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A Panoramic View of the UK Relations with the EU and Turkey Post-Brexit

In the last century, the importance of foreign trade, particularly net exports of goods and services, in achieving balanced and high-quality economic growth has become increasingly apparent. This certainly applies to Turkey. For example, the Eleventh Development Plan prepared for the 2019-2023 period was determined within the framework of a stable, export-based growth model, in which the industrial sector played a dominant role, focusing on productivity. Recently, the new trade regime between Turkey and the United Kingdom after Brexit has been included among the subjects within the agenda of Turkish foreign trade. The present study aims to find the preliminary clues to understand the extent of the recent trade agreement between two countries, which share deep-rooted trade links, in light of the new UK-EU deal. While one of these countries does not want to lose its position as a candidate country, despite the obstacles and disagreements posed by the EU in the negotiation mechanism, the other has managed to leave the EU as a result of a very intense and complex process, that lasted approximately thirty-four months.

A Panoramic View of the UK Relations with the EU
EC VP Maros Sefcovic (L) and his UK counterpart David Frost (R) in the first meeting of the Partnership Council in London on June 9, 2021. AEDDIE MULHOLLAND / POOL /AFP via Getty Images
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

When the historical development of the European integration process is analyzed, it may be observed that the United Kingdom (UK) has long maintained a skeptical and anxious political attitude and behavior toward the issue of transnationalism. While Germany was in ‘year zero’ in 1945 following the Second World War (WWII), France and the three Benelux countries, aiming for economic modernization to overcome their distrust of Germany, focused on attempts to fix the continent’s ill-fortune. The UK preferred to remain indifferent to the integration proposals with which it was presented, as it prioritized its relations with the United States and the Commonwealth of Nations, and considered itself a global power. One of the reasons for this isolationism is that the UK, which was at the peak of its power and prestige following WWII, is well above European standards in economic and military terms. In other words, according to England, the sharing of sovereignty is not for the victorious British, but it is a policy behavior according to the lost Continents.1 European integration, which many British politicians considered unlikely to succeed, was only of symbolic significance outside of free trade issues. As a matter of fact, such a federation requiring the sacrifice of independence was considered a project in which the British could never be involved.2

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