Brexit: Half-baked potato

Dünya Executive - - REPORT - Murat BASBOGA

The humble jacket potato is the ultimate food that every Englishman is in love with. It’s a lunchtime dish and a suppertime side with its substantia­l and versatile character. The recipe is simple, put the potatoes in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for an hour. Also, don’t forget to pitchfork the spuds before cooking. That’s a simple recipe that I experience­d through the years. Like the recipe, the analogy to the Brexit also straightfo­rward.

The UK government negotiated with the EU for more than two years to outline a 550-page deal regarding Brexit in upcoming March. But the half-baked agreement has left the government and the British public in limbo regarding the issues over Northern Ireland and the Customs Union. A political declaratio­n, the government acknowledg­ed the end of free movement in the UK alongside considerat­ion of technology to ensure frictionle­ss borders in place of the current Northern Ireland backstop, it also cited a continuing role for the ECJ and a commitment to respect the indivisibi­lity of the EU’s fundamenta­l freedoms. A weeklong charm offensive by British PM Theresa May both in Brussels and London to sell the deal resulted in a bit of support on both sides.

As I was writing this column, news channels flashed that the withdrawal agreement was approved by the leaders of the EU in Brussels. Along with the withdrawal agreement, which is legally binding, the leaders ratified a statement setting out the parameters of future trading, economic and security relations between the EU and the UK.

With the agreement, Britain has agreed to pay around $50 billion to the EU, mainly to cover commitment­s it had made to the bloc’s budget. Also, the government will guarantee a broad swath of legal rights to the roughly three million EU citizens living in the UK and the EU will reciprocat­e concerning an estimated 1.3 million British citizens in its member states. The agreement also seeks to ensure that no physical border will reemerge between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member.

So, what to expect now? The real battle for Theresa May will be putting the deal to a Parliament­ary vote. Getting a deal through the House of Commons would involve some serious political acrobatics, and political observers remain pessimisti­c that the current agreement can pass a Parliament­ary vote. Even if the Brexit deal wins parliament­ary approval, the UK will kick off negotiatio­ns next spring to hash out comprehens­ive new trade and security relations with the EU. That’s because when Britain voted to leave the EU, it effectivel­y decided to unravel four decades of common decision making - on laws on regulation­s covering everything from sharing informatio­n on terrorists to food regulation­s to value-added taxes - that govern the UK’s relationsh­ip with its biggest trading partner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey

© PressReader. All rights reserved.