Political commentator John Whitby gave his views on the matter…
Sputnik: Will either the EU or UK compromise for the sake of agreeing a post Brexit free trade deal?
John Whitby: I can’t see the EU compromising at all, they have serious problems of their own and if they were to provide the UK with what they should; which is a Canada style free trade deal, then there will be a large number of other countries, especially those that pay in large amounts to the EU budget, saying “why are we paying this money in, why are we members?”
I think the EU has painted themselves into a corner, and what they don’t seem to realise, is that the UK has left the club and don’t wish to members, but they seem to be insisting that the UK should be following exactly the same rules, which are the same reasons that we wanted to get out in the first place.
The EU is saying that we can’t have our cake and eat it, that’s fine I understand that, but neither can they, and they can’t treat the UK as a country that has to abide by every edict they put out, when it is a sovereign nation.
Sputnik: Would the EU or UK be more affected by a no-deal Brexit?
John Whitby: A no-deal Brexit is in nobody’s best interests, but I think the EU is probably in a far worse position than the UK. We are already seeing the arguments going on over the budget, because the EU is unwilling to cut its budgets to suit its income.
Of course; there are only a certain number of countries that are actually paying into the EU budget in real terms, and they are looking at their contributions going up horrendously.
If you are at home and have a two-income household; but then one person loses their income, you have to look at what you spend, and you have to cut back dramatically on your expenditure, so that your income and your expenditures match.
The EU are not planning to do that at all, they’ve just lost eleven billion pounds a year from the UK, and they are not willing to trim their budget to suit, add on to that a reversion to WTO rules, and you then start paying at the border for everything that you export to the UK, the cost of that is going to be very high, based on the EU countries’ exports to the UK.
As a trading body; which the EU says it is, but it isn’t, it’s the only trading group which prevents its members from making its own individual trading arrangements outside of the group. Canada can do arrangements with the EU despite being a member of NAFTA, Australia can despite being part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but the EU is the only theoretically trade group which has five presidents, its own flag, its own anthem, and that prevents its own members from doing trade deals outside.
Sputnik: Should the UK prioritise achieving a post Brexit free trade deal with the US, as opposed to one with the EU?
John Whitby: I think the UK could do an outlying trade deal in a lot of areas with the US fairly quickly.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.