An article from think-tank, the Centre for European Reform, claimed, last week, that British overconfidence regarding Brexit is unjustified and will end in humiliation.
The centre’s deputy director, Simon Tilford, concluded that after Brexit, “Britain will be alienated from its closest allies – the rest of the EU – and have little international influence. Reality will eventually kick in and that reality will be that Britain needs to rejoin the EU.”
Several media reports quote him as saying, “The single market put us in the Champions League of trading agreements. A free trade agreement is like League One. We are relegating ourselves […] My prediction is it may take another generation but at some point we will want to be back in the EU.”
The news is coming thick and fast, this week, as politicians in London and Brussels start their posturing and set out starting positions for negotiating Brexit.
The UK’s PM, Theresa May, said, yesterday, she will be a “bloody difficult woman” in Brexit talks and chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, said, today, it will be “painful”. Not to mention all the gossip about “that dinner”.
Press coverage has been predictably varied, but we recommend you read the full announcement on the EU’s website. It’s only 3 pages of A4 long, and written in clear, well summarised English.
This is an important piece of the Brexit puzzle, and hearing the EU’s approach from the “horse’s mouth” may give a fairer overview than many of the media reports, in our opinion.
There’s talk of agreeing a framework for future talks about the UK’s relationship with the EU post-Brexit, but – not surprisingly -there’s no mention of if or how we could rejoin later.