An unregulated Brexit might generate losses of millions of jobs and billions of Euros in the car industry
An unregulated Brexit might generate losses of millions of jobs and billions of Euros in the car industry, the European producers have warned. The main European carmakers federations as well as 17 national groups, are drawing attention that a no deal Brexit would mean the reintroduction of customs duties, which will affect the production lines of various components and would bring about additional costs worth billions of Euros. This is not the only fear voiced over a member state leaving the EU, all the more so as these days, when Brexit is imminent, it is not very clear how it will occur.
The warning has been launched by the car industry representatives from the EU states which employs 13.8 million people, that is 6% of the total work force, but there are uncertainties in all domains of activity. The British PM Boris Johnson wants Brexit to occur on October 31 with or without an agreement, but parliament passed a law that stipulates that if an agreement is not reached in due time, the prime minister should ask for a new Brexit deadline, namely January 31, 2020.
Brexit “goes against our sense of history and the spirit of Winston Churchill, who in his day supported a United States of Europe", said the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker in an interview to the Spanish daily El Pais. Juncker regrets that “the Commission kept out of the referendum campaign” in 2016 when Great Britain held the referendum on its EU membership and when almost 52% of the British citizens voted for Britain’s exiting the EU. According to Jean Claude Juncker, there was a campaign of lies and fake news ahead of this referendum, and he added that quote: “We at the Commission decided not to intervene, at the request of David Cameron, and that was a big mistake" end of quote. JC Juncker again warned of the danger posed by reinstating strict controls at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Meanwhile, the attempts at concluding an agreement continue, the Irish backstop being the main issue still to be solved.
Political analyst Iulian Chifu, the director of the Center for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning explains: “That is the biggest problem, because we are speaking of an internal border which is also included in the famous inter-Irish peace agreement. So things are very complicated.”
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his new proposals are feasible, but the European Parliament believes these are not solutions to the real problems if the Irish safety net needs to be removed, namely the economy of the entire island, the full observance of the Good Friday Agreement and the single market’s integrity. From Romania’s standpoint, on the other hand, Brexit raises concerns regarding the rights of Romanians living in Britain. The Romanian Foreign Ministry is monitoring the registration process of Romanians in the UK, with a view to getting a new post-Brexit status, and is granting them consular assistance.
The British Government, however, has constantly given assurances that the rights of the European citizens will be respected no matter how Britain exits the EU – with or without an agreement. In a debate held in Bucharest at the end of September, the head of the Brexit Office with the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Adina Badescu, said that the number of co-nationals officially registered in Britain is 433 thousand, but that their number is probably higher.
Adina Badescu: “The registration process for getting a new status has started in Great Britain, it is unfolding smoothly and, so far, we have over 187 thousand citizens who have applied for a pre-settled or settled status. We expect more people to get a pre-settled status, rather than a settled one.”
Attending the debate, the Advisor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (CCIR), Lazăr Comănescu, said that the Brexit lesson is that the EU should no longer allow exceptions from its set of rules and formats, because the UK has had a special status within the EU ever since 1973.
Lazar Comanescu: “A first conclusion – in the future, the construction of the European project should be conducted more rigorously. Rules are for everybody. The second conclusion is that we must learn from the fact that the EU had a voice and stood out as an actor that matters globally there where policies were 100% EU related.”
If we want the EU to continue to be assertive at global level, the EU should extend the domains in which its policies should be truly common policies, Lazar Comanescu has also said. (translation by L. Simion and E. Enache)