The UK has more to lose than the EU in the event of a “no deal”

No way, in the home stretch, to show his concern to the opposing party. On both sides of the Channel, we refuse to dramatize, with less than three months left for the European Union and the United Kingdom to agree on the nature of their future relationship from 1er January 2021 and that the negotiations are slipping. A “No deal”, we hear in Brussels as in London, would be better than “Bad deal”.

Everyone, therefore, pretends to keep calm. Thursday, October 15, European heads of state and government will assess the situation during a council meeting, “To find out if an agreement still seems possible to them”, explains a diplomat. That same day, it is said in Downing Street, London will decide whether or not to continue discussions with its future ex-partners.

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However, Tuesday October 13, after a meeting of the twenty-seven ministers of European affairs, meeting in Luxembourg, the German holder of the title, Michael Roth, considered it useful to get out of this posture and alerted the Europeans as well. than the British of the risk they were running. “A scenario of no deal would be very painful for both parties ”, he said, even if “Our British friends” have more to lose.


It’s mathematical, a “no deal” would penalize the United Kingdom more than the European Union, since we are talking about a market of 65 million inhabitants against an economic area of 450 million consumers. And that nearly 50% of British exports go to the continent when less than 8% of exports from the Twenty-Seven go across the Channel.

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Her Majesty’s Government itself predicted, in November 2018, that Britain’s gross domestic product would drop 7.8% within fifteen years if London and the Twenty-Seven did not find common ground. In this case, their trade would fall under the regime of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and would be subject to customs duties from which they had hitherto been exempt. On average of 4%, these can go much higher for certain goods, up to 10% for cars or 40% for certain agri-food products…

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An additional cost that would be added to the cost, in some cases even higher, that will result, whatever happens, the implementation of customs and regulatory controls. In this context, British companies would see their exports fall. At the same time, the price of imports would increase for the same reasons, which would affect the purchasing power of households … But so far, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not seemed to be moved by this scenario: the October 4, on the BBC, he claimed that the UK could “Very well live” with a “no deal”.

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