Nearly 3 months after the EU referendum the UK position is still largely a blank page with the heading Brexit:
We have a new PM and with that we got a cabinet with 3 pro-Brexit members in charge of arranging Brexit. We know the PM says Brexit means Brexit and it will be 2017 before Article 50 declaring intent to leave is issued by the UK.
The EU says there will be no negotiations by them or member states until Article 50 is issued. The 4 freedoms are key principles and cannot be cherry picked.
Some recent announcements are a bit of a step back. There will be no Australian Points System as it is said to be too complex and generally used to increase rather than control immigration. This week David Davis said our negotiating position will be reported after the event to guard our position. Watch out for leaks. Also the £355m a week to the NHS is being dropped.
In reality nothing is carved in stone but beyond the above the rest is more speculative with different opinions being expressed on what Brexit means, not least differences between the 3 Brexiteers in the cabinet.
What exactly is Brexit? Is it hard or is it soft. David Davis is saying these will be the most complex negotiations ever undertaken. Some such as Ian Duncan Smith would likely take a simpler route with less agreement and a harder exit.
Who will get the £355m a week windfall? The NHS funding statement is said to be dropped and farmers will be looking for their share as will countless others.
In the EU we’ll get different priorities from different countries. Outside the EU we’ll get those who want a strong Europe with the UK inside and some who want a weak Europe. Some who are just keen on Europe being one group to deal with. Trade deals, inward investment will be influenced by these positions. There will be attempts to gain special terms for parts of the Union. The government hasn’t got a big majority can it carry the day.
The biggest unknown is whether it’s all a mistake. Will it happen, could it just fade away?
It is likely that things will begin to fall into place in 2017 and for most people it will not have a big effect on their lives. Although there are always some who will be effected a lot, some positively it must be said. Whether the 3 Brexiteers in the Cabinet are up to the job of ‘taking back control’ will start to become clear. There will be errors and there will be noise but it is likely we’ll leave the EU in 2019. Just in time for the next General Election.