British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been hopeful of crafting a unique trade agreement with the European Union after Brexit. But it seems like there is a very meek chance of this happening now. Brussels recently declared that it was feeling immense global pressure to reject any special treatment to Britain.
No special treatment for the UK: EU officials
It’s just been a week since May reached an agreement with the European Union, which allows Brexit discussions to proceed and focus on the forthcoming trade relations. But EU officials are now insisting that a unique deal that is more inclined towards benefiting the United Kingdom as opposed to other non-EU countries is not possible.
An official was reported saying that when Britain moves out of the customs union and single market in 2019, there won’t be any duplication of the current trade relationship terms and no superior treatment. He added that it is critical to adhere to the balance of obligations and rights, otherwise, it would lead to the undermining of the union and the single market. Also, it wasn’t a good idea to disrupt relations with other third nations.
Trade agreements are a tedious and long process
According to Nick Macpherson, the Treasury’s former secretary, trade deals can be quite long and complicated. They usually take over 5 years to come through. Hence, there is a big possibility that the intermediate phase after Britain exists from the UK would continue to last till 2024.
Also, if the transition deal is extended beyond 2 years, it would lead to further alarm the MPs who are pro-Brexit. These officials are already uncomfortable about having to agree with the European Union regulations, including the European Court of Justice and free civil movement, after 2019.
The warnings from EU came after senior UK and EU diplomats anticipated that it might be impossible for Brussels and London to formulate a new trade agreement within the stated timeframe of two years (as envisaged by May).
According to Conservative MP, Nicky Morgan, businesses were already pressurizing for an extended transition phase and greater legal clarity with regards to how things would work. Morgan is the chair of the Treasury cross-party select committee. She added that city dwellers are definitely asking for over 2 years and it is quite clear that the British PM is setting the 2-year limit for certain political reasons.