The UK has Achieved a Fantastic Trade Deal with the EU – Conservative Article
To be fair to Boris Johnson, he has managed to broker a significant deal with the European Union. It has put the UK on the path to economic success in the years to come. The agreement “establishes zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the UK and the EU” which is crucial. The EU needs the UK as much as the UK needs the EU. So it is amazing to see that this has been pulled off.
Specialised Committees have been established to “monitor and review the implementation and ensure the proper functioning of this agreement”. These committees are co-chaired by a representative from the EU and one from the UK. Both ensure complete transparency and that the trade agreement is functioning to its full ability on both sides. Committees will have a representative of each political party and “each party shall ensure that its representatives on the Committees have the appropriate expertise”. Having representation from all parties enables all of the UK’s interests to be considered.
Similarly, Working Groups have also been created to support the work of the committees and ensure that any changes are being implemented and “assist Committees in the performance of their tasks”. These groups will be crucial in enhancing and maintaining the provisions of the trade agreement.
I am really surprised that Boris Johnson has managed to improve provisions relating to fisheries. According to the agreement, there is going to be a significant change with an “uplift in quota for UK fishers, equal to 25% of the value the EU catch in UK waters” which is “worth £146m for the UK fleet phased in over five years”. This reinforces UK sovereignty and reflects the UK’s departure from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. Adequate time has been given for transition and this will increase the UK’s fishing fleet significantly.
Going back to sovereignty, the agreement also states that there is “no role for the Court of Justice of the European Union” so the UK will no longer be constrained by this organisation. This again is in line with the UK’s interests.
However, I do have several concerns especially when it comes to security. Luckily the agreement “supports multilateral cooperation between the UK and EU Member States through Europol on serious and organised crime and terrorism” but “it does not provide for the membership of Europol”. Despite being able to cooperate with Europol, this could create some serious concerns in the future. This is because the UK will not have immediate access to all resources. And so, this could raise some lethal national security threats.
Another concern is the education access for British and international students. The Erasmus+ Scheme has been eliminated from the UK’s interests. So a new programme will be drafted by the UK government. Erasmus+ is a defining moment in a university student’s career going abroad to a new country. With this being said, I am confident the UK government will put together an even stronger and more sustainable programme, which supports British and international students.
A deal for financial services has not been reached yet. So it will be interesting to see what provisions remain and are created by March 2021. This deal will be incredibly complex especially if you look at the current provisions for Switzerland with the EU. For the car industry, a six-year transition period has been secured as requested to adapt to any new system post-Brexit.
Finally, it will be incredibly interesting to see people’s reactions that visas are now required for entering the EU Member States. Overall though, I sincerely believe that Boris Johnson and Lord David Frost have managed to broker an incredibly good deal with our friends, the EU. This Specialised Committees and Working Groups will be crucial to making any changes and improvements to the current trade deal.
Written by Junior Conservative Writer, Max Jablonowski
Point of Information
If I were to celebrate this trade deal, I might win an Oscar – A Labour Response
This deal has denied us access to the single market and customs union, meaning we have also lost visa-free travel, frictionless trade, and a myriad of international trade agreements. Furthermore, a sea-border will now exist between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a move which Boris Johnson said would only happen “over his dead body” as recently as August.
However, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to false promises. In terms of the fisheries, fisherfolk now feel betrayed after being told about the endless opportunities that they could expect post-Brexit. In total, the fishing industry is now looking at losing £1 million per day due to the delays associated with paperwork that was not needed previously. Just to rub salt into the wound, the fisheries minister admitted that she hadn’t even read the details of the fishing deal.
As for Erasmus, we were told back in January by Boris Johnson that there was “no threat to the Erasmus scheme”. Alas, here we are. For Max to say that he’s confident that the government will “put together an even stronger and more sustainable programme”, I have to ask why? Why do you have such confidence in this? This is pure blind faith in a man who has only offered disappointment and falsehoods.
For this reason, I also have to ask why Max is praising this deal so highly. Firstly, to say that the EU needs us as much as we need them is demonstrably false. More importantly, however, by what measure has the Prime Minister pulled off a great deal? That is unless you count success as losing a whole host of international benefits. Backtracking on numerous vacuous pledges (don’t make me bring up that bus). And, betraying the fishing industry that had your back for so long.
It is a “great success” in only one way: it is better than no-deal.
Written by Senior Labour Writer, Jack Rolfe
Don’t be fooled, our sovereignty is superficial – A Liberal Response
One significant oversight in Max’s article is the role standards and regulations play in trade negotiations. In fact, while quotas and tariffs are barriers to trade. They are most influential in the trade of raw, basic goods. Things like staple foods, iron ore and so on. But, when it comes to the vast majority of British exports and imports, they are high-cost, complicated, heavily regulated goods such as cars and infrastructure. They are also an area where Boris has placed sovereignty above sense.
The EU rightly takes pride in its stringent standards; it has managed to harmonise various high minimum environmental and safety standards across the bloc. It has also ensured that the countries within are not able to undercut another by skimping on them. Yes, we can buy our wheat from South Africa or our iron from Australia. But, without a significant shift in the regulatory standards away from the EU we will still need to buy cars designed for that market, or align ourselves with the Japanese or American markets. We could throw open our doors to whichever standards we liked. But, that would be a monumental headache for any onward chain of goods from the UK with the lineage of each part required to be documented.
Indeed, this is the hold up at most ports. The paperwork is about compliance with EU Standards because the UK no longer enforces them. This is the issue with the Irish Border and why companies are facing difficulties trading within the UK from Britain to Northern Ireland. The temporary Irish Sea Border exemplifies the difficulties of straddling a regulatory standards region: you either have to submit and enforce their rules from the get-go or prove that goods are compliant in order to trade.
So, whilst the barriers of quotas and tariffs have been avoided. The UK is still beholden to the whims of the EU if it wants to continue trading with them. The UK overnight has become less competitive as it needs to prove compliance. Also, when the EU talks of a “divergence in standards” it often means the UK wants to set much lower standards than the EU. Meaning: lower labour standards, lower environmental standards, lower safety standards in food and products, lower consumer rights standards, and so on. All in order to regain some competitive edge in the global economy. There are already fears amongst ecologists that the UK’s agricultural safety standards will slip as the government has approved previously banned pesticide which is known to kill bees.
If the UK strays too far away from EU rules, they have every right to retaliate. Closing off the largest market for UK goods. Goods which employ thousands of people in northern towns and cities which have been decimated by COVID-19 and years of austerity.
The levels of sovereignty Max espouses are entirely superficial. We are now stuck between different markets and, as pointed out, in need of forging our own path. The deal is significant only in that it is a shortsighted win for Brexiteers. And, a long term blow for the country.
Written by Junior Liberal Writer, Daniel Jones