Article 50 Triggering Gave EU the Advantage

Sir Ivan Rogers has said that when the UK invoked Article 50 without first arranging discussions about trade deals and other Brexit issues, that essentially allowed the EU side to dictate ‘the rules’ surrounding negotiations. He believes that the sequence of events surrounding Brexit has led to Britain starting the negotiations at a disadvantage.

UNDEFINED - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

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Rogers resigned in January. He believes that the triggering of Article 50 was done too early, and that the 27 remaining member states of Europe are now able to refuse to move on trade talks, allowing them to put extra pressure on the UK in the ‘divorce’ negotiations.

Ivan had advised ministers to wait until they had worked out the negotiation timetable and were sure that it would run smoothly before triggering Article 50, however his advice had been heavily opposed. As European negotiatior he had said that the triggering of Article 50 was a key moment of leverage, and that to ensure that negotiation sequencing was suitable, the UK should have waited, and that the stance should have been to say that Article 50 would only be invoked if it was clear exactly how the exit process would work.

The uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations has left the UK in a difficult position and has been harmful for the economy in the short term. It is still possible that Britain could negotiate a deal offering similar levels of access to the EU markets, but there would need to be sacrifices made on both sides, and the talks right now are moving too slowly to offer investors and businesses peace of mind.


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