Will Britain be a Part of EU decision-making until Brexit?
Theresa May has told the other EU leaders that Britain expects to continue participating in EU decision-making until Brexit.
The first post-Brexit PM said that Britain should be included in making decisions that affect all the 28 member states. Sources have denied speculation that the issue was the subject of a dinner row at the EU summit.
Hard Brexit, Hard Talks
Bothe the German Chancellor and French President have issued warning. The two say that if Britain decides to take “hard Brexit,” talks will equally be hard.
Francois Hollande – French President – said that if Mrs May is after hard Brexit, they will offer hard negotiations.
Angela Merkel echoed his words, saying that the hard Brexit road will practically be a tough road.
When she arrived at the summit in Brussels, Mrs. May said that she would continue to work closely with other EU leaders after Brexit.
She insisted on the need for a United European position against Russia’s aggression and the Syrian violence.
While speaking to fellow leaders, Theresa May said that EU “must be ready to take steps to change Russia’s approach and the way it thinks about this if we are ever to bring an end to the violence in Syria.”
Tough Challenges Facing EU Leaders
The European Union leaders have been contending against Russian ambitions in Syria. A faltering trade deal with Canada has equally been distractive. With all these are taking place, the EU leaders never expected Brexit would be among the things to discuss at the summit.
The proceedings of their meeting took quite some time and May patiently waited to offer a Brexit briefing. Sources say that indeed the briefing was brief as she took only 5 minutes. The other leaders did not take it to the floor to respond to the briefing.
UK is Still in EU
But the Britain Prime Minister used the stage to pass across an important message. Yes, Brexit means Brexit but the UK is still part of the EU. For that matter, decisions made should not exclude the United Kingdom. She has finally managed to deliver the message across.
But Manfred Weber, German MEP, was quick to respond elsewhere.
“It’s not really normal that such a member who wants to leave a club like the EU also wants to decide the future of this club. That’s really creating a lot of anger; the behaviour of the British government.”
Trigger Article 50
Theresa May made a promise that she will trigger Article 50 by March 2017. This will launch a two year negotiations on the terms of exit from the European Union. The implication of this is that Brexit is actually to take root by the summer of 2019.
But no one is sure whether that will actually happen. Article 50 was enacted in 2009 and no member state has ever used it. Some experts predict that for Brexit to actually occur, about 6 years will be a necessity.
The focus of the Brussels summit is not on Brexit. The summit aims at discussing migration, trade and relations with Russia.
When Mrs May arrived at the summit, she said that Britain may be leaving the EU but “we will continue to play a full role until we leave and we will be a strong and dependable partner after we have left.”
She continued to say that continued working together will benefit both the UK and the EU.
No Article 50, No Talks
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has insisted that no formal talks with the UK without triggering article 50.
But he also encouraged Mrs. May telling her that a meeting in the European Council is not dangerous as described by the media. He said “Some media described her first meeting in the European Council as entering the lion’s den. It’s not true. It’s more like a nest of doves.”
Can the Referendum be Reversed?
Malta Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, told the media that he looked forward to hear Mrs. May’s Brexit priorities. It was out of his expectations that negotiations would be mentioned at the summit. Malt will take over the next EU presidency.
At the same time, Donald Tusk has expressed interest in the UK reversing the referendum. He said that it would be better if UK referendum but added that is not their choice, so they must respect it. He said that whether the EU decision is reversible or not, it all depended on Britain.
“I would be the happiest one if it reversible but we now we have to start our formal works,” The European Council President said.
The former EU Commissioner to the UK, Lord Hill, said that many member states still hold the view the UK may opt to remain in the EU. But he dispelled this view.
What Brexit means for Businesses
Most of the Stay campaigners majored their arguments around business. They said that with Britain in the EU, moving money, people and products was all easy.
Considering the important financial role played by London, many worry about job losses in the EU after Brexit. Four big U.S. banks are determined to stay and maintain the role that the city plays. But HSBC may want to move jobs elsewhere, let’s say Paris. That is understandable, considering the uncertainty that surrounds the matter.
As the pound fell in value, some UK exporters had to increase orders or inquiries. One such exporter is Rentokil Initial, a pest control firm. It said that this year may see it make an extra £15m due to the weakening currency.
But some firms have remained optimistic. Hilary Jones who heads Lush, a UK cosmetics firm, said that their firm was “terrified” by the economic implications. She said that their Dorset factory will continue to manufacture goods for the UK market. However, the firm may use its Germany plant to manufacture goods for the European market.
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