Project Fear Blog Featured

Europe is prepared for a No Deal: forget the scare stories

free trade agreement
Written by Robin Fransman

Most of those published on BfB support Brexit. Here is an exception. We post this not only in the spirit of free discussion, but because it demonstrates in detail – from a vehemently anti-Brexit standpoint – that the EU has made comprehensive preparations to continue economic exchanges in the event of a so-called ‘No Deal’, which the author thinks may now be the best solution. The scare stories about a ‘cliff edge no deal’ have no connection with reality.

However much I dislike Brexit and the lies it is founded on, the Brexiteers are correct that even in a no-deal, there will be a transition period.  And yes, you could definitively call it a managed no-deal. The European Commission has taken hundreds of measures to ease the burden of no deal. Many of them are conditional on the UK reciprocating, which they probably will. The measures are temporary, most are 12 months, some 24 months at this point, but could be extended. I’d call that a transition. And a managed no deal. 

The measures cover aviation, energy, transport, customs, and a host of other thing. List is here.

The measures do not include the rights of UK citizens in the EU as that is beyond the remit of the EU, it is up to the individual member states.  However, most have already implemented generous measures to ensure continuity for UK citizens and their families. List is here.

Of course all the measures are designed to minimize pain from disruption for EU member states, but, as a side effect, will also cushion the effect of no deal on the UK.  So for example, the UK will still face tariffs on day one of no-deal and a host of other painful side effects. And the temporary contingency measures are just that, temporary.  After three years of watching a gradual low intensity civil war emerge in the UK, I now have a sense that no deal might be for the best.  Any other scenario may just prolong the process indefinitely. The Brexiteers will never stop. Never be satisfied. This poisoned chalice must be emptied.

And remember, no-deal is not an end state. It’s just the beginning of a new round of negotiations.  A round which starts off with a whole suite of temporary contingency measures, which limits the effects, while at the same time applying pressure to achieve results.  My hunch: Bring it on.

About the author

Robin Fransman

Robin Fransman is a Dutch business analyst and commentator.