June 2017 issue: references


General Election




Crosby only involved too late



Government Brexit White Paper, 2017





http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-39955886 (summaries)





Starmer and Labour position


The referendum result must be respected and we will leave the EU.


…on Single Market





Juncker’s suggestion to hold an election



The fact that Australian election guru Lynton Crosby has already been signed up to oversee the campaign, according to one Conservative minister, points to far more serious planning than Number 10 have let on.


Facing down opposition? But which opposition?


Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said May’s goal was to wipe out opposition to a hard Brexit.


Among some pro-European Tory MPs there was quiet confidence that the move will finally strengthen their hand against the Brexit hardliners. May is not trying to break out of the problems caused by the opposition parties, but by the opposition within her own party who are increasingly open to the prospect of no deal with Brussels.


Rupert Harrison, George Osborne’s former chief of staff who now works for the global asset management company Blackrock, said the move was designed to give May more room for maneuver at home, not abroad, “which is why the pound is rising.” The chances of the U.K. crashing out of the EU with no deal have gone down, he said.


However, he warned pro-Europeans not to go overboard. Brexit was still going to be hard — the landing might just be a little softer.


“To be clear,” Harrison wrote, “this doesn’t mean ‘soft’ Brexit.” May still wants to pull out of the single market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. But if she wins the election she buys herself more time to agree a transition period on the road to a wide-ranging free-trade agreement.



On Tuesday morning, ministers from the Brexit and International Trade departments met with worried MPs to reassure them the plans for leaving the Single Market and customs union had not changed.




Far from being against her or backing political parties opposed to Brexit, the European Union is (more or less) on her side. It wants her to win because European leaders, officials and diplomats believe that a newly elected Mrs May, with no prospect of another general election until 2022, would be ready to make concessions to keep access to the single market.



May against the bureaucrats



Derailing Brexit?














European Research Group / Tomlinson letter signatories



Sammy Wilson MP and Jim Shannon MP support Leave Means Leave





Also relevant…


disclaims speculation on Sinn Fein MPs taking up seats….




Vicky Ford MP (ex-MEP)

Cherry picking


“Some politicians in other EU countries may say no to an “a la carte” relationship for the UK, but when one examines the EU’s own scoreboard for how individual countries implement Single Market agreements it is clear that some of those same countries already take quite an “a la carte” approach themselves.


Our on-going relationship with the Single Market will of course be partly shaped by the decisions we make to ensure the UK has control over migration, but even in this area things are not as inflexible as sometimes portrayed. Politicians on both sides of the channel risk being locked into positions based on theological purity, laying down absolutes as non-negotiable whereas real world examples show that there already exist many examples of more flexible approaches.


In practical terms it is impossible to move to Belgium without a reasonably well-paid job”.



Also relevant:



The easiest red line to relax would be the EU one on no cherry picking, at least in the context of Option 4, since in each case the EU has already granted non-member states some aspects of Single Market freedoms….



It can be separately noted that there are several cases of EU members going their own way – Denmark and the UK opting out of the Single Currency. The Czechs not participating in the ESM. Other EU members excluded from defence measures on account of their neutrality.

Unanimity needed over the parts of trade agreements with French sensitivity.

Special arrangements for the formerly-named Netherlands Antilles.



Birgit Sippel MEP on Denmark’s special ‘third country’ treatment on Europol


 “If you are a member of a club you have to accept the rules. But in the European Union, this is not the case. We have again and again, in different areas, opt-outs ... I think we should rethink this way of co-operation…”




.... - Europol is usually only permitted to reach agreements with non-Member States but it has been agreed exceptionally that Denmark can be treated as such in this context to ensure it retains a relationship with Europol.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35002158  )





Percentages are for answers received to each question on http://www.newalliance.org.uk/qa17.htm

Not everyone answered every question; some unclear answers were not included.

Survey carried out between 1-13 June 2017; most answers received before election day.


It is fair to mention Theresa May’s speech in London on leaving the EU, 25 April 2016


•"I want to deal with several arguments that should not count. The first is that in the 21st century Britain is too small a country to cope outside the European Union. That’s nonsense. We’re the fifth biggest economy in the world, we’re growing faster than any economy in the G7, we attract nearly a fifth of all foreign investment in the EU, we have a military capable of projecting its power around the world, intelligence services that are second to none, and friendships and alliances that go far beyond Europe. We have the greatest soft power in the world, we sit in exactly the right timezone for global trade and our language is the world’s language. Of course Britain could cope outside the European Union."




