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Ros Taylor

Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

April 24th, 2020

24 April Brexit update: Sorry, it’s not political

1 comment

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Ros Taylor

Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

April 24th, 2020

24 April Brexit update: Sorry, it’s not political

1 comment

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

As the UK and EU return to the negotiations via videoconference, calls are growing for another Brexit extension. Ros Taylor and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE) round up this week’s developments.

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Photo: Nick Papakyriazis via a CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0 licence

For those curious about what Brexit negotiations in the time of coronavirus look like, Michel Barnier has posted a photo:

Today Barnier ‘eviscerated’ the British delegation, according to the FT:

The EU’s negotiator added that the UK ‘had yet to engage seriously’ in key aspects of he talks, the BBC’s Katya Adler reported:

Meanwhile, did the UK have “ample opportunities” to participate in a joint EU scheme to procure PPE, as the European Commission claims? Or did it make a political decision not to take part, as Sir Simon McDonald suggested?

Sir Simon then wrote an apologetic letter saying he’d been mistaken and the decision wasn’t political at all. Either way, the scheme has not yet delivered any ventilators to its participants – but has commissioned them from manufacturers.

The Centre for European Reform published a strong call by Sam Lowe for a Brexit extension:

‘The pandemic means the UK should request a transition extension as a matter of urgency. To do otherwise would be unnecessarily reckless.’

David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy, also said that the emergency makes the extension of the transition period “inevitable”, reported The Times. The view from Ireland is that “if the UK expects EU good faith in the future relationship talks it must demonstrate the same in implementing commitments it made“. CityAM says No 10’s Brexit unit is split on the issue. Or, as Brexiteer Douglas Carswell put it:

Whatever the difficulties of the negotiations, tensions are rising. A leaked German document claims Britain is making unreasonable demands for access to the Europol database.

Our pick of the commentary

The UCL’s Brexit & Beyond podcast discusses whether the transition period will be extended, the realities of conducting negotiations remotely, and the EU’s response to COVID-19 more broadly.

What’s the prospect of a UK-China trade deal after a no-deal Brexit, asks John Ryan (LSE)? Johnson will have to choose sides when the US-China trade confrontation resumes – an accord with one may mean discord with the other. In the end, however, the US-UK relationship is destined to be more “special” than the UK-China one.

No-deal Brexiters are pinning their hopes on a ‘WTO exit’. But, says the LSE’s Steve Woolcock, the WTO is in a parlous state. This is the first of a series which will explore in depth why the WTO is struggling.

Finally…

Another twist in the tale of the Romanians flown in to pick fruit and vegetables. Would-be British harvesters say they were prepared to work hard, but the farmers’ demands were unreasonable and totally incompatible with family life.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor LSE.

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About the author

Ros Taylor

Ros Taylor is co-editor of LSE Brexit.

Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (@RochDW) is a researcher at the LSE Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit. He co-edits the LSE Brexit 2020 blog.

Posted In: #LSEThinks | Coronavirus | Featured

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