Friday

1st Jul 2022

Opinion

Brexit deal not looking good

  • UK prime minister Theresa May with EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. 'All in all, this is not looking very much like a meaningful Brexit in progress' (Photo: European Commission)

I cannot believe that there are too many people who believe that the whole Brexit negotiation process is running smoothly.

But with so many vested interests, both economic and political, this was always going to be the case, especially when David Cameron had ruled out any pre-referendum involvement by the civil service, and the subsequent nine month delay in actually invoking Article 50.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

But as the process moves along (often at a snail's pace), we are starting to see what the Brexit deal is going to look like, and it does not look very much like 'Brexit' to me.

Firstly, the UK is to leave Euratom, but this agency operates more as a trade association and allows for the transfer of knowledge in the nuclear power market; something of high importance as we decommission our aging power plants. This was a knee jerk reaction by the government last summer to be doing something.

Secondly, we are being forced out of Europol, a rather small and ineffective agency, despite Teresa May's efforts to keep us in.

But chancellor Philip Hammond is refusing to rule out the UK staying in the customs union.

However, it looks as though the UK will continue to pour funds into the EU's research agency, Horizon 2020, and we will continue to stay in the education body, Erasmus.

We will continue to pay into the central EU budget until at least the end of the transition period, something which will include funding the formation of the EU army.

We will also be committed to accepting all new EU rules and regulations until the final whistle.

The European Court of Justice will also have jurisdiction over EU citizens living in the UK for eight years.

The City will remain EU compliant (the MiFiD ii [Markets in Financial Instruments Directive] having just come into force), and as yet we have no word whether or not our power and industrial sectors will remain governed by Brussels' rules on carbon emissions, but evidence presented to the select committee suggests that this is highly likely.

It is also looking likely that post Brexit the UK will effectively remain within the Common Fisheries Policy.

In terms of getting our contributions into the EU's financial institutions back there has been a promise that we will get back our share of the European Investment Bank by 2054.

But, there has been no word if we are getting back our share of the European Investment Fund or the European Fund for Strategic Investments, of which the UK is the single largest contributor with €8.5 billion tied up.

Nor too has there been any mention of our share of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development which is owned on our behalf by the EU.

Neither too will we be able to plan ahead as the EU has informed us that any trade deal cannot be concluded before Brexit and are insisting that the four freedoms (labour, capital, goods, and services) are still non-negotiable.

To sum up, the Brexit plan as it stands at the moment involves the UK leaving two minor agencies, continuing to pay into Brussels coffers, being subject to all existing and future rules, remaining within the Common Fisheries Policy, not getting back our money on loan, and being denied the right to plan ahead as the EU digs in its heels.

All in all, this is not looking very much like a meaningful Brexit in progress.

Diane James is an member of the European Parliament for the UK Independence Party.

Following publication of this opinion piece, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) contacted EUobserver to clarify that "The EBRD is not an EU institution. The EU is one shareholder among 68, the United States being the largest single shareholder. The UK has a holding in the EBRD in its own right."

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

Analysis

What are the key points of the Brexit deal?

Here is a brief summary of the main points of the 'joint report', the outline of the Brexit divorce deal reached on Friday morning - and what still lies ahead.

If Russia collapses — which states will break away?

Increasingly, analysts — both inside and outside of Russia — are considering the possibility of the Russian Federation's collapse into a series of independent states. Who are the most likely candidates for secession in Russia's south, east, and centre?

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

Column

China's support for Russia challenges Europe's Peace Order

China's soft support to Russia is deeply troubling for Europe. Here is the EU's biggest trading partner signalling that it is on the side of Russia, its aggression, and its challenge to the post-war international order.

Sturgeon's 2023 'referendum' gamble for Scotland

The independence campaign launch featured a new Scottish government report, comparing the UK's economic and social record with those of other European states — and arguing, unsurprisingly, that Scotland should be independent as a result.

News in Brief

  1. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  2. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit
  3. Russia urges Nato not to build bases in Sweden, Finland
  4. New president for European Committee of the Regions
  5. Gas flows from Spain to Morocco, after Western Sahara row
  6. BioNTech, Pfizer test 'universal' coronavirus vaccine
  7. UK sanctions second-richest Russian businessman
  8. Hungary permits emergency supervision of energy firms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  3. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  5. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers

Latest News

  1. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  2. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  3. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  4. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike
  5. EU's post-Covid billions flowing into black hole
  6. Nato expands and reinforces on Russian flank
  7. EU Commission says it cannot find messages with Pfizer CEO
  8. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us