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Saturday, 25 June 23:39 (GMT -05:00)

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Life After Brexit: EU-UK Talks Are Underway

The European Union and the United Kingdom are reported to have started talks to discuss their economic and political relationships after the divorce. There seems to be a bad mood in the air, and the comprimise may be difficult to reach, especially as Brussels politicians do not trust Boris Johnson's government.
The first round of talks in Brussels is expected to last until Thursday. The next one is scheduled for the second half of March in London. The talks will end up with summing up in June and guide the direction for the rest of the year. This is exactly when Boris Johnson may ask Brussels to extend the talks to 2021 to extend the transition period and soften the hard landing. Thanks to this period, the UK keeps on functioning as if it were an EU member, even though the UK doesn't have a vote in EU institutions anymore.
Still, Premier Johnson promised to not ask for any extension anymore. Last week, the London government announced their decision, according to which they would avoid asking any extension of the transition period and the talks and would switch to getting ready to living without a major agreement with the Eu if there were no clear compromise in June 2020. This means shifting to the WTO rules (involving customs duties and export quotas).
Optimists hope that Premier Johnson is bluffing to make the EU compromise without a deal. Pessimists do belive that he is indeed trying to promote the toughest Brexit version without a major agreement with the EU. 
The thing is that the EU is offering the UK an agreement without customs duties and export quotas but the British prime minister keeps saying no to that and advocating tough conditions for fair economic competition. The toughest disagreement has to do with environmental and climatic standards along with labor conditions and consumer right defense.
London keeps insisting that abandoning the fair play rules will mean becoming Brussels' vassal. They back their argument with the fact that the EU hasn't put such conditions on the list of the agreement with Canada and Japan. On the other hand, Brussels responds by saying that those conditions are required due to the similarity between the economies in terms of their scale. On top of that, Brussels says that EU companies operating in the UK need more protection against unfair rivalry.
The fair play involves devising a political declaration attached to the Brexit agreement ratified by the UK in January, which is why Brussels is now trying to appeal to the principles of mutual trust. If there's no compromise on that, Brussels is expected to offer the UK a standard trade agreement with limitations imposed on certain categories of goods. The only difference is that usually such talks with other countries took years, not months. That is why everything may and up with no deal at all because of the expiration time if the UK prime minister keeps on insisting on his way of establishing the EU-UK trade relationship.


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