21:03 GMT25 January 2020
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    Boris Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal bill was passed in the House of Commons yesterday evening, and the Conservative Party have vowed that they are willing to walk away from the EU without a deal by the end of the year should a viable agreement not be reached. But are businesses adequately prepared for a potential reversion to WTO rules?

    Journalist Ollie Richardson gave his views on how negotiations between Westminster and Brussels could pan out.

    Sputnik: Will the UK be able to successfully negotiate a free trade deal with the EU this year?

    Ollie Richardson: Since the Tory Party is essentially using Brexit as a cover whilst it continues its austerity policies, and as a way to claim a victory, saying that they have implemented democracy, I think that it will become more and more difficult from them to continue to delay Brexit.

    There are geopolitical events that are happening around the world which make it really a force that can’t be resisted, for example multi-polarity, so it seems to me that the EU wants to delay Brexit as long as possible and as a result, Boris Johnson will be put in a position where he will have to put a hard Brexit on the table and perhaps tell the EU that it’s not possible to spend the whole year trying to sort out a trade agreement, and to implement it in 2021. It’s possible that this year there could be a hard Brexit and both sides will fall back on WTO rules.

    Sputnik: Would a WTO rules Brexit be as bad as many critics in the House of Commons claim?

    Ollie Richardson: The ideal scenario for Britain is a hard Brexit, because the EU is trying to extort billions of pounds as compensation from the UK and it’s not really clear why we have to pay that money. If Boris Johnson agrees to that and lets the EU bully the UK like a mafia protection racket, it will certainly stain his image and it won’t really look like he’s implementing the will of the people.

    The chances of a hard Brexit have certainly been increased with the result of yesterday’s vote in the House of Commons.

    Sputnik: If Brexit turns out to be a success, could the EU face an existential crisis in the future?

    Ollie Richardson: Leaving the EU is essentially like removing the shackles that were imposed on the country by Brussels, and essentially what is going on, is a form of mass embezzlement of taxpayers’ money. Once Brexit is implemented fully, it will be a sign to all countries of the EU that there is an exit out of the union and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    It could also make people think that a referendum on the monarchy in the UK is possible, and there are also many other issues that we have that are no longer hostage to a two party system, that is essentially in a stalemate position.

    People will start to see that there is actually an alternative way of governing a country, which is similar to what the yellow vest protesters in France are fighting for, a referendum-based system similar to what is implemented in Switzerland.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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