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miércoles, 19 de octubre de 2016
Britain may end up with the most 'extreme' version of Brexit because there may not be enough time to negotiate with Brussels, say ministers
Britain may end up with the most "extreme" version of Brexit because there may not be enough time to negotiate a good deal with Brussels, ministers have privately said.
Senior ministers believe negotiations after Theresa May triggers Article 50 – which begins the formal process of leaving the EU - may not be completed by 2019 because they are "very complicated and this has never been tried".
If this is Mrs May’s position, then we can only focus on doing this break quickly and cleanly. There will be a Brexit agreement and nothing elseSenior EU diplomat
Under EU rules, if negotiations are not completed two years after Article 50 is triggered, Britain would simply crash out of the bloc and adopt World Trade Organisation rules, meaning that tariffs have to be imposed on trade between the UK and the EU.
Why great leaders are great. Personality…AXA Research Fund
This would be seen as the "hardest" possible Brexit, with no access to the single market.
However, some senior ministers believe this is actually the best-possible solution for Britain because it will allow the UK to be "totally in control of its destiny".
Many Conservatives are pushing Mrs May to adopt a "soft" Brexit, allowing the UK to maintain links to Brussels.
Tusk: 'the only real alternative to a hard Brexit, is no Brexit'Play!00:45
A senior ministerial source said: “The Prime Minister has said she will trigger Article 50 by March next year. But it is possible that two years won’t be long enough to get this done. We hope it will be. But these negotiations are very complicated and this has never been tried.
“If it doesn’t succeed, we go back to WTO rules. This is seen by some people as some kind of disaster but that is not the case. Britain could succeed if that happens.”
The feeling among the Europeans seems to be ‘let’s not bother engaging with these people until they are feeling the pain a bit more. Just let the pressure buildWhitehall source
Mrs May’s Government will next year begin intensive negotiations with Brussels as soon as Article 50 is triggered.
European leaders have suggested that they will use the negotiations to “punish” Britain for its decision to leave the EU, potentially causing huge delays to the process.
There are also growing signs that Europe has “given up” hope of concluding a mixed trade deal with Britain and will instead concentrate on completing a rapid divorce with the UK.
Senior EU diplomatic sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that Mrs May’s Tory conference speech was widely seen as slamming the door on the UK staying inside the EU single market.
“The speech was very clear. Mrs May excluded the UK from jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which is necessary for any kind Free Trade Agreement,” said a senior EU diplomat with knowledge of Europe’s negotiating position.
Theresa May: 'no unnecessary delays in invoking Article 50'Play!01:35
“If this is Mrs May’s position, then we can only focus on doing this break quickly and cleanly. There will be a Brexit agreement and nothing else.”
That hard-nosed stance is designed to challenge British demands that Europe negotiate an EU-exit agreement and a new EU-UK trade agreement simultaneously.
“After the Amber Rudd foreign workers debacle, the Europeans have basically concluded that no deal is possible,” a senior Whitehall source involved in preparations for UK invoking Article 50 next year told The Sunday Telegraph.
Mrs May’s speech laying out the broad parameters of Brexit delighted her audience in Birmingham but was seen in Europe to be have revived the most anti-EU aspects of the referendum campaign with its hostile lines on immigration and foreign workers.
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said that a recent tour of EU capitals had confirmed rising a sense of hostility to the UK after the speech.
“What it has done is eliminate any residual good will,” he said. “Britain took a big hit in Europe on June 24, and it took another big hit on Tory Party conference. If you want a half-decent deal you need to nice to people and the government is doing a bad job of that at moment.”
Theresa May's key quotes on BrexitPlay!01:56
Privately, senior officials in the Department of International Trade accept that Britain will have to accept some form of bespoke “supranational body” to regulate services trade between the UK and Europe, even if it is not the ECJ.
Mrs May will meet in the side-lines of the European Council on Thursday and Friday this week with Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, who recently vowed that Europe must be “intransigent” with Britain.
British officials sense that many in Europe are privately watching and waiting for Britain to feel the economic consequences of Brexit - prefigured by the falling pound in recent weeks – leaving them little incentive to deal with the UK.
“The feeling among the Europeans seems to be ‘let’s not bother engaging with these people until they are feeling the pain a bit more. Just let the pressure build,” said a Whitehall source.
“They think ‘they’ve walked into that trap, exactly as we wanted, and we’ll talk seriously at the end of 2017 when the Fox, Davis and co have come to their senses.”