Brexit | Ian Dunt

Summary of: Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?: A Quick Guide to Britain’s Biggest Issue
By: Ian Dunt


Embark on a journey through the intricate maze that is Brexit with the aid of Ian Dunt’s book ‘Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?’. This quick guide dives deep into Britain’s biggest issue, dissecting the complexities and implications of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. Explore varying scenarios drawn from other countries, including Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and Canada, and their respective relationships with the EU. Unravel the labyrinth of political, legal, and trade intrigues, and navigate the path of countless negotiations and challenges that Brexit brings. This summary sheds light on this monumental event and its far-reaching consequences.

Brexit trade deal options

The article explores the available trade deals for the UK after Brexit, highlighting the pros and cons of each option. The Norway model, which allows access to the single market in exchange for partial membership and sovereignty compromise, does not seem feasible for the UK’s financial sector. Switzerland’s tailored EU relationship, which took six years of negotiation, is not favored by either party. Turkey’s membership in the European Customs Union, which grants access to EU trade negotiations but not free movement, is also not suitable for the UK. Finally, Canada’s free trade deal, which took seven years to negotiate, focuses on goods and faces political challenges, particularly for the financial sector. The UK will have to navigate complex negotiations with the EU and other countries to define its post-Brexit trade relationships.

London’s Financial Services at Risk

London’s financial services industry is under threat due to Brexit negotiations. The current regulations and laws that have permitted banking business from European and non-European countries are at risk. Financial firms from other countries, specifically the US and Japan, treat London as a portal to the EU. A gradual drain of a few percentage points of business could cost the UK billions in lost revenue. The book highlights the impact Brexit would have on London’s status as the premier financial hub, risking the city’s position and threat of a direct competitor.

The Daunting Task of Implementing Brexit

Negotiating Brexit will require an unprecedented level of preparation and negotiation. With so many interests involved, bilateral trade deals are an even greater resource demand. However, Britain has just 40 trained trade negotiators compared to the EU’s 550, making the task even tougher. Furthermore, complicated commercial infrastructure, such as designated food inspection posts, must be in place, and the UK must address the entanglement of British and EU law through a Great Repeal Bill. Chancellor Merkel, though a friend to Britain, cannot allow the UK to secure a better position because of Brexit. The task ahead appears daunting, with the UK team going into Article 50 lacking trade expertise or experience, and the deadline setting the advantage with Europe. If the UK fails to address these issues within the limited time frame available, it could struggle to effectively respond to a challenge on another trade front.

The False Safety Net – Understanding the Role of WTO in Brexit Negotiations

Brexit supporters claimed that the WTO would protect Britain from the fallout of negotiations with the EU. However, the “most favored nation” rule used by the WTO to reduce tariffs means that the UK cannot offer more favorable concessions to the EU than any other WTO member. Negotiations with the EU are therefore crucial for maintaining favorable trading arrangements. While the UK should benefit from goodwill at the WTO, establishing itself within the organization could be as complex as the EU negotiations themselves. It is important to understand the WTO’s mechanisms in order to avoid misleading claims about its role in Brexit negotiations.

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