Boris Johnson has threatened to walk away from the EU at the end of the this year without a new trade deal in place, potentially disregarding the Brexit divorce agreement he signed a year ago.
This has been met with almost immediate backlash with the EU sending a clear threatening message , but not just the EU, criticism has arose from Boris Johnson’s own party with concerns this move will cause distrust amongst other countries. If the UK leave the European Unions without a deal (which at this point is very likely) the UK will need to form new trade relationships with countries, though should Boris Johnson decide to leave the EU without any new trade agreements , other countries will take a more cautious tone on trade talks with the UK, potentially placing the UK in a disadvantaged position. In the event of a no Brexit scenario, the UK will need to create a new trade deal with the EU as per the divorce agreement. It is important to acknowledged this divorce agreement is legally binding too.
Theresa May had this to say:
“How can the government reassure future international partners that the U.K. can be trusted to abide by the legal obligations of the agreements it signs?”
Obviously at this point, it is clear going forward with this would create considerable ‘bad faith’.
However is all as it seems?
Analysts actually suspect this is perhaps a strategy play used by Boris Johnson to create a last minute crisis that could lead to a deal being reached , spokesmen have declined to comment so I guess we will have to sit on our hands and wait to see how this plays out. But for now, the sterling is likely to remain under pressure with this uncertainty now up in the air.
One of the main issues surrounding Brexit is the treatment of Ireland. As it stands a Brexit deal would involve Northern Ireland continue to be bound by the EU’s custom rules whilst the rest of Britain leaves these rules. This means that Ireland will have to remain locked into EU tariffs and quotas whilst the rest of Britain can negotiate fairer terms , Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney called this ‘illegal’. This would also mean Northern Ireland will have to file customs paperwork if they wish to transport/shift goods to the rest of the UK.
It is unlikely, despite from the outset, that breaking the original divorce agreement is something Boris Johnson intends to go forward with, more so a front to show the EU that perhaps the UK is in a better positions than they had in mind. In the unlikely event Boris Johnson decided to pursue with the threat, I am sure the supreme court will have something to say about it and I don’t think the UK will want to suffer another humiliating defeat in court (the first humiliation was when Boris Johnson’s decision to suspect parliament , was deemed unlawful by the supreme court).