December 13th local time, many British media reported that the British-European trade negotiations have entered the “countdown” stage. The negotiations on the 12th lasted until late at night. Both sides are looking forward to a breakthrough and breaking the deadlock.
However, a British government source said that the terms of the agreement given by the European Union are still “unacceptable” to the UK. At present, the possibility of reaching a trade agreement remains the focus of external attention.
Britain and Europe announce the details of the no-deal Brexit plan
On December 12th, local time, as the future relationship negotiations between the UK and the EU entered the “final juncture”, the British government announced the details of the “no-deal Brexit” plan.
“Fishing rights” has always been one of the key issues that bind Britain and Europe to the smooth negotiations. But so far, Britain has still been tough on the issue of “fishing rights”. The British Ministry of Defence said that if Britain and Europe do not reach a trade agreement, four Royal Navy ships equipped with artillery and machine guns will be sent to patrol the English Channel and the British Sea of Ireland to combat illegal fishing. Several military helicopters of the Royal Navy will also be on standby to help carry out coastal surveillance.
According to the Guardian, British naval sources revealed that British naval patrol ships will start cruises from January 1 next year. In addition, the British navy has the right to stop, inspect and even detain EU fishing boats operating in British economic waters.
It is reported that the British government has spent £4 billion to take measures to control the chaos caused by a “no-deal Brexit” to all walks of life. The British government has also hired more than 900 border officials, and more than 20 hotlines are expected to be set up to provide consulting services to enterprises.
In response to the impact of Britain’s “no-deal Brexit” on EU countries, European Commission President von der Leyen also announced an emergency reserve plan on the 10th.
On the “fishery issue” of everyone’s concern, the European Union said it would act as an intermediary to apply to the UK for every fishing vessel that wants to go to the British economic waters for fishing operations. To parity, the EU will also accept fishing applications from British fishing vessels to the EU economic waters. However, the above-mentioned new rules are only temporary at present, and the EU said it looks forward to a long-term agreement in the future.
In order to avoid a shortage of goods in the UK, the EU has also proposed a transition plan, which states that over the next six months, British and European heavy trucks and trucks do not need to provide special permits to enter and exit the other country; the “specific air service” between Britain and Europe will also continue, up to six months, provided that the United Kingdom It can provide reciprocal policies.
British and European social anxiety up!
On 10 December, Johnson said that the possibility of a “no-deal Brexit” is very high. As soon as the news came out, the nearest British port to the European continent, Dover, became extremely congested. On the same day, there was a long queue of kilometers of trucks waiting to enter the UK at the Dover Harbor terminal. They worried that they would start customs clearance after the UK’s “no-deal Brexit”.
Freight vehicles from the United Kingdom have the same concern. In order to reduce the formalities, the United Kingdom is actively shipping some perishable commodities to EU countries, mainly including fresh seafood from Scotland to French restaurants, as well as one-day-old chicks.
For most British people, the most “down-to-earth” impact of a “no-deal Brexit” is the rise and shortage of domestic food prices. British media said that British merchants and people are actively hoarding non-fresh food.
At present, 30% of British food comes from EU countries. It is reported that in the absence of a trade agreement, the United Kingdom will implement a new tariff rule after formal Brexit, which may impose quotas and tariffs, thus raising the price of food imported from EU countries.
The average British household will pay 4% more when buying fruits and vegetables starting in early 2021, according to The Food Foundation.
Johnson’s “no-deal Brexit” is not confident enough?
On December 9, Johnson said bluntly before going to the EU: “No British Prime Minister will accept the EU’s current offer in trade negotiations.” However, from the current reality, his “declaration” seems to have lost its “deterrent power”.
The COVID-19 epidemic at the beginning of this year hit the British economy hard. The Johnson administration’s weak fight against the epidemic caused the country’s gross national product to shrink by more than 10%, and the economy fell into a major recession in 300 years.
According to the latest data from YouGov, the largest polling agency in the UK, more than 50% of the respondents are dissatisfied with the Johnson administration’s anti-epidemic performance.
In addition to the economic difficulties that make the Johnson administration weak, Scotland’s quest for independence also makes it a headache. Scotland has long expressed dissatisfaction with Brexit.
In the 2016 referendum, 62% of the Scottish people thought that “Remaining in Europe” was the wiser choice.
In response, Nicola Sturgeon, the Chief Minister of Scottish Self-Government (the Scottish Supreme Minister), said that a “no-deal Brexit” would harm the Scottish economy, and she firmly opposed it.
At the same time, she also stated that she would fight for Scottish independence in next year’s Scottish parliamentary elections.
During the 11-month “Brexit” transition period, Britain has not been idle, constantly seeking trade agreements with other countries.
So far, the UK has signed 28 agreements with 57 countries, including Japan, Singapore and Canada.
Previously, Britain also targeted the United States, but this “hard bone” is not easy to nibble. On May 5 this year, British Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Trus held a video teleconference with Robert Lighthizer, a U.S. trade negotiator, and the two sides announced that they would start negotiations on a post-Brexit-British-US trade agreement.
However, due to the impact of the domestic epidemic in the United States and the U.S. election, the British-American trade agreement has also stranded. Kim Daroch, the former British ambassador to Washington, said that the Democratic Party of U.S. President-elect Biden does not support Brexit in the first place and is likely to prioritize trade agreements with the Pacific region or the European Union rather than the United Kingdom.
At this moment, everyone’s eyes are focused on Johnson’s negotiations with von der Leyen.
Sources revealed: “Johnson is firmly stanceed. He knows that any agreement must be fair and just, and respects the fundamental position of Britain to become a sovereign state three weeks later.”
At present, whether there is a “no-deal Brexit” or not, Britain will go on the road with a “rexit sequela”.
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