|Are the EU 27 fully prepared for Brexit?|
A year ahead of the scheduled departure of the UK from the EU, uncertainty surrounding the nature of the future EU27-UK relationship complicates the process of adjustment for many EU regions.
The CoR has published a report in Brussels detailing the consequences of Brexit on trade and the economy in the EU27 regions & cities. Based heavily on data gathered from a joint survey with EUROCHAMBRES, the report reveals a lack of awareness, information & preparation and recommends greater flexibility in state aid rules and inter-regional cooperation.
This uncertainty which was also not eased out by the latest transition deal is compounded in many cases by a lack of analysis of the likely impact on local economies. In turn, this restricts local & regional authorities’ capacity to formulate strategies to address the adverse effects of the UK leaving the EU on their economies.
The results of both this report and the CoR's territorial impact assessment show that there will be no winner from Brexit and that Europe's local & regional authorities already know it. …….Regions in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain also anticipate a severe impact.
The report …… highlights the importance of continued inter-regional cooperation between EU27 and UK regions post-Brexit and the need for territorial cooperation programmes and macro-regional strategies to share information and pool resources.
Editorial Comment; It seems the 27 countries (if not the EC) are beginning to realise that they might not ‘hold all the cards’ in the negotiations!
Also, why still no mention of why the RoI and NI need a ‘frictionless’ border for trade (Common Travel Area RoI / UK citizens already agreed) when 80% of goods carried in Irish registered HGVs between the RoI and Europe pass through Welsh ports? In 2016, 524,000 lorries passed through major Welsh ports to & from the Irish Republic.
Why should the RoI – NI trade border be any different after Brexit, to that of the RoI – Wales trade border, when both are covered by the Common Travel Area? Surely common sense would suggest something like the successful US – Canada hi-tech border controls system provide the answer for not just the RoI – UK borders, but also the other UK – EU trade ‘borders’, combined with a tariff free trade agreement.
One final thought; While the RoI and the EC keep threatening us with the consequences of not ‘giving in’ to THEIR demands, why are we not pointing out some of the consequences for the RoI if no agreement is reached and they end up having to pay WTO tariffs for exports to & through NI & Wales and even possible closure of the Common Travel Area agreement?If there is an equitable FTA, we might even let them keep some of the 30% of their fishing catch (see COR report) which is currently obtained from UK waters!