Brexit: a Bright Spot among Clouds

by | Oct 28, 2019 | Experts, Governance, Negotiation | 0 comments

After months of ironclad refusal to reopen negotiations, the EU had to admit that its solution to prevent to hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland – the infamous backstop provision to seal off, if needed, the Irish island from British mainland – would prevent any prospect of domestic ratification of the withdrawal agreement in the UK.

To allow for another solution, the EU had to abandon its rigid principle of not entering into specific aspects of its future relationship with the UK. Northern Ireland will officially be part of the UK’s customs territory but de facto follow EU’s customs rules given that the EU-UK customs border will be placed in the Irish Sea.

To reach this new solution, both sides had to cross some red lines – no outsourcing of its external border checks for the EU and no customs border in the Irish sea for the UK. This occurred because, in the words of EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, “A unique situation must be dealt with using exceptional solutions”.

Posturing on rigid principles seems to be over at the negotiation table and this is good, albeit late, news given the tight remaining schedule for the negotiation of the terms of the future arrangement by December 2020. 

Clouds: fantasies and confrontational politics in Britain 

The situation on the UK domestic front is less bright. Confrontational politics is still very much the only game in town in a country divided along different fraction lines, across and within parties, generations and regions. It is hard to see how the country will come to terms with its divisions and agree on how to steer the future short of a major upgrade of its two-party autocracy.

Yet, leading politicians are still more prone to “die in a ditch” and risk their respective parties’ political extinction and their country’s future welfare through political gambling rather than engage in serious cross-partisan dialogues and institutional reform.  Nothing much has changed since David Cameron’s disastrous tactical choices.

Confrontational politics continues to fuel unrealistic expectations among the British electorate, with each leader making bold pledges regarding the UK’s future relationship with the EU and offering delusive visions for the future of the country – be it the rebirth of a global UK or the advent of a socialist society.

Fantasyland Britain is unlikely to reach a good deal on its future relationship with the EU in a bit more than a year from now.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code

Related articles
___

L’archéologie coloniale de la haine

L’archéologie coloniale de la haine

Dans son ouvrage Tahafut al Tahafut (L’Incohérence de l’incohérence, 1095), le philosophe Abu Walid Mohammad Ibn Rush (Averroès) écrit: «L’ignorance mène à la peur, la peur mène à la haine, la haine conduit à la violence; voilà l’équation.» Cette réflexion nous...

read more
Philanthropy and Advocacy, Dangerous Liaisons?

Philanthropy and Advocacy, Dangerous Liaisons?

A few years ago, writing a blog on the topic of advocacy would not have been possible because the term would not have been immediately associated with philanthropy. However, the history of advocacy is long and has been constantly intertwined with philanthropy....

read more
Philanthropie et advocacy, des liaisons dangereuses?

Philanthropie et advocacy, des liaisons dangereuses?

Il y a quelques années, écrire un blog sur ce sujet n’aurait pas été possible car ce terme – qu’on traduit par “plaidoyer” en langue française – n’aurait pas été immédiatement associé à la philanthropie. Pourtant, l’histoire de l’advocacy est longue et s’est trouvée...

read more

Newsletter
___

Receive our latest articles by subscribing to our newsletter!

Previous articles
___

Tags
___

Follow us
___

The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Graduate Institute, Geneva.

SDG Portal
___

The Graduate Institute’s SDG Portal provides a window on our more than 150 IHEID experts, research projects, publications, courses, events and other activities connected to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Events
___

Advocacy in International Affairs Q&A

Advocacy in International Affairs Q&A
Programme Overview Webinar
Register here>

The New Diplomacy of Global Health Q&A

The New Diplomacy of Global Health Q&A
Programme Overview Webinar
Register here>

Genre et développement Q&R
Programme Overview Webinar
Inscrivez-vous>

Programmes
___

Environmental Governance

Env'l Governance & Policy-Making
Executive Programmes
Apply now>

Advocacy in Int. Affairs
Executive Programmes
Apply now>

Gestion stratégique de projets
de développement
Formation courte
Postulez>

Development Policies & Practices
Executive Programmes
Apply now>

Conflict & Fragility Management
Executive Programmes
Apply now>