Brits Play Fast & Loose on Brexit
Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament in London
This week EU leaders met in the European Union Commission in Brussels. Among a busy agenda they discussed the ongoing negotiations with the British Government on implementing the Withdrawal Agreement and a future trade deal. They committed to continue the talks but noted the failure of the British Government to bring forward any meaningful or workable solutions to the outstanding issues of fisheries, “a level playing field” and how to adjudicate on disagreements.
In response, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Britain would now prepare for a 'no deal' scenario at the end of the year but fell short of collapsing the talks. Previously Johnson said that this week would be the deadline for reaching a trade deal.
The British officially left the EU at the beginning of the year and are in a transition period where previous EU provisions remain, there has been real disruption to trade and daily life in Britain and in the North of Ireland. This period however will end in the new year and actions of the British Government could leave the North of Ireland without a trade agreement with the rest of Ireland and the EU facing a legislative cliff edge. In September, the British Government said that they would not abide by the Withdrawal Agreement to protect all Ireland trade and the Good Friday Agreement.
In playing fast and loose with Brexit, agreements and international law the actions of the British Government have again raised the threat of a hard border across Ireland and have undermined the Good Friday Agreement. The clock is ticking and at the late stage the British Government are continuing to refuse to honor their obligations to Ireland and the European Union.