Will Brexit Happen? – EU Ponder UK’s Willingness Towards Softer Divorce

Written by | Thursday, July 6th, 2017

European policy makers have started looking into the possibility that the United Kingdom would reverse its Brexit decision following the recent election result that have produced a hung parliament, thus complicating Theresa May’s negotiating position. Splits in her cabinet emerged last week as senior figures set out alternative timings for the divorce talks while the German finance minister suggested that London might reconsider and admit that it “made a mistake”.

Senior EU ambassadors have said that so far there have so far been no signs that London would like to review its position especially on leaving the single market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European court of justice. The ambassadors are also growing impatient at the inability of the British government to set out a more detailed plan for Brexit more than a year after the poll.

An EU-based diplomat said that it was now UK’s turn to come up with a plan. He referred to a recent speech by the former UK ambassador to the EU Lord Kerr, who said that “it is odd, if we want a deep and special relationship with the EU, not to have proposed one. A year after the referendum, we have still put forward no plan, suggestion, outline or proposal for how one might in future organize cooperation”.

The softer options include membership of the European Economic Area, potentially to maintain full single market access, joining the European Free Trade Association as a shortcut to replace free trade deals negotiated by Brussels and a customs union deal with Brussels.


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