May

Application for withdrawal from the EU: hard Brexit now looming

The countdown has started: two years’ time to sort out Brexit. Today the British government submits its official application to exit the European Union. This starts the two-year period in which the formalities of the exit can be settled.   The starting situation is very difficult: none of those involved has any experience with the procedure, after all the exit of a member state is an inglorious première. And the lack of routine handling such negotiations creates a strong inclination to make maximal demands. The British government is entering the negotiations with a very hard stance and is aiming to wring as many concessions as possible out of the EU. I regard these negotiating tactics as very daring. After all, Great Britain clearly has more to lose than the EU. In addition, a very large number of existing agreements within the EU have to be discussed individually. So the two-year…