What Brexit Means for TTIP
Following the victory of the Leave camp in last week’s Brexit-referendum, the question arises what happens to the EU trade agenda, and in particular, how it affects TTIP.
Although EU Trade Commissioner Malmström said that the “negotiations with key partners will continue”, I am more of the opinion that TTIP is likely to become the first victim of the post-UK referendum chaos. While I hope that the ongoing negotiations will not slowdown, I fear that we are moving into an impasse, which is not only due to Brexit per se, but also to the reaction by some European countries.
EU Member-States such as France are indeed using the outcome of the referendum as an excuse to decelerate and possibly block the ongoing negotiations. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ recent declaration suggesting the TTIP agreement is no longer meeting the interest of France, seems to confirm this view. Such a stand is clearly politically driven, since there is no major change occurring in the negotiations. What happened in the UK has absolutely nothing to do with the TTIP-talks that are, by the way, due to open on their 14th round on 11 July in Brussels.
What about the EU-Canada trade pact CETA? I don’t expect that the current situation will affect the signing and ratification of the agreement, on which the Commission seems to have decided that it is an “EU-only” (instead of mixed) agreement.
Finally, I don’t see the UK entering alone into new trade talks, pending the negotiations on its withdrawal from the EU. Since trade negotiations fall under EU exclusive competence, London would need to wait until the UK has left the EU, before it can start talks with the US or other trading partners.