Are the British the big winners?

On April 10, it will be 100 days since the UK left the European Union. After a long struggle, an agreement was reached. But who benefited from it the most? Overview.

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The Swan Song was majestic. They pledge to remain friends. But nearly 100 days after the end of Brexit, there are good reasons to assume that between European Union And the Great Britain Constant and sometimes bitter rivalry grows. In any case, the weeks that have passed since the last break at the start of the year weren’t at all in harmony.

The UK government seizes every opportunity Brixi To celebrate the success, he is politically benefiting from the debut of Club 27 Disgruntled. This goes as far as small sarcasm like refusing to accept IFull diplomatic recognition was granted to ambassadors in London. The fact that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had appointed David Frost, the exit talks negotiator, known for his confrontational style, to the cabinet as the prominent representative of Brexit, has also raised eyebrows.

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The European Union operates in Corona Pandimi For its part, it wants to show the severity of the dispute with Great Britain. Above all, there is an atmosphere of mistrust and mutual rebuke.

Cold shower after the deal

Just seven days before Great Britain finally left the internal market of the European Union and the Customs Union, negotiators on both sides reached an agreement on Brexit on Christmas Eve 2020 – formally known as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The relief was great, and the chilling mess with which there was no deal was avoided.

British woman holding a banner in front of the flag "Brixi" Hoch: Who survived the best separation from the European Union?  Great Britain or the European Union?  (Source: imago images / agefotostock)A British woman holds up a sign that says “Brexit” in front of the flag: Who survived the best Brexit? Great Britain or the European Union? (Source: agefotostock / imago images)

However, the resumption of economic ties on January 1, 2021, was a cold shower for many. Customs forms, controls, guarantees of origin, import requirements for fresh food and fish, permits, forms, sales tax on imports – a paper war that drew many merchants and unprepared consumers No wonder, after all, Johnson claimed on Christmas Eve that the deal removed all trade barriers . But for the month of January, the British Census Bureau reported a 40.7 per cent drop in exports to the European Union. Imports from the European Union collapsed by 28.8%.

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Experts are not surprised. The agreement “is clearly a meager bargain compared to full membership in the European Union or more ambitious partnership models, especially membership in the internal market and / or customs union,” analyzes the European Policy Center in Brussels. According to the forecast, British exports to the European Union are expected to decrease by about 36 per cent within ten years compared to other British membership in the European Union.

British vaccination victory – the European Union is losing

So the economic flaws of the break with the European single market are evident, but somehow that doesn’t seem to bother the British and hardly hurt Johnson. Immediately after Brexit was completed, the British prime minister scored the final victory: when he was vaccinated against Covid-19 Great Britain left behind European Union miles. It seems almost forgotten that the government in London had achieved a bad number in the epidemic by then. With nearly 150,000 Covid-19 related deaths, the country is one of the hardest hit in Europe. But more than 31 million initial vaccines and low case numbers show the light at the end of the tunnel.

On December 27, the European Union celebrated the start of the joint vaccination of 27 countries with much disease pity. But then followed weeks of wrangling, setbacks, and assignment of blame. Too little vaccine, too slow vaccination, unfair distribution. President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen Finally the errors had to be acknowledged – exactly in places Great Britain organized differently: “We were late in approval. We were very optimistic about mass production.” This point went to Johnson.

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A vaccine conflict versus a vaccine war?

But von der Leyen rightly indicated that the miracle of the British vaccine could not have been imagined without vaccines from the European Union. Since December 1, more than 21 million cans have gone to the island, but on the contrary, almost nothing has come from there. European Union Commission At the end of last March, this was seen as a reason to tighten export controls.

Above all, the British-Swedish company Astrazeneca is within sight. The company has radically unilaterally cut its pledges to the European Union – from 300 million vaccine doses originally to just 100 million in the first half of the year – but it appears to be progressing smoothly to the UK. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently said: “Our decade is outperforming them.”

Now the announcement comes from Brussels: Astrazeneca should not export until the EU contracts are fulfilled. Immediately angry reactions from London, whose vaccination campaign has already slowed down due to the export ban from India. The European Union and Great Britain are now negotiating long-term cooperation on vaccination. Open exit.

Northern Ireland – Open Wing

Vaccine hysteria in the European Union was also the backdrop to a political disaster at the end of January: As part of vaccine export requirements, the European Union Commission was temporarily considering controlling the export of vaccines from the European Union country of Ireland to Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. They recovered it within hours, but the damage was done. The border between the two parts of Ireland is a very delicate issue. For years, during exit talks, Brussels called for everything to remain unchanged despite Brexit in order to preserve peace in the region of the previous civil war – it now appears that the Commission is throwing these principles at sea at the first opportunity.

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The British government used this as an excuse to tear up and partially suspend the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit Treaty, which the boycott has been criticizing de facto in the EU trade zone. Brussels filed a lawsuit. Northern Ireland’s co-chair of the government, Arlene Foster of the Protestant Federalist Party, who is already critical of the European Union, has called for the protocol to be abolished entirely. Tensions in Northern Ireland rose dramatically, and the Loyalists of Great Britain had been fighting nightly street battles with the police for days.

What’s Next?

After 47 years together, the two were able to accuse each other of breach of contract, nationalism and hostility within a few weeks, despite still being dependent on each other. The trade agreement has not been ratified by the European Union – it is only applied temporarily due to a last-minute agreement – and the European Parliament is now tying its agreement to the settlement of the Northern Ireland dispute.

How serious is the threat that remains open, but does not speak of a good mood. The EU’s access to UK financial services also remains unclear. For its part, the European Union relies on raw materials from British factories for vaccine.

Ice Age isn’t actually an option, but there’s no end to grumbling in sight, either. “It is likely that Britain’s relations with Europe will remain bumpy until the days of pro-Brexit sovereignty come to an end,” said Andrew Duff, a former British MP. “But your time will run out at some point.” Duff returns to this sometime after the UK elections in 2024.


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