The trade deal with the UK and EU is a remarkable achievement for the Boris-Frost duo. Despite the Draconian and punitive negotiating stance employed by Barnier, they were prepared to accept a no deal if necessary. This forced the EU to meet the UK on equal and fair terms. Though some may say this deal is not perfect, anyone familiar with negotiating will realise this deal is beneficial for both sides by any measure. This is especially true during the pandemic when there are already major interruptions to international trade.
The UK-EU Trade deal:
- Restores full sovereign control to the UK, taking it from the hands of EU courts and legislation.
- Respects the level playing field demanded by the EU, but does not tie the UK's hands. This enables adaptation in the future.
- Mandates an independent methodology of arbitration in the case of trade disputes between the two parties and as such moves away from the lightning and punitive response the EU proposed.
- Allows either side to trigger WTO terms within 12 months. This means that if disputes from the agreement end up coming thick and fast there is a backstop.
- Though appearing to give ground on fishing, doubled the fishing quota by 25% of the total. In just over 5 years time, Britain will effectively revert to 100% control through an annual quota distribution mechanism. This means the French fishing fleet will not be thrown onto the rocks, and thus will not blockade channel shipping as it gives them time to adjust to lower fish stocks. This also allows time for increased investment to expand the fishing fleet.
- Realistically once Britain starts economically benefiting from its new Brexit freedoms, we should not be surprised that the French led sector of the EU will try to make life difficult for the UK as they seek to exploit the small print clauses. Britain must remain alert and proactive in managing such potential roadblocks as smoothly as possible in the months and years ahead.
Many sceptics often joke about Boris’ inability to deliver with Brexit. Well, he has spectacularly. In accomplishing this he has earned himself an enduring place as one of the heroes of a new Global Britain. On New Year's Eve 2021, Britain re-enters the world stage as a nation that has reaffirmed the power of its democracy through what was an exceptionally challenging internal constitutional process and the tough external process of negotiation with the EU. Having achieved this through a resolute negotiation strategy with the EU, Britain has reaffirmed its own ability to carve a new path in the world in its return to a global maritime power that has become known as Global Britain.
The next significant step in the Brexit process will be a trade deal with America . This may yet be agreed with Trump as his parting shot against the Biden administration. Otherwise, following January 20th Biden’s anti-UK bias coupled with the inevitable shift in the special relationship as Britain's power grows may delay a trade agreement. Meanwhile, the redoubtable Elizabeth Truss and her UK Department of Trade will no doubt soon add to their impressive 60+ trade agreements in 2021.
The ever-strengthening position of the UK will be vital in Boris’ next major political battle to keep Scotland in the Union and reverse the path of devolution. Indeed, the positive nature of the EU trade deal will minimise the SNPs arguments around leaving the EU and its detrimental effects on the Scottish economy. As such, despite the opinion polls suggesting that the majority are in favour of Scottish independence, I would argue that based on the principles outlined in Breaking the Code of History the chances of a dependent Scotland leaving its sugar daddy are smaller than current perceived. However, this prognosis assumes Boris can run a positive campaign that highlights the economic inviability of an independent Scotland. The Battle For Scotland
Most critically, the challenges ahead are in the form of managing the pandemic more effectively and recovering from the economic damage. In my next Murrination I will argue this means Britain needs to develop a more comprehensive grand strategy to achieve this as swiftly as possible. The pandemic challenge must coincidently be followed in short order with a comprehensive strategy of halting of Sino-Russian aggression and expansion.
Having highlighted the challenges ahead, the British people should enter 2021 optimistically. Britain has taken a massive step in its evolution into the most adaptive national form, allowing it to potentially overcome the challenges ahead.
On a sporting note, an area that correlates to national energy, we can only hope the spirit and energy that allowed Boris to pull off the impossible with Brexit is rampant amongst the UK’s Americas Cup team INEOS. They are working some serious design magic on their foiling race yacht Britannia, which in its first world series appearance just before Christmas was outclassed by the other three competitors (as May was by the EU)!
Up for grabs is the America's Cup, lost to Britain since the first race around the Isle of Wight in 1851. A cup that if returned to the UK on the year the nation returned to it global maritime heritage would be prophetic and inspirational indeed, on a par with the South African Rugby World Cup win of 1995.