The British were surprised yesterday by the news that they will have to declare values on trips to Northern Ireland, proof that the exit from the EU is in practice in Great Britain and not in the United Kingdom.
For some years and until 2015, the prospect of Greece leaving the eurozone due to the serious economic and financial crisis led to this scenario receiving the term Grexit (combination in English of Greece and exit). The neologism was promptly applied to a scenario that seemed distant to everyone. In 2012, consultant Peter Wilding already warned of the danger of growing Euroscepticism. “Unless there is a clear vision that the UK should lead in Europe, at the very least, to reach the completion of the single market, then Greece’s exit from the euro could be followed by another sad word, Brexit”, wrote.
Strictly speaking, the UK’s exit from the European bloc is not complete. Northern Ireland remains in the single market and in the customs union, as such remains under the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is a Great Brexit because it is Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) and not the United Kingdom which, as of 23:00 in Lisbon on the 3rd, ceases to be aligned with the remaining 27 countries in the so-called transition period. that now ends.
Reached on Christmas Eve, the 1246-page deal was only released on Saturday. The result of months of negotiations and a final race, it provides for concessions from both sides, although each party has boasted, through unofficial channels, of having forced the other to give in more. Outside Brussels, the French Secretary of State for European Affairs recalled that the United Kingdom is subject, like “no country in the world”, to “so many rules” for export to the EU. “This was the sine qua noncondition to accept this access to our market,” said Clément Beaune in an interview with Europe1. The agreement provides for exemption from tariffs and quotas on almost all products.
To the Sunday Telegraph, Boris Johnson declared that he guaranteed “free trade with the European Union without being dragged into its regulatory or legislative orbit”. It is not quite true. The United Kingdom is divided into a virtual border in the Irish Sea, which represents a retreat across the conservative line. In August, the British Prime Minister said: “There will be no border in the Irish Sea. Just over my corpse.” But Johnson is alive and agreed with this formula that aims to avoid at all costs a physical border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which could jeopardize the Good Friday Agreement.
The Northern Ireland Protocol maintains that territory in the EU’s single goods market, as well as binding Northern Ireland to apply EU customs rules at its ports. This means that goods arriving from Great Britain will be checked and checked at the ports of Northern Ireland from 1 January. On Monday it was learned of another consequence of the agreement: travelers from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are obliged to declare sums in excess of ten thousand euros, although the opposite does not apply, that is, a north Irish who travel to England, Wales or Scotland are not subject to this condition.
Another promise by the former journalist and correspondent in Brussels was that of “total control of fisheries” in British territorial waters. For now, fishing sovereignty is yet to be realized: there is a transition period of five and a half years, during which EU countries’ boats will in a phased manner capture 25% less of the current quotas. After that, or until then, negotiations are planned on the quantity of fish allowed to EU vessels. However, if London decides to limit EU access or catches, Brussels may retaliate with tariffs or suspend part of the trade agreement. Which, after all, left a bitter taste for the industry’s industrialists: “In the end, it became clear that Boris Johnson wanted a global trade agreement and was willing to sacrifice fishing,” said the head of the National Federation of Fisheries Organizations, Barrie Deas.
If fishing represents little in global terms for the United Kingdom and if Downing Street has in fact given priority to trade, there is no shortage of people who criticize the agreement, in addition to the shipowners and fishermen. The agreement is silent on the services sector, which accounts for 80% of the British economy. London is dependent on an EU standard for the regulation of financial services – the major asset of British services – without which cross-border business will be restricted. It is the same in relation to the flow of personal data. It is surprising that among 25 specialized commissions, ministerial councils, and working groups in the most diverse areas, financial services are not involved.
For the Financial Times lawyer and collaborator David Allen Green, the agreement is far from being a conclusion, having been designed to be renegotiated in five-year cycles. “This agreement does not end Brexit, it is rather a five-year political truce,” he wrote on his website.
Source: Diário de Noticias