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Last gasp Brexit talks offer high drama but little hope of a short term solution for businesses

Posted by Warwick Business School at 11 December 2020, 00:50 CET |

Commenting on the repeated lack of progress on trade talks between the UK and the EU, Nigel Driffield, Professor of Strategy and International Business at Warwick Business School, said:

"All these talks to salvage a last gap Brexit deal provide plenty of drama, but little hope of a short term solution for businesses. Look past all the political theatre and I suspect that whether the UK arrives at a deal that is acceptable to the ERG, or whether we leave with no deal, probably makes little difference.

"Many people still think of a prospective deal as being “Canada style” or "Japan style". However, any hope of securing anything as comprehensive as that has receded, because the EU wants to protect itself from the UK diverging too far or too fast.

"Given the UK's desire to forge its own trade deals - which appears to be at best simply rolling over existing ones - the EU will want to agree rules of origin, labour, and environmental standards. For the ERG they are all sticking points.

"So even if a deal is achieved at this late stage, it will be very bare bones, simply to allow both sides to herald a compromise. Then the real negotiations over the detail will have to start. That means any deal agreed now will offer little more certainty than “no deal”. It is no wonder businesses feel let down."

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