Brexit issue: The UK's destiny is in its own hands, but not risk-free


On Christmas Eve, just as everyone was getting tired of the long bargaining, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced, "We have regained control of our law and our destiny." 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on the other hand, declared, "Now is the time to put Brexit behind us."

It is a matter of time before the details of the trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) are finalized after almost a year of bargaining. 

While the nearly 2,500-page agreement guarantees the continuity of existing trade with Europe, it is essentially the good of the bad. In other words, any agreement is better than no agreement.

The treaty makes the UK a third country, like any other country outside the European Union. However, it has ensured annual trade opportunities of 668 billion due to tariff and quota-free access to the European single market. 

Sovereignty also has value. For the UK not to take unfair advantage of the competition, it must comply with EU laws on a variety of issues, including workers' rights and environmental standards.

 Both sides have to adhere to a consistent policy on subsidies in different sectors and have to agree on measures such as arbitration and possible imposition of punitive charges for violations.

 The agreement provides for the prevention of smuggling and the inspection of animal trade. Northern Ireland will remain within the jurisdiction of the European Union's customs area. 

As a result, there are no barriers to trade and the movement of their goods with Ireland, but there will be controls and inspections on the movement of goods with other parts of the UK.

Discussion on service remains unresolved

The agreement covers many important issues such as visas, health insurance and air, rail and road travel. The UK is returning only 25 per cent of the fishing quota that European countries had in its territorial waters, and the matter will be reviewed again in five years. 

Although there is a trade agreement, the service sector, especially financial services, such as banking, insurance and investment, is not included in the agreement. 

But the mainstay of the UK economy is the services sector, and no one can say how many years it will take to reach an agreement.

Boris's strategy or COVID-19's effect

Just a week ago, both sides indicated that an agreement might not be possible. So how was the last-minute compromise possible?

 Many critics say Prime Minister Boris Johnson intended to prevent people from scrutinizing the deal because of his preoccupation with Christmas. 

Before the end of the year, a special session of parliament has been convened on December 30 to urge approval, where there is no room for lengthy debate.

 Opposition groups called for the beleaguered PM to resign. As a result, possible opposition from his party will not be a problem for Johnson.

The second theory is that Joe Biden's success in the US election made separation inevitable through a deal. 

Because he has repeatedly said that he would not support any move that would bring back the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic and jeopardize the peace treaty of Good Friday. If that were the case, the US bilateral trade agreement would be in jeopardy.

However, many observers believe that the sudden emergence of a more contagious strain of corona has turned the tide.

 They say the chaos created by Europe's unexpected and unprecedented travel ban on the UK following the release of the news of new type of COVID has made everyone realize how catastrophic Brexit without a treaty would be.

Britain has rarely seen such a rapid deterioration of the situation before. It happened just before Christmas, which the Conservative government was desperate to save. 

However, on December 21, it became clear that the Christmas festivities were not going to be noticed.

 Just three days ago, in response to a question from the Prime Minister in Parliament, Boris Johnson refused to withdraw the five-day waiver on health regulations for celebrating Christmas in "short" and "on a small scale" forms. 

But the reversal of his decision was so sudden that a kind of unknown fear and anger began to spread among everyone.

 In just a few hours the UK is confronted with the reality of an isolated island in Europe.

 A nightmare ensued as traders began to express concern over possible shortages of essential supplies, especially perishable food items. About 80 tons of fruits and vegetables were brought by air on an emergency basis.

Thousands of trucks and people were stranded on both sides of the English Channel.

It called for the lifting of the embargo on EU member states, reminding them that British citizens have the right to move freely in Europe until 31 December, but it took 48 hours to withdraw. 

The traffic congestion was so long that the runway at Manston Airport had to be turned into a temporary lorry park, and thousands of truckers had to spend Christmas there.

The world's leading newspapers have described what the unconventional Brexit would look like in that situation as a rehearsal.

There is fear with relief

In such a reality it must be said that the last-minute agreement is a great relief. However, in the long run, the fear that it will not be so pleasant can not be ruled out in any way. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), a UK-backed independent research institute, predicts that the Brexit agreement will shrink the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 4 to 5 per cent in the medium term.

 Stuart Rose, a former chief executive of Marks & Spencer, a leading business leader, says the quota and duty-free trade agreement will now add additional documentation and bureaucratic formalities, the cost of which will be added to all products. As a result, food prices will go up.

"The deal is a failure," Charles Turner, a sociology professor at Warwick University, told the Guardian. As a result, the growth rate in Europe will be higher than us. "

According to him, "By the middle of 2022, we will realize that we need to be closer to Europe." 

Which is right? The optimism of Prime Minister Johnson and the Brexitists or the fears of the Europeans, without going into that debate, what can be said is that Britain's negotiation with Europe will not end soon. 

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