According to a report in the Observer newspaper, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to wait for the results of the US presidential election on 3 November before deciding on his course in the negotiations with the EU on a trade deal. A re-election of US President Donald Trump will boost Johnson’s willingness to forgo an agreement with the EU, the paper reported, citing former British ambassador to the EU, Ivan Rogers.
According to Rogers, EU capitals assume that if Democratic candidate Joe Biden is elected president of the US, Britain’s exit from the EU’s internal market without a trade deal would pose too great a risk to Johnson. Rogers was the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU in Brussels from 2013 to early 2017. Six months after the British EU referendum, he resigned due to disagreements with then Prime Minister Theresa May. Even after he leaves office, he remains in regular contact with senior government officials in the EU, according to the newspaper.
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Great Britain left the EU last January. After leaving the community, both sides struggled for months without making much progress on the shape of their future economic relations. There is a transition period until the end of the year, during which Great Britain remains in the EU internal market and in the customs union. If no solution is found in the trade agreement negotiations in the coming weeks, there is a risk of tariffs being introduced between the UK and the EU.
According to the Observer report, a trade deal with the EU is only the second-best solution for Johnson, which is why the British head of government is betting on Trump’s victory in the US presidential election so that a trade deal can be negotiated quickly between London and Washington.
Apparently, Biden doesn’t think much about Johnson and his team
Rogers said it would look different if Biden won the election. The Democratic presidential candidate is determined to improve relations with the EU, which was severely damaged after Trump took office in January 2017. An entry into office by Biden would likely be to the detriment of the “special relationship” between London and Washington. ‘I don’t think Biden or his closest associates are anti-British. But I don’t think they think much of Johnson or his top guys, “Rogers said in the paper.
Democrat Joe Biden has expressed all his anger over Boris Johnson’s Internal Market law Photo: AFP
That Biden thinks differently from Johnson has already been made clear in the discussion about the British internal market law. Johnson had initiated the controversial law, which is in violation of international law, to put pressure on the other side in the ongoing negotiations with the EU. If the Internal Market Act were implemented as intended, there could be a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, Biden had demanded that Britain absolutely avoid border controls in the former civil war zone.