World: Britain leaves the E.U. today but Brexit is far from 'done'

UK's Johnson talks tough on trade; EU demands fishing rights

  UK's Johnson talks tough on trade; EU demands fishing rights LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union negotiator Michel Barnier set out tough opening gambits Monday in negotiating a future trade deal, making it clear that each side is willing to walk away without deal rather than compromise on key issues. Just three days after Britain left the EU, the first country ever to do so, Johnson is digging in his heels about future relations. Just three days after Britain left the EU, the first country ever to do so, Johnson is digging in his heels about future relations. In a speech Monday to business leaders and international diplomats in London, Johnson says “we want a free trade agreement” but not at any cost.

LONDON — Three and a half years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, Brexit will finally happen Friday night.

Photos of the Day: January 30, 2020

  Photos of the Day: January 30, 2020 Our top photos from the last 24 hours.

Some will gather outside the Houses of Parliament to celebrate at 11 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) what they see as a new dawn for a buccaneering, independent U.K., free of undemocratic control by Brussels. In reality, almost nothing will change overnight.

Former senior civil servants and academics have told NBC News that this second phase will be the toughest part of Brexit yet, with the U.K. forced to make concessions and compromises along the way on trade and security.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose slogan in December's election was "Get Brexit Done," has promised voters he will sign a comprehensive deal by a Dec. 31 deadline, without the need to extend.

Britain’s Brexit Shrug: Let’s Just Get On With It

  Britain’s Brexit Shrug: Let’s Just Get On With It Britain formally exits the European Union on Friday night, casting off from the Continent after nearly half a century and ending a debate that had convulsed the country for more than three years. Yet for all the gravity of the moment, there is a palpable sense of anticlimax. Now that Britain has finally reached this point of no return — one that millions of Britons had long either dreaded or dreamed of, marched against or eagerly prepared for — the prevailing emotion is neither sadness nor excitement. Rather, it is a characteristically British reflex: Get on with it.

The U.K. will still be subject to all E.U. laws and regulations until at least the end of 2020 and this transition period could be extended by up to two years. And the U.K. faces a more daunting task: securing an agreement on its future relationship with the E.U., including the finer details of trade, security and data sharing.

"I am yet to meet anybody who thinks a comprehensive trade agreement would be negotiated in 11 months," Brexit expert Katy Hayward of Queen's University Belfast, said.

The European Commission — the trading bloc's executive branch — must get a mandate from the 27 remaining members before negotiations can begin.

So getting Brexit "done" will not be simple.

"After Jan. 31, the government will take the line that Brexit is done and what remains to be done is a sort of technical exercise," said Sir Simon Fraser, a former permanent secretary, the most senior civil servant, at the Foreign Office and a former chief of staff to the European trade commissioner.

Brexit Is Here, and It’s a Texas-Size Defeat for the E.U.

  Brexit Is Here, and It’s a Texas-Size Defeat for the E.U. The European Parliament voted in Brussels on Wednesday to ratify the withdrawal agreement that governs Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, which will formally happen on Friday at midnight Brussels time. The occasion was marked by speechifying and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” Some European legislators put up a sign reading, hopefully: “It’s not goodbye, it’s au revoir” — an “until we meet again.” The vote — something of a relieved whimper rather than a bang, as its result was expected — brings to an end three and a half years of confusion, political division and missed deadlines. The vote passed by 621 to 49, with 13 abstentions.

"There's no way that we are going to achieve by the end of the year a-once-and-for-all comprehensive set of agreements with the E.U. about our future relationship."

Fraser said that the British public, fatigued by Brexit, "will be quite keen to go along with that." But if progress toward a trade deal stalls, that relief could turn to worry if significant progress isn't made, he added.

Joe Owen, an analyst at the Institute for Government, a London think tank, and author of a report about Brexit, said Jan. 31 was important symbolically. The U.K. will cease to have a seat in the European Parliament, for example.

"But the follow-on questions about what Brexit means are largely still unanswered," he said.

"We don't know what our new immigration system will look like; we don't know what we'll do with an independent trade policy; we don't know what we'll do with agriculture and fisheries; we don't know what we'll do with devolution in the U.K. and the split of power between Westminster and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."

The British government has suggested that an agreement can be sealed without submitting to the so-called level playing field, whereby E.U. member states and trading partners share the same rules on environment, labor laws, tax and state aid, designed to ensure fair competition.

Brexit prompts rowdy London parties, quiet Scottish vigils and protesters demanding public housing residents 'speak English'

  Brexit prompts rowdy London parties, quiet Scottish vigils and protesters demanding public housing residents 'speak English' Thousands of Brexit supporters waving the Union Jack, and others even dressed as the tenth-century English military hero, King Richard the Lion Heart, gathered in London’s Parliament Square Friday night for a massive celebration of the United Kingdom’s official exit from the European Union. © Provided by FOX News British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stresses the importance of the Brexit victory; Senior Foreign Affairs correspondent Greg Palkot reports.

If you don't agree to that, "you cannot have the highest quality access to the world's largest single market," Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, said in London earlier this month.

In other words: if the U.K. wants to set different rules, for example to allow hormone-fed cattle imports from the U.S. — which are banned in the E.U. — then there will be consequences for a free trade deal.

British Finance Minister Sajid Javid boldly told the Financial Times on Jan. 17: "There will not be alignment, we will not be a ruletaker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union — and we will do this by the end of the year."

After some negative reaction from British business leaders, he dialed down the rhetoric at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by saying the U.K. wouldn't diverge from European rules "for the sake of it."

This matters because the 27 remaining E.U. countries each have the power to block new treaties and don't want to see the U.K., a longtime neighbor and now a competitor, prosper while breaking the rules they all have to follow.

A comprehensive, 1,600-page treaty between the E.U. and Canada eliminated 98 percent of trade tariffs between both sides but took a full seven years to finish. The treaty, worth billions of dollars, was ultimately held up by the Parliament of Wallonia, a French-speaking Belgian region that has the power to stop Belgium ratifying E.U. treaties.

"The reality of international relations is that if you are the U.K. and you're next to the E.U., you're going to be in a permanent set of ongoing negotiations — as things change in Europe, you have to adjust to them and you have to decide how you react to new regulations," Fraser said.

"So, yes, we will be in a permanent ongoing negotiation with them anyway."

Why Cal will happily take $1.9 million to play at Notre Dame in 2022 .
California is taking the unusual step of agreeing to a one-game deal for $1.9 million as it tries to dig out of major financial problems.The difference is that Cal is a Power Five conference school – the kind that presumably has the wherewithal to say thanks-but-no-thanks to any one-game agreement that involves visiting a powerhouse's home stadium.

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