July 10, 2020
EU/UK Brexit negotiations, the first face-to-face negotiations since the outbreak of the pandemic, ended last Thursday with both sides citing “significant disagreements" and giving little cause for hope of avoiding a no-deal Brexit.
Last week, the July 1 deadline for agreeing upon an extension to the “transition arrangement” passed, which means that the UK is now scheduled to leave the EU economically on December 31.
Unlike a typical trade deal, the raison d’etre of Brexit is to create divergence, a lose-lose proposition for both sides. It is for the UK to put borders in place where none now exist, to end the free movement of people, to diverge rather than converge. This can only be done at a very substantial economic cost.
Yet with an 80-seat majority in Parliament, there are few immediate political incentives for Prime Minister Johnson to agree to a deal with Brussels. All of the incentives point towards no deal, which will keep the Tory Party intact and see off any threat from the Brexit hard-liners.
All of this leads to a no-deal scenario. But I would be delighted to be proven wrong.
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