The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier has suggested that the European Union has as much to lose as Britain does if there is no Brexit deal reached between the parties. Certain individuals in the UK have threatened that should the offered deal not meet certain criteria then it will not be accepted, meaning after 2 years the UK will leave with no agreement in place. Whilst this may be little more than a deterrent to the European Union, it could become a real prospect.
Mr Barnier, who is considered one of the toughest negotiators out there has recently given of fairly promising comments from a UK perspective. He recognises that the UK wants a free trade deal but is all too aware that the EU nations expect free movement in return. EU nations will meet in the next few weeks to discuss the terms of the Brexit negotiations and this could provide an initial offering of the tone the discussions may take.
Theresa May was also warned by Mr Barnier that a trade agreement will only be achievable if she created a certain business standard. There was previous talk of a race to the bottom and that the UK may cut tax in order to attract business investment. However, it’s been made very clear to the UK that this would not be considered acceptable and a deal wouldn’t be agreed under these circumstances.
An orderly UK withdrawal has to be agreed before any trade deals are struck
– Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator
Article 50 will be triggered on Wednesday and it’s likely that Theresa May will deliver some form of speech suggesting exactly what the UK wants to achieve. Once the UK’s request to leave has been sent then negotiations will be able to begin, there isn’t an expectation that talks will start before the end of April but once they do there is likely to be a constant stream of news.