A not entirely accurate map Credit - Wik

This is being trailed as some sort of come down from the European Union over Brexit and the UK’s ability to organise trade deals. It’s actually just an admission of obvious reality. We can negotiate and sign whatever deals we like whenever we desire. What we cannot do is have new trade treaties that come into effect while we’re still inside the EU. That’s as it always has been and is now. To understand this it’s necessary only to read the following:

Britain will be free to sign trade deals during the Brexit transition period without permission from the European Union after a climbdown by Brussels, The Times has learnt.

EU negotiators have accepted the UK’s demand that it should be able to pursue an independent trade policy while remaining inside the customs union and single market.

Publicly, the EU’s negotiating guidelines still state that Britain will not be able to implement trade deals “unless authorised to do so by the union”. Behind closed doors the position taken by Michel Barnier, the bloc’s chief negotiator, is understood to have softened significantly. The latest draft of a potential transition deal says that Britain will be able to both negotiate and sign trade deals during the period.

It has always been true that we cannot “implement” anything while in. Also it’s always been true that we can talk to whom we like about whatever, scribble on bits of paper to our heart’s content too, while still in. We’ve always been allowed to negotiate and sign, just not to bring into practice.

This isn’t a climb down nor a concession, this is just a recognition of reality.

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Spike
Member

A few more years at the negotiating table, and Britain and the EU will be able to completely codify reality, and perhaps by then the voters will forget what they told government to do.

BniC
Member
BniC

But conceding to someone something they already have is a good negotiating tactic

Spike
Member

Aye, good, and time-consuming. This round is won by the EU.

Bloke In Italy
Guest

Quite so Tim. We’re being set up for the great betrayal.

Hallowed Be
Member
Hallowed Be

That’s the off spin. The leg spin is UK negotiators climbed down to allow the EU to negotiate trade deals during the transition period while it no longer has voting / veto rights.

Surreptitious Evil
Member
Surreptitious Evil

But the EU and “recognition of reality” aren’t even “kissing cousins” so getting that this early is a minor plus.

Watchman
Guest
Watchman

Major plus I’d say. Countries can negotiate openly without having to worry about pissing off the EU. Might be important for the smaller and poorer countries.

BniC
Member
BniC

I’m amazed at the fuss over Trump making stuff up in a meeting with Trudeau, the fact he could get away with it means it’s Treudau should be the one being vilified