Brexit is a very expensive ‘not quite exit’

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Britain?s cost of leaving the EU was ?40 billion, the Governor of the Bank of England told ministers in May 2018, and over six months later the expenses continue.

Costs will certainly blow out if Britain exits without the all important trade agreement in place, which looks likely, given Theresa May hasn’t even got a sensible withdrawal document across the line, without venturing anywhere near a detailed trade agreement.? Quote.

According to a study in March 2018, if Britain exists without a trade agreement on place Britain and the European Union (EU) would face a combined annual bill of around ?58 billion ($80.4 billion).

The report, published Sunday by consultancy firm Oliver Wyman and law firm Clifford Chance, said the cost of a so-called ?no deal? scenario would total around ?31 billion for EU exporters and around ?27 billion for U.K. exporters. It implies that firms on both sides of the equation would be hit by new tariffs if a trade deal fails to be agreed.? End of quote.

The withdrawal agreement runs to 585 pages and covers the following three main areas. ?Quote.?

  • Britain?s?financial settlement?with the EU to meet agreed commitments.

  • The post-Brexit?rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens on the continent.

  • A mechanism to prevent a ?hard border? on the island of Ireland. End of quote.

Negotiations have been rough, dividing parliament, prompting ministerial resignations including Britain?s Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, and forcing Theresa May to promise not to call a snap election before the next planned election in 2022 and not to lead her party into it either.? She has very cleverly survived the Brexit storm, which proves she is an outstanding politician, but not necessarily a good leader.

The Brexit deal is far from satisfactory, and saw her rush straight back to the negotiating table in Brussels following her survival in parliament this week.

You would be forgiven for thinking that Theresa May was reluctant and half-hearted in negotiations because originally she was against Brexit.? She was forced to change sides in the face of public opinion when over half, 51.9%, of Britain, voted in the 23 June 2016 referendum to leave.

You could also accuse her of dragging her heels on a watered down Brexit, or you could, as she does, blame her pitiful Brexit ?not quite? exit and her slow?progress in arriving there on the EU. Quote.

The sticking point was the?border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which after Brexit will also become the border between the UK and the EU. Because of the island?s troubled history, both sides want to avoid a hard border with customs checks that could become a source of friction.

?the EU insisted on a ?backstop? arrangement to avoid a hard border until an FTA came into effect. The row over the form this backstop should take is what prevented the withdrawal agreement from being sealed for so long.? End of quote.

EU members claim that Britain will have ?unfair? customs advantages and appear determined to trap them into a costly?long-term financial arrangement.Quote.?

Britain must accept that it?will not be allowed to?exit the backstop??unless and until? the EU agrees there is no prospect of a return to a hard border. It must also accept special ?deeper? customs arrangements,?closer to the single market, for Northern Ireland, and the EU?s so-called ?level playing field? conditions for the whole of the UK.

These address member states? concerns that de facto customs union membership without the obligations of the single market could give the UK an unfair advantage, so will require Britain to abide by EU rules on, for example, state aid, competition, the environment, tax and labour conditions.

?the Irish border is supposed to become a non-issue under the terms of the comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) that the two sides are due to sign at some stage after Britain?s departure from the bloc on 29 March next year.? End of quote.

The EU’s determination to keep the status quo level playing field has drawn critics of the current deal including Nigel Farage, who said Theresa May?s deal was ?the worst deal in history.? ?Quote.?

The UK-EU Brexit deal will see Britain paying “an extravagant sum of money we don’t owe” and leave it unable to make its own trade deal, Nigel Farage said.

The MEP and former UKIP leader said the transitional deal would mean “we keep on paying the bill, yet have no say.” End of quote.

Whether a trade deal is struck or not, Britain will leave the EU on 29 March 2019, but it is the terms of trade following Brexit that will end up costing them plenty because the EU is not letting them go without taking its pound of flesh for as many years as it can.

The British are stuck with Theresa May until 2022 unless her own party challenges her leadership.

She is someone who knows exactly how to get what she wants. One reason that the British?voted for Brexit issue was to get rid of their open borders, but the deal May put together may not achieve this.? Quote.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, is reportedly to propose that EU passport holders will be waved through immigration ?for 30 months?, in the event of a no-deal Brexit next March. They will only need to apply for visas later, if they wish to stay permanently.” End of quote.

I wonder how many of the British people have waded through 585 pages to determine what other concessions Theresa May has made or how many fish hooks are embedded in the document?

Beware the cunning politician who pays lip service to voters and then goes and does exactly what she wants anyway.