WHILST there is a summit of EU leaders taking place in Brussels on December 15, there will be one obvious absentee from a discussion on Brexit and that will be British Prime Minister Theresa May.
It is assumed that it would be unacceptable for her to be party to the nefarious plans of the other 27 members although they of course won’t come to any decision until such time as Britain formally confirms its decision to leave the Union.
The imaginatively named Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis has indicated that he expects a smooth exit, even though he hasn’t quite agreed any strategy with his cabinet colleagues and didn’t expect to be able to reveal plans in detail before February 2017 at the earliest.
This admittance that the government really doesn’t know how to proceed but is confident of success overlooks the fact that it is one against 27 and each of the 27 may well expect to have its own national criteria as well as a Federal criteria when negotiating.
Such a view appears to be backed up by the British Ambassador to the European Union Sir Ivan Rogers who according to the BBC has warned the government that the feedback he is getting from representatives of the other EU members is that it could take up to 10 years to negotiate the deal and it could then be vetoed by one or more members.
The EU continues to make it clear that it will not enter into any advance negotiations unless and until Britain invokes Article 50 but in the meantime will be appointing a leader for the negotiating team shortly.
At the moment, despite optimism on the part of those who wanted to see Britain leave the Union, there seems to be more negative than positive news but once the government reveals its final policy then perhaps the future will appear more certain.
One body that has moved both speedily and without any need to negotiate are the lexicographers of the Oxford English Dictionary who have now embraced and defined the word Brexit for their latest edition describing it as “the (proposed) withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the political process associated with it. Sometimes used specifically with reference to the referendum held in the UK on June 23, 2016, in which a majority of voters favoured withdrawal from the EU.”