Here are summaries from a selection of articles we read today:
Britain could keep frictionless trade after Brexit by joining EEA and customs union, Michel Barnier says
- Mr Barnier said that the European Economic Area (EEA) with a customs union was a possible model for a future relationship.
- The EEA has its own customs policy which could make joining both difficult without renegotiation.
- The current agreement also does not cover VAT or agriculture, the latter of which would be particularly important to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.
- The government is instead seeking a “bespoke deal” without freedom of movement, single market or customs union.
- Mr Barnier has already stated that the UK would have to stay in the single market and a customs union in order to have frictionless trade with the EU after Brexit.
Merkel Calls Out Trump, Citing Services Surplus With Europe
- Merkel said “Trade surpluses are still calculated in a pretty old-fashioned way, based only on goods, But if you include services in the trade balance, the U.S. has big surplus with Europe.”
- According to the Census Bureau, the European Union had a $101 billion trade surplus in goods and services with the U.S. last year and a $30.3 billion surplus in the first quarter of 2018
- Trump said that if the EU drops its “horrific barriers & tariffs on U.S. products going in, we will likewise drop ours,” but that he would otherwise “tax cars.”