Brexit Negotiations

The negotiating techniques papers seen are not freely available, but these refs are useful.


The Behaviour of Successful Negotiators (sales focused)






Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator


In his speech, Barnier dangled some sweets for the U.K., by describing the future relationship in more detailed terms than he has previously used. “It’s not too early to start to sketch out that relationship,” he said. “It will include a free and fair trade agreement, cooperation agreements, particularly regarding universities and research, and partnership, we hope, in the areas of security and defense.”


The message seemed to be this: Take it step by step and in the right order and we all just might get where you want to go.


Barnier to European Parliament - No punishment - never!



Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says a ‘no deal scenario’ with the UK would be unthinkable.



European Council President Donald Tusk has said a 'no deal scenario' would be "bad for everyone



EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström


"For us, trade is something where both sides win."



In remarks which will have been closely watched in London top eurocrat Cecilia Malmstrom insisted the bloc will look to strike a fresh economic pact with the UK as soon as possible.  The Swedish EU trade commissioner said that a new relationship with Britain should only take "a couple of years" to complete and calmed nerves with a promise to seek a transitional accord to prevent any turbulence. Asked how long it would take to strike such a pact, she replied: "It's hard to say but it takes a couple of years depending on what you want to be in it and how the mandate looks like. But it will not be over a weekend, no." Ms Malmstrom said she expected London and Brussels to negotiate a transitional agreement which will maintain economic ties for the entire time it takes to negotiate a fresh trade relationship. And she said that whilst the EU is "busy" negotiating "16 or 17" trade deals at the moment, it will not be the case that Britain will be bottom of any queue for a future agreement.


EU ‘foreign secretary’, Federica Mogherini


If you apply a confrontational approach to trade for example, it is easy to see where it would lead. Protectionism, and no willingness to compromise, can easily spark a trade war. Let me quote again President Xi, who said it very wisely: “No one would emerge as a winner in a trade war.” These are very wise words that should make us all reflect. It would only cut opportunities for our companies and slow down growth in all our countries. We would all lose.


To prevent such a scenario we must engage together, we must look for win-win cooperation, and we must agree together on a set of rules shared by everyone. The cure to the current disorder is a cooperative global governance based on rules...


The answer to the current imbalances is not an impossible de-globalisation of our world – but engagement with our partners, among partners, to make international trade for instance both free and fair.



Cautionary note on attaching non-trade matters to trade agreements.

Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary


It is good to see the commitment that the future arrangements will include safeguards against competition on fiscal, social and environmental dumping, but no free trade deal has ever managed to enforce them in practice.


Trade Justice Movement argues that the EU doesn't live up to its rhetoric on non-trade obligations -

Trade and the Public Interest


The Commission’s trade strategy, ‘Trade for All’, declares that ‘one of the aims of the EU is to ensure that economic growth goes hand in hand with social justice, respect for human rights, high labour and environmental standards, and health and safety protection.’ However, in the execution of its agreements, the EU’s record has often failed to live up these aspirations.



G20 finance ministers


"In the future, we hope to see the UK as a close partner of the EU."


Juncker v keen on investment in Europe   




Juncker pledged in Strasbourg to do everything to make sure “the negotiations will be according to the rules and yield good results”.



EU holdings in UK: Chalmers and Menon


There is significant EU investment in the United Kingdom. In 2014, it accounted for a stock of £496 billion. To be sure, the United Kingdom would lose most if that flow slowed or reversed. Yet a bad settlement would also inflict costs on those EU investors. For the lucky, there would be relocation costs. For those unable to relocate, there is the risk of a good investment turning the other way. And, of course, UK citizens and companies invest heavily in the European Union with the stock amounting in 2014 to £474.5 billion


47% of UK foreign assets are within the EU; investment in continental Europe £3 trillion



UK services ‘surplus’ queried.

“An Assessment of the Economic Impact of Brexit on the EU 27”


"For services the amounts are also large: €94 billion of exports by the EU27 to the UK, versus

€122 billion of imports, and thus a surplus in this case for the UK (although here the statistics are not so reliable, with big differences seen in the ‘mirror data’ for the same items collected by the EU27, which would cancel the UK’s surplus)."



