Barebone Agreement

The EU does not want to renew its agreement with Switzerland, with which it has more than 100 bilateral agreements to cover different aspects of the relationship. An agreement is expected by mid-October to have a deadline for translating the treaty into the EU`s 23 official languages and the possible need for ratification by Bloc parliaments before the end of the year. Diplomats said a deal must contain agreements on aviation, transport and fisheries, a politically sensitive topic – and one that London could take the upper hand in negotiations, because after Brexit, fishing boats from EU countries will no longer be able to operate in British waters as is the case today. But if it covers agreements on air and security technologies, citizens` mobility – the competences of the governments of the EU Member States – national parliaments should have their say, which increases the risk of delays and `no deal`. A fundamental agreement should include a free trade agreement, an agreement to maintain a level playing field for rules and standards ensuring fair competition and a governance structure for the further development of relations. They add: “A trade deal that only eliminates tariffs could be costly to production, given the close interdependence of manufacturing value chains in the UK and the EU.” “It is clear that the Free Trade Agreement like the Canadian that the Prime Minister is aiming for cannot be negotiated in the course of next year,” said Chuka Umunna, the Lib Dems foreign affairs critic. What should be the future trade agreement between Britain and the EU? Recently, the EU has tried to compare a free trade agreement with “bare bones” to something deeper and more comprehensive. If the UK wants a “quick” deal, the EU says, it must be of the nature of “bare bones”: a simple no-tariff and no-quota deal. A deeper and more comprehensive agreement will take much longer, we are told, and will require many potentially uncomfortable compromises on the British side. The EU therefore argues that the UK must be prepared to extend the transition period, perhaps for many years, if it wants the supposedly greater benefits of a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement. Don`t be fooled. The EU`s intention is the same as it has been since the beginning of the Brexit process – to try to place the UK in a submissive economic status and maintain it as a “captive market” for EU goods.

The potential additional benefits of a “deep and comprehensive” trade deal over a more fundamental trade deal are quite limited and, in any case, the EU has no real intention of negotiating such a deal, at least as the Briton has understood. Let us first look at the EU`s motivations. It seems logical, in the abstract, that the future relationship between the EU and the UK should preserve as much free trade as is reasonably compatible with separate legal systems and independent trade and regulatory policy. . . .