UK breaks ties with EU after 47 years

By AFP

As if it was a metaphor for what for some has been almost 47 years predominant in Europe, Brexit will take place at the last second of this Friday… in mainland europewhich for the UK will be 23H00 (also GMT).

A clock is projected onto the famous black brick facade of Downing Streetofficial residence Boris Johnsonwill mark the countdown with a light show.

We highlight: Great Britain, in the countdown to a historic Brexit

‘This is not the end but the beginning’, the prime minister must assert in a message to the nation broadcast on television in the evening. With Brexit long seemed impossible, Johnson got big score personal win.

‘The curtain rises for new action. This is a moment of true renewal and national change,’ he was quoted as saying, after chairing a special council of ministers outside London, in the working-class city of Sunderland, in the majority north. brexit from England.

In the absence of a bell from Big Bencalm for a long recovery, some will ring their own bells at a grand banquet held outside Parliament in Westminster, which for three years was the scene of fierce debate on the most important and divisive issue in the country’s recent history.

However, there will be tears from the detractors Brexitincluding many young people who did not vote in the 2016 referendum and who now see their future cut off outside EU.

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‘I know you are worried, like many UK supporters from the European Union,’ says centrist Luisa Porrittone of the 72 members of the British parliament who has now lost his seat, in an emotional leaflet distributed door to door to his electorate in London’s Camden neighborhood.

“This is the most important date since Henry VIII took us out of the Roman church,” said Europhobic leader Nigel Farage.one of the architects, along with Johnson, from victory Brexit in the 2016 consultation, when 52% of Britons voted to leave the EU.

A lot has happened since then, however, according to a survey published this week, only 30% of pro-Europeans have resolved the psychological ‘mock’ of this split.

For Eurosceptics, however, this is a return to full sovereignty.

47 years of complicated relationship

The UK joined the European Economic Community –the predecessor to the European Union — in 1973after suffering two vetoes from France, in 1963 and 1967, worried that it was a ‘Trojan horse’ for the United States.

Extraordinary: Boris Johnson and EU sign Brexit deal

But relations between London and Brussels are always complicated: Britain did not adopt a single currency or free movement of people, they asked for a significant reduction in their participation in the European budget and they have always opposed greater political integration.

However, the result of the referendum shocked everyone and many describe it as a desperate reaction from those forgotten by globalization, who want to make their voices heard.

It Brexit it was scheduled for 29 March 2019. But the struggle in Parliament between his supporters and opponents led to more than three years of heated debate and political stalemate.

Former Prime Minister, Theresa Mayhe worked hard to negotiate a complicated deal with Brussels and sought an impossible adoption by his representatives, before resigning.

Then Johnson entered the stage, charismatic and controversial, fulfilling his promise to carry out Brexit thanks to the majority he won in early legislative elections in December.

ride alone

On Saturday, although few changes during the transition period planned for late December,
England will rise alone.

And the prime minister will have a difficult mission ahead of him negotiate trade agreements with the EU and the United Statesgreat asset to replace its main trading partner.

“I am optimistic because there are things the UK has to do as an EU member” and “now they will be able to do it differently,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in London on Thursday. “When you look in the rearview mirror, you will see enormous benefits for our two countries,” he added.

But negotiations won’t be easy: Washington will urge London to be more lax on health or environmental issues, while Brussels – fearful of unfair competition – will demand that labor and ecological standards be respected.

‘We will ask England to avoid’fiscal dumping, social, state aid‘, said European negotiator Michel Barnier in an interview with Spanish public television TVE, in which he also assured that now 27 ‘cultivates unity’ and no other country is talking about leaving the bloc.

Read also: Johnson calls to close wounds after his victory with Brexit

Brexit is a “failure and a lesson for everyone,” said French President Emmanuel Macron, one of Europe’s leaders who has often been most critical of Britain.

And he assured that this Friday “is a sad day.”

Especially in Scotland, the semi-autonomous UK country that is strongly opposed to Brexit and where, by the decision of its Parliament, the European flag will continue to fly.

And after that?

January 31: Brexit

The UK leaves the EU this Friday at 23:00 London time and GMT, three and a half years after the UK agreed
Brexit with 52% of the vote in the June 2016 referendum.

The transition period is about to startwhich maintains the status quo until at least December 31.

However The UK will no longer have a say in EU institutions and its 73 MPs will have to leave their seats in the European Parliamentsome of which will be redistributed among the other member states.

February-March: trade negotiations

British Prime Minister
Boris Johnson said he was ready to start a conversation with
Brussels about their future business relationship on February 1st, but
other EU countries are still discussing what they want to get out of these negotiations.

Johnson has said he wants a free trade agreement in the style that Canada has with the EU, without aligning with European rules.

European officials suggested ministers of the 27 could agree on a negotiating mandate by February 25 and talks begin around March 1.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenwarned that it would be very difficult to reach a complete agreement before the end of the year and that it would be necessary to “set priorities.”

According to diplomatic sources, Brussels will seek to reach an agreement by 2020 on fishing, internal and external security, and trade in goods. The rest can be left for later.

July 1: extension?

period
transition runs until December 31 but the parties may extend it if they so desire only once, between one and two years. However, this extension must be requested by July 1.

Johnson insisted he would not, saying his country needed to break free from EU rules and regulations as soon as possible.

December 31: transition ends

Without an extension, relations between the UK and the European Union will end at the end of the year.

If by that date they had reached an agreement, they would start a new association.

On the other hand, Cross-channel trade, transportation, and a number of other ties can be disrupted overnightin a situation comparable to the no-deal Brexit that companies so dread.

No clear calendar: US

After Brexit,
London wants to open trade talks with third countriesspecifically
The United States, the main alternative to its great trading partner in Europe.

According to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, this deal is an absolute priority for President Donald Trump, who hopes to achieve results this year.

But several issues could make those talks difficult, starting with Britain’s possible use of a Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer. huaweiwhom Washington asked to sideline, insisting that he was a spy for Beijing.

There are also tricky questions about British taxes on American internet giantsand possible desire to Washington to press London to leave the nuclear deal with Iran in exchange for trade concessions.

Roderick Gilbert

"Entrepreneur. Internet fanatic. Certified zombie scholar. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon expert."

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