London, United Kingdom. After UK Prime Minister May triggered article 50 to start the clock ticking on the Brexit the people of Britain voted for, now the European Union is starting to worry that when that clock stops, will the UK simply walk away with “no deal” as the final divorce settlement?
This past summer UK PM Theresa May famously told us that “Brexit means Brexit”, and gave no further detail. It was only early in 2017 that the Government unveiled its plans, which included a rather blunt threat that it was ready to walk out without any agreement, should the deal be punitive.
Now many are considering the potential consequences of such a disorderly Brexit, one would reasonably expect that before going in this direction, the government had carried out a thorough consideration of what it might entail.
However, this has not been the case. The Brexit Minister David Davis was eventually forced to admit that the Government has not done its home work before making its position public. In fact, the Government also refused to provide evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, as part of its enquiry into implications of ‘no deal’.
Article 50 gives preference to an orderly withdrawal based on mutual agreement, a view which seems to be shared by the UK and the EU. The agreement does impose a two year negotiation period. By choosing to trigger Article 50 at the end of March the Government shot itself in the foot, since little real progress can happen until the elections in France and Germany are out of the way, so the clock is running.
Although both sides hope that the Brexit agreement can be concluded by the EU within the two year time window. The stakes are high, as without a decision the UK will crash out of the EU on 29 March 2019.
The no deal Brexit is the worst possible scenario, one that should be avoided at all costs. Instead of suggesting options that are not well thought through, the UK should urgently but thoroughly analyze the implications of unilateral Brexit and make them clear to the members of the public. The big question is will they ?