Before a trade agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom goes into effect on Saturday, the European Parliament will remain “vigilant” to prevent any attempt by Britain to circumvent parts of the agreement. However, on the part of the Swedish government, the concern is not that great.
After approval by the European Parliament this week, the new trade and cooperation agreement between the European Union countries and the United Kingdom will take effect from Saturday 1 May. But negotiations on Brexit first and then on a cooperation agreement have been difficult and new negotiations await soon.
There are some concerns on the part of the European Union that the British will not keep parts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. One of the parliament’s rapporteurs, Luxembourg Conservative Christoph Hansen, said in a vote on Tuesday that Parliament would “remain vigilant” and that approval was not a vote “in blind conviction of the British government’s intention to implement the agreement in a sincere spirit”.
From the Swedish side, similar voices are being heard, not least from Social Democrat and European Parliament member Johan Danielson.
It is important that the European Union remain coherent and very vigilant during the implementation phase. There is a great risk if you allow the British during this first year to gradually surrender piece by piece to the agreement that not every single part deserves to be argued about but in the end they manage to change the agreement.
What evidence do you have that the British might go into the details of the agreement to change it?
– the way It dealt with the exit agreement as the British government had previously announced in its parliament that it intended to unilaterally violate parts of the agreement. This alone raises awakening when we must now implement the entire agreement. Then we also get signals from the union movement in the UK, among other things, that they are concerned and that the British may be breaking the agreement when it comes to transport while driving and rest times, for example, says Johan Danielson.
Moderator and European Parliament Member Jürgen Warborne also testified that there was a lot of doubt in Parliament about whether the British government would abide by the agreement. But he thinks the British should now be given the opportunity to show the opposite.
Of course there is concern. But with the agreement, we also get the opportunity and the tools to work hard, such as adjusting tariffs on British goods, and in all agreements and perhaps especially in this, there will be gaps, gray areas and various interpretations. I think we have only seen the beginning of negotiations with the British. Now we must also give the British a chance to prove that they are behind the agreement, says Jürgen Warborn.
On the part of the Swedish government, EU Minister Hans Dahlgren (South) wants to alleviate concerns.
We assume that the British respect what they signed. We have ensured that the agreement is designed in a way that ensures conditions for fair competition between the EU and the UK. If there are suspicions that things are not going well, there are mechanisms in the agreement, for example the Joint Commission, where complaints can be raised, says Hans Dahlgren.
So you’re not too worried about not following the convention?
– I remember an old saying like [USA:s president] Ronald Reagan used to use; Trust but verify. You can trust the other end, but it’s always important to check that everything works, says Hans Dahlgren.