It is completely normal for the EU to stick to its rules and principles which are applicable to all third countries. That’s what Dr Anna Jerzewska explains in this brilliant thread.

First published in September 2020.


This seems obvious but clearly still needs repeating. No country can "promise", give or grant an FTA to another country.

That's not how it works. Countries negotiate an FTA together and reach a deal provided that both sides are happy with the conditions.


The reason behind it should please a lot of avid Brexiteers – countries negotiating an FTA are sovereign countries with independent trade policy.

As such, the EU and the UK did not "promise" to grant each other an FTA.


They promised to enter into negotiations. And within these negotiations, it is completely normal and understandable that each side looks out for its own interests.


It's completely normal for the UK to want to obtain as many concessions as possible.

It is also completely normal for the EU to stick to its rules and principles applicable to all 3rd countries. Which is exactly what the EU is doing whether we like it or not.


The only thing that both sides could have possibly "promised" each other is to enter into negotiations with an aim to achieve a comprehensive deal (and negotiate in good faith).

There was never a guarantee that the deal will be reached.


That was always going to depend on what each of the sides did during negotiations and to be honest nothing in the last 6 months indicated that things are going well.


Saying that the EU is "refusing" to give us an FTA is wrong. Saying that it "broke international law" by doing so is frankly stupid so I won't even entertain this part.

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 16 September 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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