Home » World » New Year 2020 | The Brexit drama and the crisis in France: The political challenges Europe will face in 2020 | United Kingdom | Emmanuel Macron | Boris Johnson Europe

New Year 2020 | The Brexit drama and the crisis in France: The political challenges Europe will face in 2020 | United Kingdom | Emmanuel Macron | Boris Johnson Europe

As it has been for more than three years, the endless saga of Brexit It kept Europe in uncertainty during 2019, a scenario that promises to be repeated in this 2020 in which the regional agenda is marked from the beginning by the dramatic divorce. The novelty is, however, that the rules of separation look clearer, although that is not why the process is easier to see.

After a turbulent year in which the British Parliament rejected the rupture agreement three times with the European Union (EU), it is practically a fact that the United Kingdom will finally leave the EU on January 31. The overwhelming triumph of the Conservative Party of the new British Prime Minister Boris johnson in the last parliamentary elections was the confirmation that the separation process will continue.

“The issue for 2020 is to see under what conditions it will take place in Brexit”

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Although all eyes are on the last day of January, the arrival of that date does not mean that the Brexit and political wear are about to end. After the consummation of the divorce, both parties will have until December 31 to negotiate the conditions of their complex future relationships.

Paulina Astroza, a Chilean professor at the University of Concepción (Chile) and an expert in European policies, tells El Comercio that this new stage will be more complicated. “On February 1, the United Kingdom will no longer be part of the EU and a transition agreement begins. So during 2020 you will hardly notice the Brexit. But future relationships should be negotiated and that looks very difficult to achieve in 11 months.

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, intends to reach a complex free trade agreement until December 31, 2020, when the transition period set forth in the Brexit agreement expires. (Photo: Reuters)
The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, intends to reach a complex free trade agreement until December 31, 2020, when the transition period set forth in the Brexit agreement expires. (Photo: Reuters)

The internationalist Francisco Belaunde Matossian agrees that the deadline is very short. “These negotiations take two or three years, there is a risk that if an agreement is not reached in December, a Brexit hard, where there would be no fluid business relationship. There is no doubt that the Brexit is going to occur, the issue is under what conditions”Points.

The same president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, has been very worried “about the short time” available for negotiations, which contradicts the position of Johnson, who refuses to request an extension for the talks After the transition period.

What Johnson does is tense from the beginning the negotiations and that will generate much turbulence and uncertainty […] The tense climate will increase as December approaches and there is no agreement. So, the truth is that Brexit is not over, it’s starting”, Says Astroza.

(Trade)
(Trade)

Macron’s paradox

Who will also face a complicated year is Emmanuel Macron. During most of 2019, the French president responded with little success to the uncontrolled protests of the amar yellow vests ’and to the strikes against his controversial reform of the pension system that has been going on for a month.

“But the Macron government seems to stand firm. Although he is willing to negotiate, to go back in some points of his proposal, he will not do so in others that he considers to be core, such as the retirement age that has been set at 64 years in his reform, ”says Belaunde.

Despite the strong tension in his country, the French president has sought with more momentum to have a greater role in the European bloc. One of the most commented political moments of 2019 was when he diagnosed NATO with brain death. However, Astroza points out that the management problems that Macron faces in his country “obviously prevent him from deploying a much stronger European leadership.”

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, warned that he will continue with the retirement reform, despite protests by the unions that carry out one of the country's longest transport strikes in decades. (Photo: Reuters)
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, warned that he will continue with the retirement reform, despite protests by the unions that carry out one of the country’s longest transport strikes in decades. (Photo: Reuters)

Multiple challenges

The search for new leadership in Europe responds, in part, to the political weakening of Germany, for years pillar of the stability of the continent. After three decades, the government of Angela Merkel goes out in the middle of a visible cracking of her ruling coalition.

In addition to seeing if the new EC authorities will be able to maintain the unity that the block had during the negotiations of the UK exit agreement, 2020 brings other challenges.

“The European Commission has considered a Europe with greater geopolitical weight, and that will put it against Russia and the United States. On the other hand, the EU has an ambitious plan on climate change. And despite the fact that it is less in the news, the migration crisis also continues, ”Astroza details.

All while Russia runs its own game. “Vladimir Putin is very happy with the‘ brexit ’and cannot not be happy about the internal tensions in the countries. Putin wants a weakened EU, ”says the expert.

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