Reports of the meeting of the ‘Brexit War Cabinet’ convened by Theresa May, the British prime minister, at Chequers last week, suggest that an agreement of sorts has been reached on the UK government’s guidelines for a transition and a future trade deal with the EU. But though the Cabinet is united over the reported plan, all indications are that it will not be acceptable to the EU.
It has been suggested that the prime minister will propose, in a speech on Friday, a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) composed of ‘three baskets’: areas where the UK and EU would remain fully aligned; areas where the UK and EU would remain broadly aligned or seek similar outcomes through different means; and finally, areas where the UK and EU would diverge entirely.… Seguir leyendo »
December marked a renewed sense of optimism for Brexit negotiations: the European Council gave the green light to Phase 2 on a transition and a future trade deal. And while official negotiations on the outline of trade deal will not begin until April or later, preparations have already begun.
But an internal document published last week by the European Commission suggests that a key sticking point for the future trade deal will be around dispute settlement.
The EU has been unambiguous: any extensive bilateral trade would require both sides to adhere to similar standards and agree to a robust institutional framework that enforces joint commitments and resolves disputes.… Seguir leyendo »
The UK is not having the foreign policy debate that it desperately needs in this general election campaign. EU membership helped to shape the UK’s international priorities for more than 40 years, and Brexit will require the new government to think carefully about its role on the global stage. Yet, the party manifestos published this week do not spill much ink on broader ambitions for the UK. On the contrary, they suggest that Britain’s political parties have yet to figure out what British foreign policy should look like post-Brexit.
Theresa May, the prime minister, was the first to make reference to the UK’s international role post-Brexit in her Conservative Party conference speech in October last year.… Seguir leyendo »
The resounding election victory for Emmanuel Macron as French president – the youngest leader of France since Napoleon Bonaparte – has been greeted with relief and enthusiasm across Europe. He defeated Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National with more than 66 per cent of the vote, on a passionately pro-European platform, promising radical economic reform in France and deeper integration in the European Union.
The German government said his poll success was ‘a victory for a strong and united Europe.’ The reaction in London was rather more cautious: ‘France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities.’
For EU leaders, a victory for Le Pen would have endangered the survival of their entire project.… Seguir leyendo »