In her letter to EU president Donald Tusk, British prime minister Theresa May sought to leverage Britain’s importance in security issues to get the best deal possible, especially regarding preferential treatment to the single market of the EU.
As much as Britain would like to thrash a good deal in this divorce, the EU cannot afford to grant Britain the wish for a great deal because that would jeopardise the future of the union. Leaving the EU must not be perceived as an alternative option lest others also try to leave. In other words, Britain can’t have its cake and eat it too. They can’t leave the EU and remain unscathed. They can’t leave the EU because they want independence in terms of controlling their borders and expect to cross the borders of other European states without a hustle. They can’t enjoy the benefits of the single market without contributing to payments into the single market.
It’s early days but the 2 year timer app s ticking away and negotiations must be made. Britain needs to put forward competent negotiators who can get the best deal but the EU can’t afford to make the divorce look favourable to Britain.
The best would have been to stay in the EU. I think David Cameron regrets the day he decided to call for a referendum which was poorly worded. 40 years of treaties and amendments subjected to a leave or remain vote. Every treaty should have been subjected to its own vote. People had no clue what leaving the EU really meant. Even now it’s not clear and the next 24 months will open many eyes to the reality of this divorce.
Britain will be apprehensive of the economic impact of the negotiation process and the final outcome. Part of the impact will be short-term turbulence but there are also long-term implications.
The immediate realisation is that Britain can’t have its cake and eat it too!