The British and the EU negotiators are still fighting over the Brexit-Agenda while time is running relentlessly. The third round of negotiations this week did not show any visible progress. The bone of contention seems to be the sequence of the points on the agenda. It goes without saying that the future costs of BREXIT are to be borne by Britain. It is thus unreasonable if the British negotiators wish to talk about the future relationship and trading rules before the terms and conditions of the British exit are not being resolved by and large. The clock is ticking and ticking fast. The technical details of BREXIT must be resolved by October 2018 so that the national parliaments of the European Member States can have a serious debate and vote on the general conditions of a negotiated BREXIT. This legislative/parliamentary process will take between 6 to 12 months in any event. Some Member States will probably look to France and Germany first before taking a decision. The official date of Britain’s exit on 29 March 2019 is already a big challenge for the negotiators even in the best possible course of events. Any Negotiator on either side using delaying tactics adds poison to an already unpalatable soup.
Winston Churchil once being attacked by a woman with the words: “If I was your wife I would poison your tea” replied with the sharpness of an iron sword: “And if I was your husband I would drink it”. I think we need politicians with a sense of humour and a clear vision of Europe’s future. Britain must understand that its vision of Europe is backward looking. ‘Devide and rule’ may have been Churchill’s approach to Continental Europe, when Britain was still hanging on to an ever declining British Empire. Nowadays, it is for the new generation in Britain to focus on what unites us rather than dividing us.
The Head of the German International Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Martin Wansleben, unsurprisingly expressed his serious concern about the lacking progress of negotiations during an interview with Funke-Mediengruppe: “Time is running out. If there is no agreement reached until 29 March 2019 we will see long queues on the British borders. The trade with Great Britain will suffer as a result of such chaos. We really have to be focused now.”
If Winston Churchill then explains to the truck driver on the border control that it was best for Britain to divide and rule the Continent, he would certainly poison his tea whether Churchill was married or not.
Rechtsanwalt and Solicitor (England & Wales)