Brexit onderhandelingen gaan kritieke fase in


Deze maand is weer een nieuwe onderhandelingsronde. In januari verliet het Verenigd Koninkrijk de Europese Unie. Er werd afgesproken een transitieperiode in acht te nemen, zodat beide partijen tot een handelsovereenkomst konden komen.

Deze transitieperiode eindigt aan het einde van het jaar, maar de periode waarin een verlenging van de transitie kan worden aangevraagd eindigt aan het einde van deze maand. Toen de planning voor de onderhandelingen werd gemaakt werd de maand Juni bestempeld als de maand waarin zou worden bekeken hoe ver de onderhandelingen waren gevorderd.

Kan Boris Johnson nog wel om een verlenging vragen?

Als we kijken naar de huidige stand van de onderhandelingen, dan is er maar één logisch antwoord op de vraag of er een extensie moet komen: ja!

Een andere grote vraag is, kan Boris Johnson dat nog wel doen zonder gezichtsverlies?

CNN schrijft hierover:

Johnson, the architect of Brexit, has made such firm commitments to not extend the transition period that he simply cannot afford any capitulation — especially with his mounting domestic issues. Weakness is not an option.

Johnson must now spend June with one eye on complicated and fraught negotiations with the largest trading bloc in the world, while also overseeing the response to the country’s worst public health crisis in decades.

Theoretically, Johnson could buy more time if he wanted to go down this route. He has until June 30 to request an extension to the transition period. However, it would be so politically toxic that doing so currently seems unthinkable to Johnson’s advisors. It’s this toxicity of the Brexit debate that’s making no deal more likely, as any perceived capitulation would land Johnson in trouble with his supporters.

Over ditzelfde onderwerp schrijft The Guardian:

The UK has a one-off right to request an extension to the transition period to give a deal more time but Johnson has repeatedly said he will not do this.

Some believe this will lead to a last-minute narrow trade deal in October or November, but De Rynck [Barnier’s senior adviser] said this would still mean “disruption” on 1 January, warning car manufacturers they would have to restart their no-deal planning

Met, of toch zonder een deal?

Een positieve uitkomst bij de onderhandelingen is heel belangrijk. Als  beide partijen het niet eens kunnen worden voor het einde van het jaar, dan verlaat het Verenigd Koninkrijk nog steeds de Europese Unie, maar we hebben dan alsnog een No Deal Brexit. Dat is hoe dan ook de slechtste uitkomst voor beide partijen, maar voor het Verenigd Koninkrijk is de uitkomst het slechtst.

CNN schrijft verder:

The EU has for some time believed it will cope with the no-deal shock better than the UK. “The EU knows it is in the stronger position. Yes, no deal is bad for them, but it’s much worse for the UK,” says Thomas Cole, a former EU negotiator. “It’s true that both sides are sovereign equals but they are very aware that they don’t need to make the kind of concessions the UK needs to make.”

And just as it has in the UK, coronavirus might make certain no-deal calculations easier for the EU to swallow in the long run. “Paradoxically, it might make aspects of no deal more manageable for the EU,” says Fabian Zuleeg, chief executive of the European Policy Centre. “Companies that were looking at having to downscale their operations across Europe post-Covid might decide it’s easier to completely shut down UK offices and factories. It actually solves a few problems, in some respects.”

Lees het hele artikel hier.

Vertegenwoordigers van de Europese Unie lijken zich voor te bereiden op een worst-case scenario.

Bloomberg schrijft:

“We’re not making much progress at the moment,” EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan told the European Parliament’s trade committee on Thursday in Brussels. “Perhaps the United Kingdom has come to the conclusion that there’s not going to be a deal.”

Negotiations on the future relationship resume next week with neither side expecting significant movement and the risks growing of a rupture at the end of the year.

“We have a spirit in the European Union to try and do a deal, but we’re not getting much traction from the United Kingdom negotiators to date,” Hogan said. “Perhaps this is more strategy than substance, but we certainly need confidence-building measures in the next round of negotiations next week.”

Lees het hele artikel hier.

Business Insider schrijft:

“The chasm is both broad and deep,” an EU source close to negotiations told Business Insider.

“Increasing numbers here [in Brussels] wonder if the British Government wants a deal at all.”

This chasm was illustrated recently by a novel exchange of letters between the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, and his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier.

Frost, chosen by Johnson to lead the UK side, said the UK was “perplexed” by the EU’s approach, which he recently branded “ideological,” and that the trade deal Brussels was offering was unfair.

Barnier over the weekend told The Sunday Times newspaper that the UK needed to show “more realism” in talks, and accused Prime Minister Johnson of rowing back on commitments he signed up to during the Article 50 negotiations.

Boris Johnson to Visit Brussels

De onderhandelingen zitten duidelijke in een kritieke fase. Zo kritiek zelfs, dat Boris Johnson halverwege Juni naar Europa zal reizen om verder te praten.

Reuters schrijft:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will resume Brexit talks in Brussels next month, the Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

Britain’s negotiator with the European Union, David Frost, said Johnson will meet the presidents of the European Commission and Council to formally assess the state of the talks, according to the newspaper.

Let’s hope this signals Johnson wants to come to an agreement, or at least wants to prevent a no deal Brexit at the end of this year by asking for an extension.

Blijf op de hoogte

Volg relevant nieuws over de Brexit via onze Brexit Support pagina. Voor nieuws en achtergronden over Brexit en andere belangrijke onderwerpen, volg onze bedrijfspagina op LinkedIn.