The Brexit Declaration on Future Ties: A Guide to What It Says
Comment of the Day

November 22 2018

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

The Brexit Declaration on Future Ties: A Guide to What It Says

There is a great deal of commentary at the moment about Brexit so let’s look at what has been proposed in the draft agreement. Here is a section:

The declaration opens up the prospect of adopting technological solutions to facilitate "the ease of legitimate trade" - including across the Irish border - calling for the
use of "all available facilitative arrangements and technologies".

"Facilitative arrangements and technologies will be considered in developing any alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing," it says.

It envisages "a spectrum of different outcomes" in terms of the practical implementation of checks and controls on  movements across borders.

Financial services
The declaration calls on both sides to start assessing  one another's regulatory frameworks as soon as possible after Brexit, with a view to being able to declare them "equivalent" before the end of June 2020.

Freedom of movement
The principle of freedom of movement of people between  the EU and the UK will no longer apply. The two sides will aim to provide through their domestic laws for visa-free travel for
"short-term visits".

They will also consider future conditions for entry and stay for purposes such as research, study, training and youth exchanges.


Eoin Treacy's view

The title of an article by Matt Chorley for The Times “It is time to shoot the Brexit unicorns” reflects the UK government’s attempts to convince ideological purists that this is the only option available to them.

It’s only a matter of time before someone starts quoting the Rolling Stones. You can't always get what you want

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need, oh yeah

The best that can be said of the proposed Brexit deal is that it arrests the trend of progressively closer ties with the EU. However, the biggest point is that the Brexit political declaration is not legally binding whereas the treaty cementing the UK’s relationship with the EU when it is complete, potentially in two years, will be.  Therefore, while there has been a great deal of foment about the text of this agreement on future relationships, in the broader scheme of things, it is merely a delaying measure for the much bigger discussion later.  

Right now, it is looking extraordinarily unlikely even this political declaration is going to be approved by Parliament without mass defections from the Labour Party. Then an election really should be called since, without the support of the DUP, the Conservatives do not have a majority. That is where the real debate lies because the Conservatives do not want an election, which could potentially usher in the Labour Party. Even another referendum is preferable to that outcome in the eyes of the party faithful. This is the solitary reason for thinking the government will carry the vote on the deal in early December.

The Pound bounced today from the region of its late October low against the Euro but it will need to hold the €1.12 level if potential for continued higher to lateral ranging is to be given the benefit of the doubt.

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