Here is the situation: Britain officially left the European Union on 31 January. Since then, Britain has been in a transition period where it still complies with EU regulations in exchange for business as usual in key areas, especially trade.
The essence of the transition period is to create a space where the two parties can safely negotiate their future relationships without causing disruption to business and citizens. However, the transition period ended on December 31 and sources from both parties said that the negotiations were not going well.
Pandemic does not help political deadlock. The negotiation team cannot meet physically, only relying on video conferencing tools. The next round of virtual talks began Tuesday, but sources on both sides say this has damaged the quality of negotiations, because individuals cannot split up for private chats on how to solve complicated problems. And the scale of the coronavirus crisis has overshadowed the urgency of the Brexit talks.
Johnson must now spend June with one eye on complicated and full negotiations with the world’s biggest trade bloc, while also overseeing the response to the country’s worst public health crisis in decades.
The two sides agreed that June would be used as a period to ponder whether there was a visible agreement, or whether they should respectfully put a bullet in the conversation and prepare a scenario without agreement.
No agreement is universally accepted as the worst possible outcome. The British economy is very dependent on imports from Europe. This maximum disruption to trade will affect the supply chain – making a living hell for businesses, such as car manufacturers, who depend on them and lead to potential shortages of basic household needs, such as food, for consumers. Numerous studies have predicted that it will be a major economic blow to households and the nation in general.
Even though Britain or the European Union claims it does not want this outcome, negotiators fear that political deadlock means the more likely it is. “The European Union is being unreasonable, demanding that if we want a free trade agreement then at our expense we must continue to follow EU rules,” according to a British government official, who is not authorized to speak in notes about ongoing negotiations. “Obviously, they know we can’t accept that. If we do, what’s the point of Brexit?” said the same source.
The rules they mean are a very difficult part of the negotiation known as the “balanced playing arena”. This is basically an agreement about certain rules and standards designed to stop business on the one hand, reducing business on the other. The EU single market is the largest economic bloc in the world. The level playing field is overseen by the courts and institutions of the European Union. And if Britain wants tariff-free access there after the transition period – like Johnson’s position last fall when he reached the initial Brexit agreement with the EU – then the EU will need it to register with those rules.
Level playing fields are not the only areas where Brussels and London are not facing each other. There are differences of opinion about fishing rights, security and governance, and what actually happened on the island of Ireland. However, negotiators both in London and Brussels are convinced that the long overdue crisis caused by the towering edge of the cliff will drag the two sides together. The same cannot be said for differences in the level playing field.
Britain has said it will drop its ambitions for tariff-free trade with the EU if the EU lowers its level of demand. The EU is not interested in this idea because it believes that there is not enough time in the transition to negotiate on tariffs.
Theoretically, Johnson could buy more time if he wanted to take this route. He has until 31 June to request an extension of the transition period. However, it will be so politically poisonous that it does not currently seem to have occurred to Johnson’s advisers. This Brexit debate poisoning made the agreement impossible, because any capitulation that was felt would make Johnson in trouble with his supporters.
In addition, this pandemic is strangely creating opportunities to cover the sizeable negative impact Brexit might have on the British economy. “There is a certain logic to saying let’s deal with both of these economic disturbances at once,” said Anand Menon, director of Britain’s Changing European tank.
“From the supply chain to the way all economies are run, everything will change due to this virus. So, even though those two things aren’t really related and might make the other worse, I can see some political logic in doing everything at the same time . “
Even better, the pandemic creates space for the government to throw money at every large bump in the road, if the worst happens.
“Certain parts of the economy will be affected by Brexit and coronavirus,” said Raoul Ruparel, Brexit’s adviser to Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May. “If Johnson spends government money to soften the impact in these fields, he might find there is less opposition than if he only spends money to offset the Brexit impact alone, because there is a far greater unity across the political spectrum about the need for spending. like that to help with recovery from Covid-19. “
In Brussels, member states agreed that there was no agreement at the end of last year. “We are not emotionally investing in British decisions anymore,” said a European diplomat based in Brussels. “This is a country outside the European Union, we focus on recovering our coronavirus,” said the same source.
This level of non-compliance is not uncommon in EU institutions, where an official working on negotiations said with a shrug that “Britain is free to do whatever it wants” and that Brussels is prepared for a “dead end” at the end of June.