G20 2016, Japanese demands to UK and EU



Aviation, carriers and routes


[Eamonn Brennan, the long-standing CEO of the Irish Aviation Authority] His calls to maintain open skies between the EU27 and the U.K. are not shared by everyone on the Continent.

Several governments, notably Germany backed by the powerful airline Lufthansa, argue that “out is out” — and that includes air transport. This is as much a commercial position as a political one.

Many European airlines would love to see the back of competition from U.K. carriers.


But Brennan believes that overall, the downsides for the EU will far outweigh the upsides. “For the sake of business, leisure and tourism inter-dependencies, we should not tolerate a restrictive air transport agreement. Whatever the temptation may be, there is no space for the U.K. to be made an example of when it comes to this issue,” he said.



According to ACI Europe, 285,000 jobs in the EU27 are linked to UK/EU air travel.



Clearing, financial services


Restricting trade access goes against the heart of everything the EU stands for. As I have argued here, it is in the European Union’s interest to grant a lot of trade access to Britain, not least because if the EU were to restrict investment from the City of London, it would inflict a lot of self-harm. This line of thinking is gaining ground. German Finance Minister Schauble recently said that it is in Europe’s interest that London remains a “strong” financial centre after it leaves the EU, while Germany’s German banking watchdog Bafin has warned against rushing to move euro clearing out of UK after Brexit. Even Michel Barnier has warned that any Brexit-developments related to the City of London shouldn’t lead to financial instability in the Eurozone.


Clearing houses are a key part of the financial plumbing that was beefed up after the 2008 market crash to manage the risk inherent in some types of financial transactions. They act as intermediaries between two sides of a trade by taking a down-payment from parties in case they go bust before the trade is completed. Their usage became mandatory for certain financial trades following the crash, with the sole aim of preventing another bank-led economic implosion.



The EU’s executive arm forged ahead with a proposal feared by many in the City of London on so-called euro clearing, which will cost banks an estimated £63 billion and could deprive the U.K. of 83,000 jobs. The new proposals empower the Commission to strip London of its nearly €1 trillion-a-day euro-clearing business if it deems it necessary for financial soundness in the EU.


Under the Commission’s new proposals, if a clearing house poses economic risks to the EU, its entire business model may be forced to change. So if the firm wants to continue to attract European clients, Brussels is insisting that it be subject to EU rules. Most importantly, the Commission also gets to decide whether the clearing house must relocate into the eurozone, allowing watchdogs to more closely keep an eye on what’s happening with their currency.


Unsurprisingly, the London Stock Exchange Group, which houses clearing giant LCH and stands to lose a huge chunk of business, is warning of disastrous knock-on effects if euro clearing leaves London. The banks also oppose the move on the grounds that it will increase costs and lead to unintended consequences that would threaten financial stability. “This kind of currency nationalism is likely to lead to less competition, higher costs and market fragmentation,” said Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK, a financial industry lobbying group.



Responding to new EU Commission proposals published today on derivatives rules, which include references to possible location requirements for central counterparties (CCPs) involved in euro clearing


Celic "Clearing is an activity where economies of scale make a big difference to the cost of doing business. This is one of the major reasons why clearing has become concentrated in major international centres like London. It has the scale, expertise and infrastructure to keep costs as low as possible.


A forced re-location of euro-clearing would lead to disruption, uncertainty and fragmentation of the market. A potentially less liquid, and less competitive EU market would result in higher costs for European savers and investors. This would ultimately be detrimental to people and businesses in Britain and in Europe. This is in no one’s interest and is entirely avoidable."



US derivatives regulator warns EU




New analysis from a leading think-tank confirms that London will likely be a massive bargaining chip for the UK in upcoming Brexit negotiations. After all, the EU relies on UK finance heavily.



Analysts at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) say the number of UK companies which would lose the right to trade in the EU would be high at 5,500 but the number of EU companies which would lose access to the UK would be higher at 8,000.


It is this realisation that had the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier wants the EU to retain easy access to London's financial institutions following Brexit.



