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European Union

Bosnia and Herzegovina: EU appoints new Special Representative

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
Today the Council appointed Johann Sattler as EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will also take over the role of the Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo.
Categories: European Union

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the occasion of the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The EU reiterates its strong commitment to promote and fight for indigenous languages and cultures.
Categories: European Union

Declaration by the High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the EU on the support to the UN facilitated political process in Libya

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The EU issued a declaration on Libya demanding that all Libyan parties commit to a permanent ceasefire and return to a UN facilitated political process.
Categories: European Union

Letter of congratulations from President Donald Tusk to Boris Johnson on his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
President Donald Tusk congratulated Boris Johnson on his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Categories: European Union

EU-Canada Summit joint declaration, Montreal 17-18 July 2019

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
President Donald Tusk, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Montreal for the 17th Canada-European Union summit and they agreed on a joint declaration.
Categories: European Union

Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the EU-Canada summit in Montreal

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
During the 17th EU-Canada summit in Montreal, President Donald Tusk and PM Justin Trudeau discussed how to reinforce EU-Canada cooperation on global challenges and the implementation of the CETA.
Categories: European Union

Indicative programme - General Affairs Council of 18 July 2019

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
Main agenda items, approximate timing, public sessions and press opportunities.
Categories: European Union

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 (17 July 2019)

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The EU issued a declaration commemorating the 5th anniversary of the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Categories: European Union

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on Venezuela

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The EU issued a declaration on the latest developments on Venezuela.
Categories: European Union

Presentation of letters of credentials to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
President Tusk received the letters of credentials from two new ambassadors to the European Union.
Categories: European Union

Declaration by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the EU on the occasion of the Day of International Criminal Justice, 17 July 2019

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The EU issued a declaration on the occasion of the day of International Criminal Justice (17 July 2019).
Categories: European Union

EU priorities at the United Nations and the 74th United Nations General Assembly adopted

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The Council adopted conclusions on EU priorities at the United Nations and the 74th United Nations General Assembly.
Categories: European Union

North Korea: EU renews its autonomous sanctions on individuals and entities

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The Council reviewed its autonomous list of those subject to restrictive measures against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which complements and reinforces the UN sanctions and decided to maintain the sanctions on those listed.
Categories: European Union

Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean: Council adopts conclusions

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The Council adopted conclusions on the Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Categories: European Union

Iraq: Council adopts conclusions

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The Council discussed Iraq and adopted conclusions reiterating the EU's steadfast support for Iraq's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Categories: European Union

Council adopts negotiation directives for modernisation of Energy Charter Treaty

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
Council gives mandate to the Commission to enter into negotiations.
Categories: European Union

Imports of hormone-free beef: EU-US agreement confirmed

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The Council adopted a revision of the Memorandum of Understanding with the US regarding the import of beef from animals not treated with certain growth-promoting hormones into the EU.
Categories: European Union

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
The EU issued a declaration on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) recalling its significant contribution to European security and broader international security over the past 30 years.
Categories: European Union

Weekly schedule of President Donald Tusk

European Council - Sat, 10/08/2019 - 05:38
Weekly schedule of President Donald Tusk 15-21 July 2019
Categories: European Union

We get the best trade deals in the EU

Ideas on Europe Blog - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 19:37

As an EU member, the UK currently participates in around 40 excellent free trade agreements with over 70 countries, with more on the way, on advantageous terms that Britain is unlikely ever to replicate after Brexit.

Because the EU is the world’s richest, biggest single trading bloc, and the world’s biggest exporter and importer of manufactured goods and services, it can negotiate the best trade agreements with other countries.

In negotiations, the bigger party usually gets the best deals.

The EU has the power, the reach, the expertise and the muscle to achieve first-rate trade agreements on behalf of its members.

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Could Britain, being much smaller than the EU, achieve trade agreements with other countries as good as, let alone better than, the agreements we already have through our EU membership?

It’s unlikely.

After Brexit, Britain will have to tear up all our trade agreements with other countries and start over from scratch. It will take years, maybe decades, to re-negotiate those trade agreements. And what for?

After all, it took the EU over seven years to negotiate the EU-Canada deal (CETA).

