Brexit Likely Postponed Beyond Spring 2017: UK Government’s Situation “Chaotic“

Written by | Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

UK Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly said that the situation in government was “chaotic“, hinting that it may take extra time for the country to actually invoke Article 50 and formally start the process of leaving the European Union. British leaders have also warned senior officials in the City of London, one of the world’s major financial districts, that Article 50 will be unlikely triggered in early 2017. Mrs May said that the country needed time to prepare for that crucial move. Some think that it may take till autumn 2017 to start the process. However, the priority for the new British cabinet remains to deliver on the choice of the people, leave the EU and make it a success, the UK government reassures.

European leaders have mostly taken a firm line on how fast Britain should leave the EU. Although some countries would like London to start the process as soon as possible, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that it was understandable that the country needed time to discuss its options and get ready for this move. However, this should not take too much time as this creates unnecessary uncertainty in the markets. Moreover, many European leaders begin to realize that two years might really be too short for the UK.

So far, the British government has created a special department to handle Brexit and international trade, led by David Davis and Liam Fox respectively, both prominent pro-Brexit leaders. Mr Davis has hired less than half of the personnel he needs for the Brexit department out of the envisaged 250 while Mr Fox has fewer than 100 out of the 1,000 trade negotiators he needs. The prolonged period of pre-Article 50 talks has already caused some tensions among British leaders themselves. For example, Mr Fox has already had an argument with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson over the agenda of economic diplomacy, which each of them wants for his department. Moreover, the reluctance to trigger Article 50 is already starting to gather criticism from the anti-Brexit side.

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