Peter Hill



Crawford Falconer








EU free trade policy



Interpretations on goals and obligations of WTO-GATT Treaties

WTO Marrakesh Analytical Index – especial note of references 8, 9, 11, 13


security and predictability of ‘the reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade’ is an object and purpose of the WTO Agreement

concessions made by WTO Members should be interpreted so as to further the general objective of the expansion of trade in goods and the substantial reduction of tariffs. arrangements entered into by Members be reciprocal and mutually advantageous

the purpose of such agreements should be to facilitate trade between the constituent territories and not to raise barriers to the trade of other Members with such territories; and that in their formation or enlargement the parties to them should to the greatest possible extent avoid creating adverse effects on the trade of other Members;

regional trade agreements and those of the GATT and the WTO have always been complementary, and therefore should be interpreted consistently with one another, with a view to increasing trade and not to raising barriers to trade, thereby arguing against an interpretation that would allow, on the occasion of the formation of a customs union, for the introduction of quantitative restrictions)”




WTO D-G Azevedo


In an interview with Sky News, the WTO boss said he was not of the opinion that the Brexit vote was "anti-trade" and added that the UK would not suffer trade setbacks during or after its negotiations with the EU.



Azevedo - The UK is a member of the WTO today, it will continue to be a member tomorrow,’ he told Sky News. ‘There will be no discontinuity in membership. They have to renegotiate but that doesn’t mean they are not members. Trade will not stop, it will continue and members negotiate the legal basis under which that trade is going to happen. But it doesn’t mean that we’ll have a vacuum or a disruption.’


Spain fragile


Spanish university professors and economists are calling on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to come clean over its debt burdens (claims debt is much higher than admitted!)



The UK market accounts for seven per cent of Spain’s entire export market, with the UK being particularly important for the car and aviation industry, food and drink and pharmaceuticals.





World economy and Japanese Yen vulnerable


Regarded as a safe haven at times of market turmoil, the yen JPY= strengthened to around 100 to the dollar after the Brexit vote in late June, much to the chagrin of Japanese officials


Many countries are worried that a long delay could add to uncertainties that are dragging on the world economy.



EU Social Partners

Business Europe (previously known as UNICE, CBI is a member)

Committed to a smart Brexit




UEAPME (SMEs. UK FSB is a member. UEAPME is in Business Europe)


UEAPME foresees that in a worst-case scenario where the UK leaves the Internal Market and the Customs Union without a new trade agreement, Europe -may be confronted with a new economic crisis and the possibility of a recession in some Member States.







“Our aim is to preserve as close economic relations between the European Union and the United-Kingdom as possible, while preserving the integrity of the Single Market, and fully respecting the four freedoms linked to it, i.e. free movement of goods, services, capital and persons.”


Also Eurochambres (not including UK, Denmark): EU-UK future relations: a trade oriented Brexit




EU parties and groups





Various EU goodwill




2012 Platform (p14)

138. ...Markets must work as freely as possible and unfair practices and protectionist measures against free competition and free trade need to be done away with.



[EPP] McAllister, who has a British father and is the former PM of the German state of Lower Saxony for Angela Merkel’s CDU party, is the German Chancellor’s ‘Brexit man’ in the European Parliament. …In this exclusive interview with Open Europe, McAllister makes clear that, at this stage, he sees a Free Trade Agreement as the most likely outcome of the negotiations….The UK is asking for this divorce. We are not eager to punish Britain nor are we eager to give it a favourable treatment.”



The S&D Group will work for solutions that are mutually beneficial for both EU and UK citizens.



Helga Stevens for ECR group

“My belief is what we need to do is a fair deal which benefits both of us.

“The UK will still exist, still be part of Europe so we need to make an effort to make sure there’s a win-win situation.”



The ECR, as a group that supports free and open trade as stated in the founding principles of its Prague declaration…



European liberal democrats believe in an economy that is based on market principles where individual economic and political freedoms are guaranteed as the most effective system for ensuring future prosperity, encouraging competiveness and ensuring longer-term employment. Therefore, the ALDE Party has consistently been promoting free trade and a fully functioning European Single Market for the benefit of consumers and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).




On the consequences of UK referendum on Brexit, the ALDE Party calls for "the negotiating parties to pursue a prudent and pragmatic approach, seeking a balanced deal for both the EU and the UK, which does not introduce any unnecessary barriers to trade and mobility and which ensures that a strong partnership remains" and "to ensure that the negotiations, which will start once article 50 is triggered, are conducted in a fair way." Particularly, the resolution emphasises the importance of "efforts to minimise adverse impacts of Brexit on individual citizens, including those on free movement rights (of goods, persons, services and capital), which are core values of the EU."





