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Netherlands vote on Ukraine trade deal underlines no guarantees for UK

April 13, 2016 10:51 AM
By Antony Hook in Lib Dem Voice
Anthony Hook

Antony Hook: "The Dutch vote makes the point that getting all the EU states to agree to an association agreement with Britain, if we were to the Leave the EU, might be difficult and is certainly not guaranteed."

Infacts explains why Farage is a fool to crow about the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement.

The Dutch vote makes the point that getting all the EU states to agree to an association agreement with Britain, if we were to the Leave the EU, might be difficult and is certainly not guaranteed.

As Infacts rightly say:

"Farage and his fellow Eurosceptics like to say that we won't have a problem getting a post-Brexit deal with the EU. The UK runs a trade deficit with the bloc, they point out. Germans would want a deal so that they can continue to export their cars to us; the French would want to sell us fancy clothes, and so on. This argument is not compelling. But even if it were, it assumes that post-Brexit negotiations will be settled based on a hard-headed economic assessment. The Dutch case shows that these questions are not always decided on the merits."

"Association agreements like the one between the EU and Ukraine require unanimous approval by all member countries. Britain would exit under different rules, so its deal might require approval from a qualified majority of the remaining EU countries. However, a decision to extend the 2-year time limit for negotiations - which seems likely to be needed - would have to be unanimous. So might the exit deal if it covered areas such as tax, foreign policy, and police cooperation. If the agreement covered areas where competence is shared between the EU and its member states, or the UK wanted Norway-type membership of the European Economic Area, that would also require ratification in all EU member states. A protest vote in the tiniest of EU countries could derail the process."

Farage should not be crowing about the Dutch referendum. To the contrary, it illustrates the unpredictability of a post-Brexit future."