Ukraine’s special relationship
First to introduce this series of posts that I will be doing. I will be focusing on a number of non-EU nations and their relationship with the EU. This is the second in the series and it’s an update of my article about a plan B for Brexit. The relationship is with Ukraine and is part of the EU’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
I would probably describe the Ukrainian relationship with the EU as EEA-. Just as Norway isn’t part of a large number of different policy areas Ukraine takes this a step further and only participates in a small number of areas within the Single Market. This deal isn’t just restricted to Ukraine and “They allow Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine access to the EU’s internal market in selected sectors and grant EU investors in those sectors the same regulatory environment in the associated country as in the EU”.
This may be the cherry picking option the EU said we couldn’t have but despite that is appeared on a slide by Michel Barnier looking at future relationships with the EU that the UK could take. For the UK this is probably the best deal we can get. As much as I like the Norway option it does include free movement of people, even if safeguard measures mean that it would probably be just in name. This issue with it is simple, the EU is likely to resist services access which would be very bad for us.
For the UK it could allow us to add a third step to Richard North’s Flexcit plan by first joining EFTA and the EEA then going for an arrangement like Ukraine where we protect certain sectors and finally we leave completely.