Spain moves on Gibraltar, just after the EU confirms its negotiating guidelines


Spain’s government seems to be softening its position on Gibraltar, according to a blueprint for Brexit negotiations.




The same conditions that apply to the British mainland after the country leaves the EU must apply to its territories such as Gibraltar, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told his British counterpart Theresa May…



German car industry: No-deal UK could compound American and Chinese problems?


The Bavarian economy minister left no doubt that “a deterioration of trade relations with the United States would have fatal consequences — particularly for the Bavarian car industry.”


It was important for all EU countries to work together to prevent the U.S. from introducing one-sided trade barriers, she said — and to look elsewhere for trading partners.


“By broadening our connections with trade partners, we minimize the dependency from single countries or regions, and we reduce the risk for loss of trade by political sanctions or crises,” Aigner said.



China, ever the master of divide-and-rule tactics when confronting EU trade policy, has threatened to impose a car quota system that could seriously dent the sales of Germany’s blue-riband industry, affecting brands such as Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche.




Ulrich Eichhorn, the carmaker’s chief technical officer, former managing director of the powerful national lobby group, the German Association of the Automotive Industry, Eichhorn is used to operating in the closely connected spheres of the German auto industry and politics.

"His message for Brussels is stark: if VW is weakened, so too is the European economy. “The continued success of Volkswagen is very important to the German and European economy and societies,” he said."




Wolfgang Münchau, writing this week in the Financial Times, is rather unusually for that newspaper quite optimistic about the prospects for an “amicable divorce”, and about how Merkel will play this: “She may pretend that she wants to be tough on Britain — but once German jobs are at risk I would expect her principled position to crumble.”


Extra costs for Germany?


...a group of experts told German lawmakers they should expect to incur extra costs if Britain leaves without a trade agreement because it is the EU’s largest net contributor.

If Britain were to leave the bloc without a deal, then it would no longer be obliged to transfer any money to Brussels from April 2019 onwards and would not need to contribute to the future pension costs of EU officials, which stands at a sizeable £54.1billion.


Dr Peter Becker, 58, at Germany’s Institute for International Policy and Security, told the Bundestag’s European Committee: “The EU would have no legal means to demand outstanding payments from London.” He suggested Germany would have to pay an additional £5.1bn towards the bloc’s pension fund if Britain leaves without an agreement.



FT hyped ‘€100bn ‘Brexit bill’ disputed



Clause 24 of this Appendix has the meat of it: "EU Member States may seek to bring a case against the UK for the payments of outstanding debts under principles of public international law, such as acquired rights, but international law is slow to litigate and hard to enforce. In addition, it is questionable whether an international court or tribunal could have jurisdiction" What this "legal advice" basically says then is not that there is legally no bill to pay but that legally there may be no way of the EU enforcing payment.



EU budget economies approaching


[Gianni Pitella MEP] “Let’s not forget that every reform of funding is strictly in connection with Brexit, which will account for a significant loss to the EU budget.”


[Paolo De Castro MEP, former Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry]

Still, he acknowledged that the overall Common Agricultural Policy budget would diminish following Britain’s exit from the EU in March 2019 at the earliest. “We know we have to pay part of the cost of Brexit,” he said.



Switzerland and the free movement of persons

An Assessment of the Economic Impact of Brexit on the EU 27


A second and more relevant aspect of the Swiss experience concerns the free movement of people. Switzerland agreed in 1999 to the free movement of people, subject however to a ‘safeguard clause’, which provided that: “In the event of serious economic or social difficulties, the Joint Committee shall meet, at the request of either Contracting Party, to examine appropriate measures to remedy the situation. … The scope and duration of such measures shall not exceed that which is strictly necessary to remedy the situation. Preference shall be given to measures that least disrupt the working of this Agreement.” This clause has never been activated"


May hints free movement will continue: refusal to guarantee less EU immigration



But by bringing the election forward, May gives herself more time for the tricky bits of a transition. When asked by the BBC’s Nick Robinson this morning to guarantee free movement will end in 2019, for example, May refused.


May wobbles on ECJ?  ECJ not being mentioned will fuel speculation of a role for it.



