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Will Angela make deals with Theresa before Article 50 is invoked?

(37 Posts)
Modalverb1 Thu 14-Jul-16 09:21:45

Because TM said she won't trigger the bloody thing until we've got a good deal (paraphrasing!) but Angela has said she won't discuss anything and won't let her mates do either before A50.


lalalonglegs Thu 14-Jul-16 09:26:34

It's a Mexican stand-off. We'd be crazy to trigger Article 50 early and I think it's perfectly sensible to buy some time. The referendum was only three weeks ago and so much has happened since then TM probably wants to catch her breath. There could be legal challenges, another GE, who knows. I hope that it Article 50 is never invoked though, certainly not until we have sewn up some amazing trade deals with countries outside the EU.

smallfox2002 Thu 14-Jul-16 09:27:34


Merkel said that she wouldn't make a fuss about stalling for a short amount of time, and there's a possibility that there might be some informal negotiation, but there will be no "deal" till we invoke article 50, at which point we are a negotiating party, and not privy to internal EU talks.

Essentially, the EU won't let us enter negotiations whilst we still have full membership rights because its unfair. But once again it wouldn't suprise me if people thought we should still have full veto rights whilst we negotiate because "we're special."

Chalalala Thu 14-Jul-16 09:33:09

sounds like the EU is happy to have informal negotiations about the rights of British/EU citizens before the UK triggers A50.

I strongly suspect that behind closed doors, British negotiators may be able to get a sense for the general direction the wind is blowing - very roughly how Germany, France and few other big players see this playing out.

An actual specific deal? No way in hell.

The British strategy seems to use the summer to decide on the "goals" they will try to negotiate for, so they arrive at the table with clear objectives and clear ideas of what they're ready to give up in exchange. Then trigger A50, start the real negotiations, and see how close to their objectives they can get.

Modalverb1 Thu 14-Jul-16 10:32:40

Thanks for replies. Is there any chance they have informal talks to determine if we get EEA or WTO deal and then debate in Parliament or God forbid have another referendum once we know how grim things might be?

smallfox2002 Thu 14-Jul-16 10:36:09

There won't be another referendum unless a party that promises one is elected prior to leaving the EU.

The WTO deals? Well we'd have to get out of the EU first and then start from scratch at then WTO. The problems with this is that you have to offer every country the deal, all 160 of them, or strike independent deals with different groups. We simply not have the negotiators to do this "quickly".

Chalalala Thu 14-Jul-16 12:00:13

Is there any chance they have informal talks to determine if we get EEA or WTO deal and then debate in Parliament or God forbid have another referendum once we know how grim things might be?

No, because it's pretty clear that the actual outcome will be somewhere between these two extremes, with the specific and very complicated details depending on fierce negotiations. Which can only happen after Article 50 is triggered.

Should the UK want to put the result of the official negotiations to a referendum, that may be just about possible technically, some lawyers have been arguing that A50 could possibly be withdrawn after having been triggered.

Pangurban1 Thu 14-Jul-16 12:54:58

Thought you meant Angela Eagle for a minute and was wondering what you know that others don't yet.

Don't know about deals. Exploratory talks maybe? They would have to be held in secret so nobody would ever know.

Or May could send in the 3 amigos, Davis, Johnson and Fox. It is their gig. On reflection, I think May was inspired. Any issues and the very horses' mouths can't blame anyone else. It bombproofs her as well.

lljkk Thu 14-Jul-16 13:24:41

There's always behind the scenes talks. The final summit when something is agreed and signed, is preceded by months of negotiations.
Merkel won't overstep her powers; she isn't "the EU", she won't make decisions unilaterally. Merkel will follow formal procedures to the letter for any binding agreements -- between EU & UK, not between DE & UK.

VeryPunny Thu 14-Jul-16 13:31:03

I dont think she will, but you can bet your bottom dollar that there is frantic work behind the scenes to sort out deals with China, India, Brazil etc to be signed the minute we leave the EU....

Pangurban1 Thu 14-Jul-16 13:55:46

I think the UK is likely to be evaluated differently depending on what the status with EU/EEA/EFTA will look like and what else it can bring to the table. Would there be strands of negotiations based on these different scenarios? That is a lot of negotiations. I wonder if a finalised one would be ready in event of Brexit and knowing what the final agreement would be.

smallfox2002 Thu 14-Jul-16 13:58:33


I think you'll find that Trade deals are a lot more complex than that and due to our lack of negotiators we will probably have to sort these deals after we leave the EU.

For example consider the Swiss/China deal, it gives China access to Swiss markets immidiately but has a large delay for how soon Swiss firms are allowed to enter the Chinese market. India is notoriously protectionist and any deal struck with them is likely to take a while.

Trade deals are extremely complex and securing the best EU one will be top priority, there will be no sorting deals to kick in as soon as we leave the EU.

reup Thu 14-Jul-16 19:36:13

I thought this article was interesting (and depressing) - I hadn't realised they can't start technically start trade negotiations in that 2 years after article,50 is triggered.

thecatfromjapan Thu 14-Jul-16 19:41:11

I read that today, reup, and it cast me into complete gloom again. I can't help but feel that the economy is going to take a generation to recover from this.

GloriaGaynor Thu 14-Jul-16 20:04:55

Phillip Hammond has said today we're leaving the single market. So I guess we're looking at a Switzerland type deal with restricted single market access. How that is going to square with limits on FOM I've no idea. Switzerland has been sanctioned for trying to limit theirs.