The EU has believed for some time to overcome shocks without a better deal than Britain. “The European Union knows it is in a stronger position. Yes, there is no bad deal for them, but it is far worse for Britain,” said Thomas Cole, a former EU negotiator. “It’s true that the two sovereign parties are the same but they are very aware that they don’t need to make the type of concessions that the British need to make.”
And as in the UK, coronaviruses might make calculations without certain agreements easier for the EU to swallow in the long run. “Paradoxically, it might make aspects of an agreement more manageable for the European Union,” said Fabian Zuleeg, chief executive of the European Policy Center. “Companies that want to reduce their operations throughout post-Covid Europe might decide it’s easier to actually close British offices and factories. This actually solves a number of problems, in some ways.”
Of course, neither side wants an agreement and both of them are still telling reporters that they are committed to breaking the deadlock and arriving at a mutually beneficial solution. However, the political mistakes that are happening right now are likely to get worse along with the passing of June, if the history of Brexit is something that happens.
If the conversation fails, both parties will hope that the other party will try to show the finger and play the victim. This might be suitable for Johnson politically in the short term, because he plays the role of a brave leader who opposed European oppression. But, as Menon points out, the post-Covid world has been searching for a messy and unpredictable place.
“Everyone is angry with China, and God knows what will happen in the US election,” he said. “Does Britain really want to clash with Europe when it emerges from a pandemic and into a brave new future?”
So, if Boris Johnson seriously wants to avoid a deal, the combination of talks is frozen, both parties are distracted by a pandemic and this pressing June deadline makes a bad start to the summer.
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Who is Paulo Bento, the Portuguese coach from South Korea who coached Cruzeiro?
The coach commanded the Portuguese national team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and left the South Korean national team after being eliminated in Qatar.
Portuguese coach Paulo Bento qualified South Korea for the playoffs of the World Cup, something the team had not achieved since 2010, when the South Korean team reached the 1/8 finals of this championship. But 4-1 rout against Brazil as a result, shortened the path of the Asian team, as well as put an end to the work of Paulo Sousa in the national team.
Paulo Bento started his career as a coach with the youth team of Sporting Clube Portugal in 2004. At the club, he commanded the youth team for two seasons, winning the junior national tournament in his first year. Incidentally, the coach took over the first team shortly after he announced his retirement as a player.
Given his prominence in the youth categories, Paulo was chosen to replace José Peseiro, who was eliminated in European competition, in the professional team of Sporting CP for the 2005 season./2006.
Professionally, Bento was runner-up for four seasons in a row in the Portuguese Championship. Despite this, the coach won two Portuguese Cups and two Candido de Oliveira Super Cups. On November 6, 2009, the coach resigned.
Having distinguished himself at Sporting, Paulo Bento was announced as Portugal’s coach on 21 September 2010 after the World Cup in South Africa, where the then-champion Spain was selected in the round of 16.
In qualifying, the coach managed to show good results in the first games, plus, of course, take Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012, taking off from Spain on penalties. Having stood out in competitions, the coach extended the contract until Euro 2016.
However, after losing to Albania in qualifying for Euro 2016, the coach could not resist and was fired in September 2014. The unsuccessful campaign at the World Cup of the same year in Brazil also affected.
After the Portugal national team, Paulo Bento returned to Brazil in May 2016, but this time to coach the Cruzeiro club. With a contract until December 2017, the coach made his debut in the second round of the Brasileirão the same year.
Washington Alves/Light Press/Cruzeiro
However, Bento only lasted 17 matches in power with six wins, three draws and eight losses, leaving the team in second-to-last place in the tournament.
On 11 August 2016, the coach was announced as the new commander of Olympiacos, Greece, where he remained until 6 March 2017, winning the Greek title. Following this, Paulo Bento was announced as Chongqing Dangdai of China leading the team for only 15 matches.
On August 16, 2018, Paulo Bento was announced as the new coach of South Korea following the departure of Shin Tae-yong, who lost in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.
As part of the South Korean national team, the coach has 55 wins, 12 draws and eight losses, having won the East Asian Cup title and classified the team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After being knocked out against Brazil in the 1/8 finals, the Portuguese announced his retirement from the national team.
Pioli ‘pulls’ Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese ‘must make a dash’
FROMTefano Pioli, Milan coach, gave an interview on the Italian radio program Sky Calcio Club on Sunday in which he talked about Rafael Leao’s participation in the 2022 Mundial, a test in which the Portuguese striker was a replacement for Fernando Santos. ‘, indicating that he has been talking to his player over the past few days.