Charles Grant of CER for the European Parliament, on how to get a better deal


"It is true that the EU’s FTAs with other countries include arbitration mechanisms that do not

involve the ECJ….


On a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement

An Assessment of the Economic Impact of Brexit on the EU 27


"The EU’s doctrine that all four freedoms are an indivisible package is thus applied to the EU itself and the EEA, but not between the EU and other close neighbours, or FTAs with the rest of the world."


.. The dispute settlement mechanisms lean on WTO practice, with less total reliance on the European Court of Justice than in the EEA case.



EU borders and derogations

There have been worries as to the possible treatment of the UK as a ‘third country’ and problems with movement of goods, customs checks and clearance. However the EU has the right to act under TFEU Article 32, where it will promote trade between member states and third countries, and the need to avoid serious economic disturbances in the economies of member states.  


Regulation EC1931/2006 (as amended) could set a broad adaptable precedent to ease the situation of Gibraltar or at the Irish border. It noted that is in the interest of the EU to ensure that the borders with its neighbours are not a barrier to trade, social and cultural interchange or regional cooperation. It laid down rules on local border traffic at the external land borders of the Member States



Non-EU (EFTA) countries like Norway and Switzerland can benefit from common transit and customs control systems








Reassurance from the FT’s Wolfgang Munchau


A sensible Brexit deal is more probable than you think

So what about the ultimate argument — that the EU needs to punish the UK to set a disincentive for others to leave? This is complete piffle. (explains why)

I am really struggling to identify a single insurmountable obstacle to a deal.


Matthew Elliott, Legatum Institute


If Brexit is interpreted as a consequence of British exceptionalism – a jolt from a country that was never as comfortable or suited to EU membership as the rest – why “punish” the UK to set an example to the rest?



Tusk has also said EU leaders won't pursue a punitive approach as "Brexit in itself is already punitive enough".




WTO waiver


Under a little-known WTO clause, the U.K. and Brussels would be allowed a “reasonable length of time” after Brexit to agree a free-trade deal before trade law would force both sides to impose the same tariffs on each other as they do on everybody else


CETA and provisional working



Lord Ashdown




General comment

Ryan Bourne, ex-IEA


Yet May now appears to not have the political capital to carry forward her original agenda. Worse, if no deal is reached at all, her failure to outline and obtain a mandate for rigorous supply-side changes, stripping away EU tariffs and regulations, means that Britain would be left with the downsides of Brexit without realising the gains.


The real looming risk now is a future Corbyn-led government with much more freedom to change regulation, employment law and trade policy in an anti-market direction.


For this reason, the less risky economic path for the short-term would be to try to come to a deal to maintain Single Market membership explicitly for a slightly extended period, with a longer term timetable for a free trade deal.



has some reasoned opinions; covers some areas in more depth than others.



Elmar Brok, a senior MEP in Germany’s ruling centre-right party, said the EU would be open-minded if Britain reneged on its pledge to come out of the single market and the customs union following the election result. “We are open to everything from internal market and customs union to a free trade agreement. It depends on the flexibility of the British government. We want to keep the damage of Brexit low,” he said.



(Not just an influential Parliamentarian and member of Merkel’s party, but also President of the Union of European Federalists)



Pascal Lamy quotes on WTO


Q: What about the role of the World Trade Organization? You were director-general for eight years, you know it very well. Do you think that if the British were forced to fall back on just WTO rules, is that easily done?

A: I think it can be easily done, provided there is a bit of goodwill on all sides. WTO lawyers can be reasonably pragmatic and if we agree that the main thing is that trade should be hampered as little as possible, I think that’s not the most complex problem we’ll have to solve. You just have to know that there is a level of trade openness today, which is the [EU] internal market.


Q: But the short-term issues that will have to be settled will involve some very difficult questions, including money, the budget, how much is paid; including also, presumably, a sense of the jurisprudence – who will, if you like, regulate the disputes of things. Doesn’t that have to be settled quickly?

A: You’re absolutely correct. The budget thing… it’s a question of numbers at the end of the day. Once the principle that the UK has financial obligations it will respect – which should be a normal thing to do – is agreed, numbers can always be adjusted. When a negotiation is about numbers, usually there is a solution.





This page updated: 21 Jun 2017


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