A transition period of one year should cushion the shock of the divorce between the United Kingdom and the european Union (Photo Glyn KIRK . AFP)
On march 29, 2019, 23: 00 GMT, the Uk will cease formally to be part of the european Union. A leap into the unknown that the shock should, however, be cushioned by the agreement of transition is obtained by London, according to analysts.
The First british minister, Theresa May, has triggered the procedure of divorce with the EU a year ago, at the end of march 2017. But quickly, aware of the impossibility to reach an agreement on the future relationship of britain with its ex-partners in the allotted time of two years, she has applied for and obtained this transition period, thus saving you the time and a little bit of legal certainty for businesses in the uk.
“No need to be ready (next year) because we have the transition”, says the professor of european politics at King’s College London, Anand Menon, questioned by the AFP.
“The break is delayed,” says his sister Catherine Barnard, professor of european law at the university of Cambridge, according to which “the real question is whether the two camps will be ready by 31 December 2020 when the transition will be complete”.
During the transition, London will no longer have a say on the decisions of the EU, but will continue to have access to the single market against a contribution to the european budget. The freedom of movement of european citizens will also be maintained, a requirement of Brussels to which Ms. May had to fold.
– Emergency Plans –
But in the face of uncertainties as to the content of the final agreement, if there is one, british companies have begun to take measures.
According to a recent study by the office of legal council, Pinsent Masons, 51% of large companies operate in the United Kingdom have adopted emergency plans, and considering, for example, transfer of personnel on the continent. And those who did not plan to do so before the end of the year.
The ministry of Finance has provided billions of pounds to prepare for the Brexit
The transition will not be sealed as if London and the 27 to agree on the terms of the divorce by the month of October, when a Treaty of withdrawal must be signed. The future relationship, negotiated front, must be the subject of a declaration, also in October.
Or “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, have warned the european leaders.
London wants to get out of the single market and the customs union, while maintaining the closest links possible with the EU. An equation impossible, so far, has told Brussels.
“Although the two sides want to minimize the negative impact on the economy, ( … ), the EU has made clear that the conditions offered in the United Kingdom can never be better than the ones offered by a membership” in the EU, underlines Magdalena Frennhoff Larsen, lecturer at the University of Westminster.
– European Immigration decline
The question of the frontier between the british province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, who will in the future be the only land border between the Uk and the EU, also remains a point of friction important.
Despite their misgivings, the British have agreed to incorporate in the draft withdrawal agreement, the option of a “regulatory space in common” including the EU and Northern Ireland, at least until another satisfactory proposal is on the table. Because the small unionist party northern irish DUP, whose majority in parliament, Theresa May depend on, sees a very bad eye this solution.
Despite the uncertainty and the negative impact of Brexit on the economy, the british voters do seem to mostly not regret their choice.
Since the referendum in June 2016, without sinking in the recession promised by the proponents of maintenance in the EU, the Uk has experienced a fall in the pound, higher inflation and lower growth than it could have been.
“Many have voted for the exit from the EU more for reasons political than economic”, however, points out Magdalena Frennhoff Larsen, citing in particular, the willingness of the British to regain control of their laws, and to put a brake on european immigration.
However, the latest statistics show a net decline of immigration from the countries of the EU”, she adds. “If the decline continues, the Brexit will already have had the desired effect”.