Sunday, October 17

European relief | Opinion | THE COUNTRY

Boris Johnson gestures to Ursula von der Leyen, after reaching an agreement on Thursday.
Boris Johnson gestures to Ursula von der Leyen, after reaching an agreement on Thursday.DPA via Europa Press / Europa Press

The agreement reached yesterday between the European Union and the United Kingdom for the commercial treaty that will bind them from January 1, reached a week before the deadline, saves the island from disaster and represents a great relief for Europeans. The 27 will not face a chaotic Brexit that would have distorted their economy, aggravated the effects of the pandemic recession and sown the immediate future with uncertainties, although the loss of a significant partner is no reason to launch rockets.

The key objective of the Union to maintain a free trade zone – for goods – with the island, based on the triple motto “zero tariffs, zero quotas and dumping [competencia desleal] zero ”has been loosely covered. Of course, that is also of interest to the other party, but it is important to remember that the EU has maintained a continuous trade surplus since 1999, which in 2019 reached 100,000 million euros in favor of the 27, to find out who benefits the most from a statute close to the the state. The recovery by the United Kingdom of a supposed full regulatory, border and fisheries sovereignty is relative: London will not be able to make use of it to the detriment of Europe, under penalty of facing the stipulated penalties. And the fishing chapter has been more symbolic and tactical than essential. Johnson’s propaganda efforts to praise his results are explained not only by his character and by what personally is at stake in this issue, approximately everything, but also because he needs to break the resistance of the ultras groups and block territorial criticisms such as those already unleashed since Scotland.

The fireworks go out in no time. British citizens should ponder why the calculations failed that a ride that was promised little less than military would yield the Continentals. The 27 did not show signs of division at any time. Even the last-minute attempt to use the fishing issue to antagonize the French (concerned about their presence in British fishing grounds) and Germans (concerned about the automotive industry) resulted in the concerted refusal of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to take him on. phone Johnson and bypass the Commission negotiators. It is the symptom of something deeper: the bell tolls for the divide and rule practiced by London for centuries to thwart the emergence of a European hegemonic power.

The alliance with Washington did not work either, when Johnson bet on the losing horse, Donald Trump. And at the last minute, the ominous border lines due to the crisis of the second strain of the covid showed the population the stupidity of voluntary isolationism.

Still, the Europeans will extend a hand of loyal friendship to the British. Much unites them, not only towards the past, but towards the future. There are still agreements to weave and sign (on financial services, on Gibraltar …) and the responsibility for the errors, slights and invective of its leaders should not fall on them.

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