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Andrew Glencross

Andrew Glencross

Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Politics and International Relations
School of Languages and Social Sciences
Birmingham, B4 7ET, United Kingdom


Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute www.fpri.org/


Associate Editor, ECPR Press


personal webpage: http://andrew-glencross.weebly.com/

You may not have heard of it, but students from across Europe have been studying at The European University Institute (EUI) since 1976. Situated in the Tuscan hills overlooking Florence, the idyllic setting plays home to a unique institution dedicated to training PhD students and enhancing Europe’s research capacity in economics, history, law, and social sciences.

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The sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone appears to have returned, at least that is how a swathe of commentators are interpreting Italy’s travails in forming a government. In its original guise, the 2010 panic over whether countries such as Greece or Ireland might be forced to abandon membership of the Euro arose because governments in these countries faced a “sudden stop” of access to international credit markets. This situation reflected the fact that while the Eurozone has a common currency each member state is responsible for its own debts.

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Politics is very much a game of timing and time is definitely of the essence in the ongoing negotiations between London and Brussels over how the UK should leave the EU. In the latest instalment of the talks, both sides have agreed to buy time to delay the moment the UK loses a host of rights and obligations stemming from EU membership. The withdrawal agreement – if completed successfully prior to the moment the UK officially leaves the EU at 11pm (GMT) on 29 March 2019 – will now incorporate a 21-month transitional period. This entails extending the applicability of EU policies and associated law, which includes free movement of people alongside that of goods, services and capital, until the end of 2020.

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The EU is prepared for a ‘no deal’ scenario in a way that the UK government and the wider public perhaps fail to appreciate. This is because the EU and the UK approach the withdrawal negotiations with radically different understandings of the purpose of the process of exiting the current EU treaty-based system. Consequently, the EU is fundamentally prepared to withstand one or both of two “no deal” scenarios: no formal withdrawal agreement or no new trade deal to regulate access to each side’s market.

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