Saying that all trade barriers are gone after Brexit is overly optimistic about Boris Johnson. This is the opinion of researcher Timo Metinin.
The big news on Christmas Eve was that the European Union and the United Kingdom have agreed what the relationship will look like when Brexit ends.
Officially, the country already left the European Union in February, but the power struggle for the perfect divorce deal went to the finish line.
In just one week, the transition period agreed upon by the parties in order to have time to sign a Brexit agreement that the two sides could be pleased with will end.
Timo Mittenen is a researcher at the University of Helsinki, whose majors include European Union politics. According to him, Brexit is a defeat, no matter how it twists and turns.
In a way, both sides lose in the process. At the same time, when the European Union loses Britain, much of its economic power disappears. For the UK, this is definitely a severe economic shock, but it would have been much worse without a deal.
“The agreement removes many barriers to trade.”
For both parties, there is still a glimmer of light in the new trade agreement.
For the United Kingdom, it was central that the country no longer wanted to abide by the European Court of Justice ruling.
For its part, the European Union has been given the opportunity to interfere with various tariffs if the UK starts making specific decisions.
But of course the UK also benefits from the agreements.
The agreement removes many obstacles to trade, but questions remain about how different parties agree to each other’s certificates and systems of origin. These are questions that we get answers to only when we see the wording in the agreement, Mittenen says.
“It is more economically important for Britain to reach an agreement.”
The fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson claims that trade will be freer for Britain is an amenable fact.
I think Johnson was a little optimistic when he claimed that all barriers to trade have been removed, even those not related to tariffs. This is not true at all. There will also be more bureaucracy in trade.
It’s still too early to tell what the relationship will look like in the future.
However, it seems clear that the European Union is the stronger party after the tracks.
In practice, this means that the UK does not have to adapt its laws and regulations to what they look like within the European Union, but it can still pay to do so.
In general, perhaps the most important economic issue for the UK was to rowing an agreement on the beach, but both parties got their most important wishes with this agreement.
Stronger cohesion thanks to Brexit
How the union will perform in the future is also an interesting question, even if it is very difficult to answer. If Brexit turns out to be a success story, it could of course inspire so-called Brexit movements in other countries.
Mittenen points out that the European Union itself has the keys to its future. Much depends on how the union evolves and whether it is attractive to member states.
For now, at least, the union appears to be cohesively better than it has been a long time ago. Paradoxically, this is thanks in part to the British sortie.
Since the Brexit process has been so cumbersome, over the past four years we have seen support for the European Union increase and exit movements are much smaller.