In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Morteza Makki, saying that from the beginning of the New Year, the customs regulations that were formulated after the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union will be fully implemented, referred to the numerous and lengthy negotiations between Britain and the European Union over the Brexit Act and said: With the agreement between the two parties, the Brexit Act was signed and came into force in 2021, and the Brexit is irreversible.
He added: The two sides intended that in a period of one year, give the British economy, services and trade sectors a chance to prepare for a full exit from the EU. Despite this schedule, which has been finalized so far and no formal request has been made by the British government to postpone it, the people and the British government have no choice but to lose the benefits of being present in the European single market and should continue their trade with the European Union within the framework of the regulations of the World Trade Organization.
The analyst of Europe affairs noted: Although the British government had many plans for being present in the single market of Europe and enjoy the benefits of that market, other EU members accept the use of the single market in line with the obligations of its members and did not want a country to use the advantages of the single market, but at the same time have no obligation to the rules and regulations of the European Union.
Saying that the Johnson’s government would certainly face serious challenges with the full implementation of customs regulations to control imports and exports to Britain, Makki said: We certainly saw such challenges clearly during the fuel crisis, even though there was fuel in British refineries, but in practice, due to the reluctance of EU truckers to be in Britain, due to lack of economic efficiency and disruption of the passport issuance mechanism, the country’s transport infrastructure was not able to distribute the fuel in the 8,000 fuel distribution branches.
Impact of negative consequences of Brexit on British public opinion
He added: This crisis could happen to other items on which Britain is heavily dependent, however, that country supplies part of the basic food needs from the European Union, and if such process, by going through customs barriers, intends to reach the British citizens, it will both increase its price and cause serious disruptions to the food distribution process, which will have a negative impact on the British public opinion.
According to Maki, at least in the short term, the Johnson’s government will face serious crises and challenges in implementing a full exit from the EU.
He explained: Although the British government is looking for an alternative to the European single market by signing a free trade agreement with Australia and trying to sign a similar agreement with other compatible countries, but achieving this plan and realizing the target of global Britain will not be easy and such crises could put the Johnson’s government in a tight spot for another early election.
The expert on Europe affairs, clarifying how the regulations will be implemented from January 1, despite London’s threat to suspend customs rules stipulated in the Irish Protocol, said: One of the serious challenges for Britain with regard to full withdrawal from the European Union is the issue of the borders of the two Irelands. In the fisheries crisis between the French and British governments, we have seen very well that, despite previous agreements, we also saw the challenge of how to implement it, therefore it will certainly be much more acute on the borders of the two Irelands.
Makki continued: If they want to impose barriers and borders between the two Irelands for imports and exports, the previous agreements between them, which are the basis of peace and reconciliation between them, will face a serious challenge, and this challenge could lead to political and social unrest in the region again. Given that the government of Southern Ireland has announced that it is not willing to back down or make concessions to Britain in this regard, there is a possibility of tension between Britain and the European Union and jeopardizing peace and stability between the dual identity community of Northern and Southern Ireland.
Regarding the possibility of enforcing customs regulations despite such obstacles, he stressed: However, the Brexit process is an irreversible process and it does not seem that Britain wants to return to this path after six years of ups and downs on how to leave the EU. The British government and people have accepted this fact. Challenges and difficulties in the implementation of the Brexit are now becoming visible, and given that no new agreement has been reached between the two sides, the Johnson’s government has no choice but to implement this agreement and should accept its consequences.
EU not to make concessions on Ireland
The expert on Europe affairs, referring to Britain’s emphasis on the need to renegotiate the protocols on Northern Ireland and the rejection of this request by the EU, said: In the current context in which much of the Brexit path has been implemented, the British government is under more pressure than the European Union.
Makki said: It is true that the British market is very attractive and important for some European countries, but the EU does not seem to be willing to make concessions to Britain over Northern Ireland and ultimately it will be London that will be forced to apply many considerations about how to create customs barriers between the borders of the two Irelands.