GloriaGaynor Thu 14-Jul-16 20:09:43

I think we're looking at 10-20 years to recover. And in all honesty I think we will ultimately go back to the EU in a far worse position than we started.

But, sometimes countries choose to commit suicide, it happened to Germany in the 30s. It's just that we've never really gone that wrong before and I guess people thought it couldn't happen here.

lljkk Thu 14-Jul-16 20:20:19

I hadn't realised they can't start technically start trade negotiations in that 2 years after article,50 is triggered.

I read that often before the referendum, in multiple sources by multiple authors. Fat lot of good knowing that beforehand. Meanwhile Leave campaign were promising trips to the moon pulled by rainbow unicorns. The suspended / interim solution only implemented following election in 2020 is an interesting twist, though.

thecatfromjapan Thu 14-Jul-16 20:42:42

Yes, lijkk. And it is still, unbelievably, going on. I am still reading threads where jubilant Leavers seem completely unaware of what this, actually, means.

I find the continued level of ignorance really disturbing.

Gloria The Uk does seem to be in the grip of some sort of madness. A kind of mass political delusion. It really does seem like a mass will to commit some sort of social-political-economic suicide and a leap into extremism and irrationality.

thecatfromjapan Thu 14-Jul-16 20:44:19

The article reup has linked to really is very good, if depressing.

FreeButtonBee Thu 14-Jul-16 21:28:47

I joked about becoming a trade negotiator before the result. Fuck me, I may actually do it (am a lawyer in the city so not a millions miles off what might be needed in skill set!) someone has to do it and it's a once in a life time job opportunity. DH is googling it for me now 😄🙄

reup Thu 14-Jul-16 21:33:32

I thought about being a trade negotiator too - dealing with children' s squabbles would surely provide a good grounding?They'll need so many of them there should be free training. There was one fantastic quote from a leave politician saying it ok we can easily get skilled people from abroad to do it.

GloriaGaynor Thu 14-Jul-16 21:43:16

Nick Clegg's wife was a trade negotiator, good article by her here

FreeButtonBee Thu 14-Jul-16 21:43:42

Ha ha ha! Reup. That is amazing! Says it all really.

Modalverb1 Fri 15-Jul-16 17:00:39

Gloria - it's behind the pay wall - please could you cut & paste?

GloriaGaynor Fri 15-Jul-16 17:18:02

Britain lacks the skills to go solo on trade deals

Hiring 475 new overseas negotiators will take more than good luck, writes Miriam González Durántez

The Brexit camp claims breezily that a Britain “unshackled” from Brussels will have no trouble maintaining access to the intricate network of trade agreements to which, as an EU member state, it is now party. As one of the very few people living in this country who has been an international trade negotiator, I disagree. Since Whitehall presently lacks the necessary know-how, renegotiating those deals any time soon after a Leave vote will be nigh impossible.

Because the European Commission has taken the lead in trade negotiations since the 1970s, the UK simply does not have people with the right technical knowledge. When I was a negotiator at the commission in the late 1990s, handling everything from telecoms to transport, officials from the UK and other member states would sit behind commission negotiators as deals were thrashed out. They were known back then as the “mother-in-law committee”, able to comment but not themselves negotiating — allowing negotiators to speak with the clout of the world’s largest trading bloc and member states to know exactly what is going on.

The outcome is that the UK benefits from 80 or so EU trade bilateral and regional agreements, either already in force or being formalised. Negotiations are under way, too, with more than 15 countries, from the US to Brazil and Japan. The agreements provide EU companies with access to these countries’ markets on more favourable terms than those secured by World Trade Organisation membership. They cover myriad provisions, from origin denominations to phytosanitary rule — all carefully crafted to ensure UK companies face as few obstacles as possible.

It is a long process: given that trade agreements have grown increasingly sophisticated, concluding negotiations in five years is a real achievement. Typically about 20 commission negotiators backed by 25-40 technical experts are involved. That may sound a lot but EU negotiators are known for their quality and manage with fewer people than most nations or trading blocs.

If the UK leaves the EU, the government will need to renegotiate these agreements for itself. Non-EU countries have given UK companies access to their markets in exchange for their companies having access to the 500m customers in the EU. Since the UK market on offer after a Brexit will be only 67m consumers, it is only natural that those nations will want to renegotiate; Brexit would represent a breach of contract.

In addition, the government will need to play catch-up on the negotiations under way between the EU and countries such as the US, India or Brazil. Even if all those countries agree to start from the basis of the current texts rather than from scratch, the UK will need about 500 negotiators working intensely for a decade at least.

The only UK officials with the skills to negotiate trade deals at present are with the commission itself. Even if we repatriated them all, we would struggle to put together a team of more than 25 people with the practical experience needed. Hiring (and then co-ordinating) 475 negotiators of other nationalities will require more than good luck.

The UK would also need politicians who understand how trade talks work so that sticking points can be resolved at a higher level when needed. As far as I know, no member of the government has led any international trade negotiations. The fact that Michael Gove, the justice secretary, widely considered one of the brightest of the Brexit camp, thinks the relationship between the EU and the UK can mirror the one between the EU and Albania demonstrates the enormity of the challenge.

Business people are often shocked to hear all this would be needed, not to im­prove market access conditions for UK companies, but simply to keep things as they are. No wonder they find it hard to understand why the government is exposing the country to such risk.

The writer is a partner, and co-chair of the international trade and government regulation practice, at Dechert, a law firm.

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