michel barnier
Image: © European People's Party via Flickr

A Brexit negotiator suggested Britain stay in the EU till 2022

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has suggested extending the post-Brexit transition period to 2022, during which all EU rules would still apply to the UK.

What it means: You may have noticed that although Britain is meant to leave the EU in four months, nobody’s managed to agree exactly what Brexit Britain is going to look like, what its relationship with the EU is going to be, and which rules its going to follow.

So, back in March, Theresa May said there would be a ‘transition period’ after Brexit Day, during which Britain will act like it’s still part of the EU. It’ll follow all the same rules, allow freedom of movement, pay money into EU projects… but it won’t get to vote on any decision the EU takes. The idea is to give the EU and Britain more time to work out a deal. The transition period is currently set to last until December 2020. But Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has turned around and said it might be better to extend the transition period to December 2022. (Perhaps he doesn’t have a lot of faith in the UK’s ability to cobble together a deal very quickly. Ahem.)

Brexiteers are very much not keen on this suggestion. They say it’s cheating the people who voted for Brexit by effectively making them stay in the EU for another five years. But the UK business secretary, Greg Clark, thinks Barnier’s idea is a good one, because it’ll make things easier for businesses and give them the confidence to keep investing in Britain.

Business investment could mean anything from setting up new shops in the UK, to hiring more workers, to developing a fancy new product. Politicians are generally quite keen to get as much business investment as possible, because it puts a significant amount of money into the British economy (about £184 billion in 2017) and is often linked to job creation. But according to the CBI, which represents British businesses, 80 percent of businesses have cut or postponed investment to Britain because they’re worried about a no-deal Brexit. A longer transition period might give them enough faith that some sort of deal will eventually be reached to make them open their wallets again.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?