How bad will no BREXIT deal be

The British are threatened with an economic disaster in the event of a no-deal Brexit

The best descriptions of the current state of the Brexit negotiations came from Dublin. After the unsuccessful Brussels meeting between EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday evening, an Irish member of the government resorted to a Covid settlement: the talks were "not yet dead, but connected to the ventilator".

Less drastic, but similarly pessimistic, Ireland's Prime Minister Micheál Martin predicted chaotic conditions for the end of the British transition period on New Year's Eve: "We are on the cliff for no deal."

Those who thought the dinner of pumpkin soup with mussels and steamed turbot with mashed potatoes were the culmination of the large-scale choreography that would make an agreement on future economic cooperation possible at the end of the transition period on New Year's Eve saw themselves disappointed. Instead, the fish mix looked more like the countdown to break up without a contract. The pound promptly fell by one percent on the London Stock Exchange against the euro - probably a harbinger of greater turbulence, and currency traders still believe a deal is more likely.

Fear of bottlenecks

The consequences of the No Deal are only slowly seeping into the consciousness of the British public three weeks before Great Britain finally leaves the EU's zone of influence. An industry expert estimates that chemical companies alone have to face additional bureaucracy costs of 1.6 billion euros. Customers in Paris or Düsseldorf are already averse to British products because they fear delivery problems, reports a manufacturer of luxury beds.

The EU will in future levy duties and taxes of 20 percent on seafood such as the tasty mussels served in Brussels, and as much as 50 percent on British lamb. Food would be "between three and five percent more expensive," predicts John Allan, chairman of the retail giant Tesco.

A BBC interviewer presented the latter number to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Thursday. He "doesn't recognize the number," said the Brexit hardliner, without naming an alternative. It is the same politician who, in his short term as Brexit minister in 2018, realized that around a third of vital imports to the island pass through the Calais / Dover bottleneck - "that was not so clear to me before".

More harmful than Covid

Much is not clear to the Brexiteers, or they deliberately turn a blind eye to inconvenient facts. In the medium and long term, the sober central bank governor Andrew Bailey recently announced that Brexit will cause "greater damage" than the Covid pandemic, even with a thin trade agreement.

According to the forecast of the budget authority OBR, the economy will collapse by 11.3 percent this year because of Corona, the sharpest decline of all halfway comparable G7 nations. But before the Brussels dinner in the House of Commons, Johnson repeated one of his key favorite phrases: The UK would "thrive" outside the European Union, with or without an agreement.

London desires

With the appearance on Wednesday, the prime minister made it "very, very difficult" to push through the necessary compromises, according to the analysis of a veteran of four Tory governments, the 80-year-old Lord Kenneth Clarke. Apparently, the fear of the Brexit ultras outweighs the own ranks of the room for maneuver that Johnson has gained domestically. Because at the same meeting, Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer confirmed that his party would approve the trade agreement with the European Union - if it comes about. But it didn't look like that three days before the end of the latest deadline on Sunday. (Sebastian Borger from London, December 10th, 2020)