UK has nothing to fear from a 'bare bones' Brexit deal
- First, the UK and the EU would not be starting from scratch. In almost all cases it would be a question of agreeing that existing arrangements are satisfactory.
- Second, the EU already cooperates closely with many third countries that are not even in Europe – including in sensitive areas such as aviation and nuclear technology.
- Third, both sides will surely want to make this work. Would EU politicians really be willing to forego the rights of their airlines to fly to the UK, or block the vital trade in medical isotopes, just to punish us for the audacity of Brexit?
- Fourth, there is much that can be done unilaterally. In particular, the UK could simply go ahead and implement its proposals on citizens’ rights. This would put the onus on the EU to reciprocate, but why wouldn’t they? Again, what would the alternative say about our European partners?
Any form of ‘no deal’ Brexit would surely still be a second best, given the short timescales involved. But it needn’t be the Halloween nightmare that many seem to fear.