Brexit. What Needs to be Negotiated.


has just sent me an interesting paper which spells out the areas that the Brexit negotiators will have to deal with. It is not often one sees them all set out, so here they are,

On Wednesday 31st March, Theresa May will write a letter to the European Union in which she will give notice that the UK intends to leave the EU by 31st March 2019.  In between , the UK will be involved in a great deal of negotiation and re-writing of many UK laws and regulations. This will include an omnibus piece of legislation, in which the UK Parliament will have to decide  on which of the 100 plus EU laws and regulations that are already on the UK statute book, will be retained [the vast majority of them], and which will be repealed [a small minority of them].

The UK will then have to start to negotiate the terms and conditions under which the UK will leave the EU. In addition, the UK will have to renegotiate the 50 plus international trade treaties to which the UK currently automatically belongs, but which will fall away once the UK has left the EU.

In addition there are some hundreds of laws and regulations within the EU which the UK will have to decide to keep, including for example:-

The agreement to allow the free export of the UK’s services to the rest of the EU, including banking, pensions and insurance

The EU’s stringent laws about the pollution of rivers and beaches,which are much tougher than the UK’s own regulations

The EU’s arrangements for apprehending criminal suspects  (Interpol, and the intra-EU arrest warrant)

The EU’s arrangements for combined space exploration

The international arrangements for the combined research into fundamental sub-atomic particles (CERN)

The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which provides huge annual subsidies for the UK’s farmers

The EU’s co-operation for exchanging information about potential terrorists

The EU’s set of regulations regarding the regional development of the poorer regions of the UK, and the EU’s schemes for the conversion of new scientific ideas into commercial production

The EU’s regulations about maximum truck sizes

The EU’s (unfair) regulations about how to allocate fishing quotas among member countries, which have at least prevented the EU’s waters from becoming fished out

The EU’s arrangements about how to set up a nascent EU army, to which we will presumably no longer belong

The EU’s panoply of foreign embassies, and the EU’s own foreign aid program

The EU’s support for national orchestras

The EU’s anti-monopoly arrangements, whereby the cheap budget airlines were established

The arrangements that will become necessary, once the UK is responsible for its own legislation on how to regulate the number of EU citizens who are allowed into the UK [this doesn’t look at all feasible to me, given that the UK has been unable to regulate the large number of NON-EU migrants who enter the UK every year]

By my calculation, this will take at least ten years, so there will have to be some kind of holding legislation in March 2019, to allow for the unfinished business to be set aside so that the UK may leave the EU by then

Rather stupidly, David Cameron encouraged the British civil service to run down its team of experienced negotiators, on the premise that the UK would never vote to leave the EU. Theresa May is now scrabbling to rebuild such a team, including trying to tempt the aforesaid ex-negotiators to re-join the UK civil service, including a few Brits who actually joined the EU’s own negotiating team in Brussels

There is ferocious opposition to the proposed “hardness” of the exit process, which will include leaving the EU’s Customs Union. This will inevitably produce some customs duties between the UK and the rest of the EU, including Ireland.

There will be a huge amount of work that will be involved. For example, both the UK and the Irish Republic have agreed NOT to install border controls between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland (NI). That will become tricky, once there are customs duties on each other’s produce, without any border controls.

[I have heard several mutterings among NI politicians, about whether the time is approaching for NI to rejoin the Republic of Ireland, so as to produce a re-united island of Ireland]

Theresa May will have to control Scotland’s desire to have a second referendum on Scottish independence. She definitely won’t want to have to enter two sets of negotiations which are  going on simultaneously.

We will have to wait and see what happens. It will not be easy during the two years of negotiations.

Best regards,

from Derek

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