In October 2017, Liam Fox, the former international trade secretary, said,

“I hear people saying, ‘Oh, we won’t have any [free trade agreements] before we leave’. Well, believe me we’ll have up to 40 ready for one second after midnight in March 2019.”

Of course, he had to eat his words.

Dr Fox also famously claimed that concluding a trade deal with the European Union after Brexit would be the “easiest in human history”.

He also had to eat those words too.

With only around 80 days until Brexit happens, no trade deal with the EU has been ‘concluded’ let alone trade deals with any major economies outside the EU.

It is now highly probable that Britain is going to crash out of the EU on 31 October without any deal in place, causing catastrophe.

And yet, we already have the best deal in place: full membership of the EU.

We don’t have to leave the EU and inflict catastrophe on ourselves in the stupidest act of voluntary self-harm by any country in modern times.

The courts have confirmed that Britain can revoke the Article 50 notice right now, and stay in the EU on the same excellent membership terms we’ve enjoyed for decades.

Can anyone give any valid reason for leaving? No, they can’t. All the reasons given to leave – every single one of them – have transpired to be bogus nonsense.

Regarding doing our own trade deals, what would be the advantage?

Can any Brexiter refer to any clause in any of our existing EU trade agreements that they don’t like or that hurts Britain’s interests?

After all, as a full member of the EU, the UK has fully and democratically participated in all the EU’s negotiated trade agreements.

EU trade agreements have to be democratically approved by the European Parliament, in which we are represented by our MEPs.

Our Parliament in Westminster has also democratically agreed to all EU trade deals.

Since the EU is run by its members for the benefit of its members, why would any EU member agree to any trade agreements that were not in our best interests?

The new unelected Tory government is now desperately trying to get a trade agreement with Trump’s USA, that could involve the import from America of chlorinated chicken, together with hormone-fed beef and genetically modified food that the EU has banned to protect EU citizens.

Not to mention the NHS, that President Trump said on his visit to the UK in June would be ‘on the table’ in any trade negotiations.

Does Boris Johnson’s cavalier government have the same concerns as the EU to protect its citizens? Or are they only driven by the lure of easy profits for their pals in the City?

On current form, there is every indication that Brexit-driven trade agreements with other countries will not protect British citizens as much as EU-negotiated trade agreements.

That’s especially the case as the UK government is desperate to negotiate trade agreements in a hurry after Brexit.

This week, the former US treasury secretary Larry Summers said he does not believe that a “desperate” UK would manage to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the USA.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday:

“Britain has no leverage, Britain is desperate … it needs an agreement very soon. When you have a desperate partner, that’s when you strike the hardest bargain.”

Even if the two countries could come to an agreement, said Mr Summers, the UK is in a weak negotiating position.

He added:

“Britain has much less to give than Europe as a whole did, therefore less reason for the United States to make concessions. You make more concessions dealing with a wealthy man than you do dealing with a poor man.”

The EU has negotiated over 40 trade agreements over many decades, with care, attention to detail, and with the best interests of the EU and its people at heart.

Can the same be said of the intentions of our Brexit government?

The EU and Japan recently signed an unprecedented free trade agreement which will create one of the world’s largest trading blocs.

The EU-Japan “Economic Partnership Agreement” (EPA) is the largest trade deal ever negotiated by the EU. It will create a trade zone covering 600 million people and nearly a third of global GDP.

The EU-Japan economic agreement will ultimately remove 97% of the tariffs that Japan applies to European goods and 99% of those applied by the EU.

It is estimated that EU companies will save €1 billion a year in duties which they currently pay when exporting to Japan.

It is of course good news for the EU and Japan, but not for Britain. Brexit means we won’t benefit from the EU-Japan trade agreement, or any other existing EU trade deals or new ones in the pipeline.

And the UK is never likely to get a free trade agreement with Japan anywhere near as good as the one just achieved by the EU.

For Japan, the real importance of the UK lies in its access to the EU market. Without free, frictionless and open trade between the UK and the rest of the EU, Japanese companies will not be impressed by any UK-Japan trade deal.

So, what are the benefits of Britain doing its own trade deals with other countries after Brext?

I can’t find one. Not even one.

The bottom line is that we get the best trade deals in the EU. We’re better off together… as part of the Union.

 

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The post We get the best trade deals in the EU appeared first on Ideas on Europe.

Categories: European Union

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