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Saturday, June 06, 2020

Is no-deal an inevitability?

The Independent reports that fears of a no-deal in Brexit trade talks have heightened as another round finished without progress and Brussels accused the UK of backtracking on its promises.

The paper says that business groups and unions on the British side of the channel warned negotiators to "buckle down" and said a disorderly Brexit could mean we “potentially face a bigger challenge to the food supply chain” than coronavirus:

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday that talks could not "go on like this forever" while his UK counterpart David Frost admitted that progress required both sides "intensify and accelerate our work". Speaking at a press conference at the close of negotiations, Mr Barnier listed four specific points in the Brexit “political declaration” on the future relationship signed by Boris Johnson in January that he said were not being adhered to.

“It will remain for us the only valid reference, the only relevant precedent in this negotiation. That was agreed by both sides. Yet, round after round, our British counterparts seek to distance themselves from this common basis," he said of the agreement.

But Mr Frost appeared to downplay the significance of the document signed by Mr Johnson, telling journalists afterwards that something being mentioned in the document "doesn't mean that everything in the declaration must go into a legally binding treaty".

He added: "It establishes the scope of our discussions on the future relationship."

Turning to the wider issues blocking a deal such as fishing and regulatory standard, Mr Barnier said: “There has been no significant progress on these points, as I’ve said, not since the start of these negotiations and I don’t think we can go on like this forever."

The coronavirus crisis means that leaving the EU without a deal could be even more disastrous for the UK economy than previously thought. It is vital that talks cover all the bases, and not be rushed because ministerial minds are elsewhere. The case for a delay in exiting the EU is stronger than ever before.
Is there a political point here? Tories did a deal (secretly) with Farage. His party stood down with him knowing that if he stood against Johnson he would not get HIS Brexit and only a few seats. Equally Johnson would not have got as many seats as he did. Where Tories are concerned POWER IS ALL ,sod the country if we cannot get it. Johnson will be looking over his shoulder to 'please' Farage and keep him away from reducing Tory power ,his. Result a no deal Brexit is the plan. Everything else is window dressing. Now that the virus has appeared the stakes for the country are higher. The country has more to lose. An extention is needed for the country but will the Brexit Tory elite (the millionaires, Tory sponsors) be interested as long as they stay comfortable.
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