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Brexit Day

Gareth Bevan 29 March 2017 No comments

So Brexit Day is finally here.  Today at 1.20 p.m. Sir Tim Barrow hand-delivered the Article 50 letter to European Council President Donald Tusk signalling the official start to the Brexit negotiation process.

UK negotiating position

The Article 50 letter sets out seven negotiating principles:

  • We should engage with one another constructively and respectfully, in a spirit of sincere cooperation
  • We should always put our citizens first
  • We should work towards securing a comprehensive agreement
  • We should work together to minimise disruption and give as much certainty as possible.
  • We must pay attention to the UK’s unique relationship with the Republic of Ireland and the importance of the peace process in Northern Ireland
  • We should begin technical talks on detailed policy areas as soon as possible, but we should prioritise the biggest challenges
  • We should continue to work together to advance and protect our shared European values

EU negotiating position

Donald Tusk is expected to circulate a draft of the EU’s negotiating guidelines to the 27 other EU Member States within 48 hours.

Only time will tell how smooth or confrontational the negotiating process will be.  As we enter into the unknown, quotes from some of the key players indicate it’s likely to be a bumpy ride!

Brexit quotes

“Brexit means Brexit.”   Prime Minister, Theresa May

“We will ensure the cherry-picking principle won’t apply in the negotiations.”   German Chancellor,  Angela Merkel

“The most complicated negotiation of all time.”   Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union,  David Davis

“Keep calm and negotiate. The work will be legally complex, politically sensitive and will have important consequences for our economies and first for our people on both sides of the Channel.”   European Commission negotiator,  Michel Barnier

“The government is a pro-business government, strongly supportive of open markets, free markets, open economies, free trade.”   Chancellor of the Exchequer,  Philip Hammond

“There’s a lot of frustration among the EU Leaders, because what you sometimes hear from London is completely unrealistic.”   Czech negotiator,  Tomas Prouza

“The other side of this argument may well get quite vicious after a while, because there are those around the European table who take a very poor view of the fact that Britain decided to leave.”   Irish Premier,  Enda Kenny

“Every year we drink 300 million litres of Prosecco.  No one wants to see UK tariffs on Prosecco.  We are the biggest drinkers of Italian wine in Europe.”   Foreign Secretary,  Boris Johnson

“I said, “OK you’ll sell less fish and chips, but I’ll sell less Prosecco to one country and you’ll sell less to 27 countries””   Italian Minister,  Carlo Calenda

“There can be no turning back.”   Prime Minister,  Theresa May

“We want to remain committed partners and allies to our friends across the continent.”   Prime Minister,  Theresa May