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.

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Eurogroup has set Cyprus on fire

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

‘Air bridge’ vaccination operation begins for Ebola-hit communities in DR Congo

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Landmark agreement will protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China

This man swam under the East Antarctic ice sheet to highlight the impact of climate change

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

How poor countries can deal with the economic shock of COVID-19

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

G20 LIVE: “This was not an attack against France, this was an attack against the universal human values!”, EU President Juncker cries out from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

EU budget: Commission takes steps to make €11.5 billion available for crisis repair and recovery in 2020

Africa’s Sahel must be a top priority for UN peacebuilding efforts, says commission

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

Mental Health: starting with myself

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

Can a package from China cause Coronavirus infection? Debunking the top 7 Coronavirus myths!

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Solidarity Corps: more opportunities for young people

The succesful cooperation

Clean energy will do to gas what gas has done to coal

Where EU air pollution is deadliest

COVID-19: What to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 6 April

Turning Europe into a giant wind farm could power the entire world

Businesses succeed internationally

4 reasons cities should embrace Universal Basic Income

Amid troop build-up in Rohingya’s home state, UN appeals to Myanmar for peaceful solution

Brexit talks: 2nd round fails to bring the EU and the UK closer on key issues

Young students envision turning Europe into an Entrepreneurial Society

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) on the table of NATO Defense Ministers amid US concerns

Commission proposes to top up support for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey

3 things you need to know about securing a blockchain

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Amidst high trade tensions and policy uncertainty, UN cuts economic growth forecast

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

Banks worth $47 trillion adopt new UN-backed climate, sustainability principles

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

Greece may offer to China a European gateway

GSMA Announces New Speakers for Mobile 360 Series – Middle East and North Africa

Everybody against Germany over the expensive euro

Sustainable Development Summit: ‘We must step up our efforts – now’, Guterres declares

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

France, Germany challenge Trump’s America on Iran and the reign of the dollar

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

US cities are going to keep getting hotter

Tax revenues have reached a plateau

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: strategies and reflections

New York high school students are getting free water bottles to cut plastic waste

Digital IDs and the Digital Economy: the (still) missing link?

Workers want flexibility. After COVID, they just might get it: Poll

3 things to know about women in STEM

The EU tells the bare truth to the UK that there is no such thing as easy divorces

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

Court of Auditors: MEPs back five members

More Stings?

Advertising

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 )

Connecting to %s