Flexibility does not come for free

OpinioPro Selection
By January 21, 2020 11:30

Flexibility does not come for free

Insight

An EU-UK free trade agreement will result in new barriers to trade and border friction even if the UK chooses to unilaterally align itself with EU rules and regulations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK will “not align” with EU rules in any future EU-UK free trade agreement (FTA). European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has responded by pointing out that “the more divergence there is, the more distant the partnership has to be”. Her statement reflects the EU’s general principle that access to the EU market is intrinsically linked to a country’s acceptance of EU rules, institutions and legal obligations. But in practice the EU’s approach is likely to be even tougher than von der Leyen’s words suggest: the greater the UK’s ability to diverge is, the more distant the partnership will be. The moment the UK obtains the right to choose whether it diverges or not from EU rules, it will – in most areas – be treated by the EU as if it has already done so.

 

OpinioPro Selection
By January 21, 2020 11:30

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