The UK’s ambassador to the European Union (EU) has reportedly warned the government it could take ten years to negotiate a UK-EU post-Brexit trade deal
Sir Ivan Rodgers, the UK’s Permanent Representative to EU, has informed ministers that the trade deal could end up failing as other EU members’ parliaments have the ability to reject the proposal.
Prime Minister, Theresa May, had stated she wanted Brexit to be a ‘smooth and orderly’ process, but had no comment when asked about the ambassador’s advice today.
Instead, she explained what her aims were for the EU summit: “We must also do all we can to ensure a ceasefire is secured so the United Nations can help bring to safety the innocent people of Aleppo.
“Finally, I welcome the fact that the other leaders will be meeting to discuss Brexit tonight.
“As we are going to invoke article 50, trigger the negotiations by the end of March next year, it’s right that the other leaders prepare for those negotiations as we have been preparing.
We will be leaving the EU, we want that to be as smooth and orderly a process as possible
The warning given by ambassador Ivan Rodgers opposes the view of many ministers who believe that a Brexit trade deal can be sorted within two years of triggering article 50; the formal beginning of the Brexit process.
The Prime Minister will be absent from an upcoming meeting involving the EU’s 27 other leaders as they negotiate how they will handle talks involving the UK leaving the EU.
The Foreign Affairs Select Committee were critical in their analysis of the Brexit process, as they warned the Government was: “In danger of being grossly negligent’ by not organising what would happen if talks with the EU were to break down.