“If we talk? They have an obligation to call me at the end of the game. He is happy because Portugal is doing well. It is clear that he would like to play more. I can take advantage of this for a contract extension,” said Pioli, who also spoke about the Portuguese’s renewal process.
“He is fine with us and management and Rafael are talking. We are waiting for good news,” the Transalpine coach fired.
Looking at his player’s short playing time at this 2022 World Cup, Pioli admitted that Rafael Leau would like to have more playing time for the national team, but hinted that the Portuguese striker is not unhappy.
“If he plays a little? It’s hard to judge because Portugal has a very high quality team. Rafael is happy because Portugal is having a good World Cup, but there is a lot of quality and competitiveness in the attacking sector of the Portuguese team. “, – stressed the coach of the Italian, who also left a small warning to Rafael Leau.
“When you see him in training, you immediately understand that he has incredible potential. He has technique and speed that few others have. Over the course of a period, he had to develop and adapt to the reality at Milan, where the pressure is different from what he is. he was in Lille. It took time, but his potential to become a great player was always there. But he still needs to make the leap to become a champion because he can be even more decisive in the opponent’s zone,” he stressed.
“If you think about Rafael from two years ago, he has made tremendous progress. He’s missing a few things, but he’s smart and approachable. I can give him all the ideas he wants, but his talent must be left free. should improve his heading, given his physique,” he concluded.
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Portugal, nuts and the Portuguese consumer: a successful trilogy
Nuts have become part of a limited group of Portuguese agri-food sectors that manage to achieve much-desired food self-sufficiency. In the case of almonds it is 170% and in the case of chestnuts it is 116% in relation to the national consumption.
The value of Portuguese agricultural production in 2021 was 9.6 billion euros, representing a growth rate of 14.6% compared to 2020, and therefore it is fair to say that dried fruits today, with a production of 80,000 tons and exports reaching 100 million euros contributed. to this success.
A lot has passed before we got here, as dried fruits have always been produced in Portugal, and almonds are a crop that has existed in Europe for thousands of years. The breakthrough element was, first of all, the fact that over the past 10 years we have witnessed a revolution in precision farming, irrigation and varieties that increase productivity up to five times.
Few people know that Portugal was the country in the world that grew the most in terms of percentage in the almond sector, both in terms of area and production, which positions us as a contender in relation to the world’s largest producer of almonds. almonds, which is located in the USA (70% of world production). Is this still the story of David and Goliath? Yes it is! But this phenomenon is of greater importance not from a quantitative point of view, in which Portugal currently occupies an undeniable place at the European level (3rd largest producer), but from a qualitative point of view, since Portuguese or Mediterranean almonds are now beginning to be appreciated for its quality and large international traders, more and more confirming consumer preferences.
What can Portugal say to the Portuguese consumer and also to the European nut consumer? Something simple and perhaps more and more meaningful in our rational but also emotional consumer desires. Today we are seeing problems in live supply chains and we think it makes sense to cut those chains in the direction of what should be EU food self-sufficiency.
An analysis of environmental sustainability needs to be carried out on a planetary scale, and this is where Portugal has a comparative advantage. Firstly, for the production of irrigated dried fruits, compared to the world’s largest producer, Portugal uses less water because it irrigates with modern drip systems and the CO2 emission cycle is lower, as it reduces transport and logistics chains precisely because it is closer to a large consumer market which is Europe.
Today, due to inflation, Portugal has the most expensive food basket in the EU, just behind Germany and Sweden. The bet cannot be to close Portugal, given that Portugal must be self-sufficient on its own, but it becomes clear that Portugal must produce what it is empirically good at, which allows it to exploit the investment.
Does this mean that Portugal meets its dietary needs by eating almonds and tomatoes or drinking olive oil and wine (foods that we are self-sufficient for)? Of course not! The logic of food self-sufficiency must necessarily be European, in which each of the 27 member countries produces what it has an appetite and conditions for, ensuring quality and competitive prices throughout the world.
In fact, there is a happy coincidence – it is the sectors that are self-sufficient in Portugal that are also the most exporting sectors, and not only in terms of quantity, but also in terms of quality. Just think of wine, olive oil and, of course, dried fruit!
Executive Director Portugal Nuts
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