The rivalry with the EU post-Brexit goes unnoticed in the campaign, feeding the trap of a quick solution

Four decades as allies will lead to direct competition and the creation of barriers and struggle for influence


The paradox of British generals raised in Brexit's key is that the consequence of greater depth for the future of the United Kingdom outside the European Union has gone unnoticed during the campaign: the transformation of allies for more than 40 years into rivals, both economic and commercial, as in the international geopolitical map and in the influence that both aspire to exert as testimonial evidence of the overcoming of their divorce.

The lack of scrutiny on this structural reconfiguration favors conservatives who are re-elected to the 'Materialize the Brexit' ('Get Brexit Done') letter, a slogan that offers the trap of a quick and simple solution to a paralysis that accumulates three and a half years, two prime ministers and, with those of Thursday, two electoral processes in just a couple of years.

The rivalry with the EU post-Brexit goes unnoticed in the campaign, feeding the trap of a quick solution
The rivalry with the EU post-Brexit goes unnoticed in the campaign, feeding the trap of a quick solution

If the demography succeeds, and so far it has consistently granted the absolute majority to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it is hoped that the new parliament will offer a free way to formalize the exit of the EU on January 31, thus allowing the official godfather of Brexit to complete a mission that, however, will have done nothing but move on to the second phase, which will truly test the negotiating skills of partners that become direct competition.

Faced with the mere general rehearsal that the talks on the rupture have meant, fate has reserved for them an antagonism whose ferocity will depend on the degree of political, regulatory and economic divergence of the second continental power in relation to the EU. In Brussels they are aware of the inevitable metamorphosis of their bond, but in the British campaign it has tiptoed, thanks in part to the dynamics derived from electoral short-termism.


As a consequence, Johnson's rhetoric of executing Brexit in order to focus on matters that matter to citizens contrasts with a pyramidal strategic realignment south of the English Channel. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been influencing the need for extreme caution for months before anyone who is about to become an opponent “on the same threshold” of the block.

The notice is justified in the spirit of the document signed at the October European Council to unlock the process, which led the 'premier' to proclaim before his domestic audience that he had achieved the impossible: that Brussels reopened an agreement that he considered ” non-negotiable”. It is, in fact, one of the great assets used in the campaign to sell another 'desiderátum' currently questioned, that will manage to close the new relationship framework before the end of 2020.

What does not count is that the paralysis was not broken because it had persuaded the EU, but because the terms suited it. When it comes to realizing them, however, the United Kingdom will have to pay a price, since in the face of the normative alignment foreseen by its predecessor, Theresa May, the prime minister rejected the aspiration of convergence with the community framework, in order to maximize the potential to seal commercial agreements with third parties.


The dilemma is complex, since it will imply resignations that the British Government does not seem, at the moment, to understand that they will be inescapable. During the race for Number 10, the conservatives have insisted that there will be no fees, no fees with the EU, but the head community negotiator, Michel Barnier, has already warned that this ambition will depend on how far London is willing to follow the European standards

Barnier, who will assume the next phase of the talks, has made it clear to the United Kingdom that its market access will be dictated by how much it respects labor legislation, environmental protocols, or state aid rules. Johnson, on the other hand, has raised his ordeal and recently stirred the ghost of protectionism, with appeals to “buy British” and pulling the autonomy of public intervention that Brexit will allow.


The prime minister is faced with the dilemma of witnessing how, on the continent, Merkel urges not to be complacent about the future British threat; while, on the other side of the ocean, Donald Trump reminds him that either he breaks in full with the EU, or the vaunted transatlantic pact cannot take place in the extension that both of them craved.

The numerical logic would recommend prioritizing the territory that currently absorbs 50 percent of the commercial exchanges, instead of the one that takes just 15 percent, but Brexit goes beyond pragmatisms and deductive reasoning. Appeals to the idea of ​​full freedom, both to decide economic ties, to establish laws and define high-voltage policies such as control over borders.


Today, the United Kingdom enjoys the deepest commercial arrangement on a global scale, so any modification will lead to resignations and barriers. In this regard, Johnson has already clarified the main doubt of the EU before the British exit: what he intended, replacing Theresa May's indeterminacy with an open admission of his aspiration for a divergence that frees his country from any community interference.

This desire, however, implies a toll that, sooner or later, London must accept, determining how much importance it attaches to sovereignty, in relation to more or less limited access to its reference partner, to which its companies devote half of Your sales abroad. For the EU, meanwhile, it means maximizing caution in the talks, to prevent the United Kingdom from obtaining profitable benefits, despite having lowered European standards.

Not surprisingly, one of Brexit's ambitions par excellence is to find competitive advantages where he can, hence the complicated maneuver for the Twenty-seven, who will have to gauge the shared appetite for maintaining fluid exchanges, without generating what has already been given in knowing as 'Singapore on the Thames'.

The risk of the generals is, therefore, that before a potential conservative absolute majority, the Premier tries to capitalize politically on what he would be responsible for portraying as an intransigence of the EU. Johnson could use mere community legislation in his favor as an excuse to imbue a radical turn to the British economic model, with aggressive fiscal stakes, a threat that proves that, commercially, the United Kingdom and the EU can become uncomfortable neighbors.

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