Emmanuel Macron’s ‘Confederation’ could be the perfect Brexit home Business

President Macron appears to be offering the very relationship with Europe that average Britain has long sought, whether moderate Remainers or moderate Brexiters – and the line between them is an artifice of the post-Brexit polemic. referendary.

“This new European organization would offer democratic nations, which adhere to our fundamental values, a new space for political cooperation on security, energy, transport, investment in infrastructure and the free movement of people, in particular our young people,” he said.

Mr Macron’s formulation involves giving Ukraine and others a greater degree of access to the EU’s single market than they already have. This necessarily reopens some aspects of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The EU can immediately modify certain elements of the agreement with the United Kingdom, if it wants better relations. It refused UK mutual recognition for conformity assessment of products – the simple courtesy offered to Canada and Australia. She refused to reciprocate even on financial equivalence (itself very limited), refusing cooperation granted to New York or Singapore in areas such as derivatives. It offered the Chinese Communists better terms on financial services.

This Brexit deal is unlike anything in international trade law. The EU aims to prevent future legal differences on the grounds that it would be unfair competition. But competition has been the cornerstone of the free market and the root of rising living standards for three centuries. It in no way flouts the principles of the WTO.

The EU hopes to achieve this by penetrating UK domestic law to regulate the manufacture of products, which is a radical departure from WTO practice. It has a ‘rebalancing mechanism’ armed with hooks, all on pain of ‘cross retaliation’ if the UK is deemed to have offended. There is a constant sword of Damocles because the EU can end the whole deal at any time. Britain agreed to such terms only under duress.

This punitive regulation has always been a risky strategy for the EU itself as it pushes the UK further into the US regulatory orbit and could lead to a New York-London condominium on Western finance. Mr Macron knows that Paris has failed to take away much of the city’s business, and he has discovered in the AUKUS submarine deal that making sure Brexit ‘hurts’ is one way double meaning. The charm could take her further.

His confederation is not well received in Eastern Europe. Mr. Macron exalted the courage of Ukraine, “already today at the heart of our Europe, of our family, or of our union”, and then deflated hopes by adding that it would probably take “several decades” before the country to join the EU.

In the end, Ukraine would have no choice. A tight confederation would be at least preferable to the status quo.

For Britain, it’s full of alluring possibilities, the answer for millions of us who want the kind of relationship with Europe that Canada has with the United States. It’s not such an outrageous thing to ask after all.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-13 05:00:00

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