Don’t Trigger Article 50 Until the Deal is Clear


Nigel Farage is getting very worried about back sliding by government Leavers, it is fair to say the ‘Kippers having achieved their raison d’être are now looking for reasons to be angry and suspicious. They have plenty to be suspicious about. Pulling the Article 50 trigger quickly should not be one of them….

The idea that Article 50 should be triggered immediately was always nonsense. There is no legal imperative to trigger it immediately and it would be politically unwise to do so until there is an established negotiating position. UK negotiators should seek to sound out EU governments – after they have calmed down – before triggering Article 50. Juncker and some states or even the EU as a whole might not countenance an informal negotiation. There is of course no obligation for the rest of the EU to begin negotiations on leaving until Article 50 has been triggered. The ticking clock is designed to give the EU an upper hand in the negotiations, the UK would be wise to only pull the trigger when the target is clear.

This is a poker game where the UK holds strong cards, Juncker can rant as much as he likes, he has few trump cards to play. Obviously it will be better for all to negotiate a rational, mutually beneficial Brexit deal.

If this is not enough to allay Nigel’s concerns, consider this, Juncker will be furiously impotent that he can’t kick the UK out of the EU, Michael Gove* could become Aberdeen’s version of Thatcher, saying “non, nein, no” to every EU initiative until the EU gives the UK what it wants. The UK can bring the EU to a halt, vetoing everything. No rush. 

* or David Davis.

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