The Strategist

Is the UK doomed to hard Brexit with Dominic Raab?

07/24/2018 - 12:46

The new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union of the UK Dominic Raab has already proved that it will be more difficult to deal with him than with his predecessor. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Raab bet 39 billion pounds ($ 51 billion). This is a sum, which London must pay to Brussels, leaving the European Union, and it is directly dependent on a trade agreement between the parties.

"It is impossible that one side fulfills its part of the transaction, and the other delays fulfilling its obligation or does not at all," Dominic Raab said after meeting with his European counterpart Michel Barnier, held on last Friday.

Raab believes that the responsibility for the deal lies not only with London, but also with Brussels. The UK is in its character: it wants to leave the European Union and at the same time dreams of maintaining "close" relations with it. This is clearly not possible for London, hence the attempt to exert a slight pressure upon Brussels. The latter, however, is not willing to make concessions either. There is very little time left until the end of October, the date of signing the agreement on withdrawal. Yet, there are still a lot of deep disagreements between the parties. Both London and Brussels do not rule out the possibility that the UK will take the French leave, that is, leave the union without any agreement and despite all the attempts .

Michel Barnier, just like the majority of EU leaders, was very lukewarm to the latest proposal of Theresa May, the so-called "soft" Brexit. Many party members also objected to the plan of the prime minister, who in December last year promised her European colleagues to pay for Brexit. Last week, with very great difficulty she managed to persuade conservatives to support her idea. Recall that disagreements with “soft” Brexit led to the political crisis as well as to resignations of Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and the predecessor of Raab - David Davis.

Meanwhile, the head of British operations of the international online retailer Amazon, Doug Gurr, predicted "civil unrest" in the UK in the event of termination of the country's membership in the EU without concluding a comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement. This scenario has long been called "hard" Brexit". According to the head of Amazon UK, the unrest will begin "in a few weeks" after Britain ceases to be a member of the European Union. 

Mr. Gurr made his remarks on July 20, at a meeting of British business leaders with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The company refused to confirm the information that Mr. Gurr did make such statements.

A number of British and international companies have expressed their fears about the possibility of a "hard Brexit" lately. Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover and the European consortium Airbus have made it clear that they can move operations and jobs outside of Britain in this case. And today the Irish air carrier Ryanair noted that the high probability of "hard" Brexit should not be underestimated.