The South China Sea Arbitration: Illegal, Illegitimate and Invalid

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

EDRi @ European Business Summit 2014: Digital Citizenship in Brussels – the case of Net Neutrality

Eurozone: Retail sales betray economic frailty

Who can compel Wallonia to unlock CETA, the EU-Canada free trade pack?

EU budget agreement rejected by the European Parliament

This is how people in Europe are helping lead the energy charge

We need to talk about how we define responsibility online – and how we enforce it

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

Brussels terrorist attacks: Schengen in danger once again while leaders gather Europe’s multiple broken pieces

A Sting Exclusive: “On the road to Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement”, by Ambassador Katakami of the Japanese Mission to the European Union

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

New book honours UN women who made HERstory

A Sting Exclusive: “Without climate, forget about peace!”, Swedish MEP Bodil Valero cautions from Brussels

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: The New Draft Agreement!

London to say hello or goodbye to Brussels this week

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

This solar-powered car lets you drive for free

Why and how Germany had it again its own way in Cyprus

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

Reception conditions for asylum-seekers agreed between MEPs and Council

Eurozone’s sovereign debt not a problem anymore?

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s