10.10.2018 | EU to offer 'much more' than Canada-style deal BUT there is a catch for Brexiteers
Source - The Daily Express
Jean-Claude Piris, who served on the Legal Counsel of the European Council, said the European Union is likely to sway towards a Canada-style agreement with Britain after Brexit.
BBC Radio 4 Today Programme host Nick Robinson said to the former EU lawyer: “You’re a lawyer, Jean-Claude Piris. You’re saying ‘no you can’t do this – it’s going to be the ECJ and you can’t cherry pick in the four freedoms.
“Surely, if Europe wants to do it, if the bosses of BMW and all the rest say it is in all of our interests to have no friction for the trading goods – the politicians could do it.”
The former European Union Council lawyer insisted the EU can do “as less friction as possible” on trade with the UK outside of the single market and “is ready to do it”.
But he claimed it would be “impossible” to do “completely frictionless trade” outside of the single market.
Mr Piris has also supported the idea of a Canada-style Brexit deal and said the EU could offer something “much more” than the current agreement.
He said: “They are going to a customs union which is different from free trade because they have the same EU tariffs of all countries in the world.
“They are going to no tariffs and no quotas on 100 percent of goods which does not exist with Canada, with Japan, with Singapore. They are going to stronger governing bodies.
“They are going to important economic agreements with agreements on agencies and programmes. So it is not Canada – it is much more than Canada on very very different parts.
“It’s true that there are two problems left - frictionless I think we could do more with technical tricks to have less friction but it is impossible not to control goods.”
Mr Piris also insisted Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers proposal will not work. He said: “This is a deal the UK cannot have because it will be outside of the single market. It has chosen to be outside of the single market.
“If it had chosen to stay in the single market after going out of the EU. That would be a solution.
“It’s the EEA with Norway and Iceland and Liechtenstein but it is not possible for the UK to adopt that because it does not want the obligations and for political reasons, because it would be accepting all laws of the EU without having a say in the decision making."
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has called on Britain to adopt a Canada-style deal with the EU, which removes 98 percent of all Canada duties EU firms have to pay.
The CETA deal has also boosted European companies’ abilities to bid for public contracts.
Under a hard-Brexit, the UK would pay tariffs on goods and services it traded with the EU, – which range from 32 percent on wine to nine on cars.
But the British government says a Canada-style deal does not solve the problem of how to avoid creating a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and EU neighbour Ireland.
European Council President Donald Tusk made clear last week that a "Canada plus plus plus" free trade alternative remains on the table.
Mr Tusk said in Brussels after meeting Irish premier Leo Varadkar: "The EU wants a relationship with the UK that is as close and special as possible.
"From the very beginning, the EU offer has been not just a Canada deal, but a Canada plus plus plus deal, much further-reaching on trade, internal security and foreign policy cooperation.
"This offer remains in place."