Ireland Draws the First Line
Ireland’s PM, Enda Kenny, stated that he won’t sign off on a deal that includes a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland (presumably due to fear of renewed hostilities between those nations.) Regardless, that’s one more hurdle for the Tories to navigate as they prepare for what’s already a seemingly impossible negotiating task. Will any of the 26 other EU countries have similar demands?
— Bloomberg Brexit (@Brexit) March 18, 2017
It took 7 years for the EU to negotiate a deal with Canada. The UK needs to undertake similar negotiations in less than a quarter of the time, while simultaneously crafting agreements with partners outside of the EU. Canada did not
Theresa May is now expected to trigger Article 50 on March 29. The 2 year window to negotiate and ratify a new deal with the EU starts then. The EU negotiating team scuttled their initial plans to meet in early April when May delayed her announcement, so now they’re not getting together to discuss their negotiating strategy until April 29, so one month has been lopped off of the front end of negotiations that are expected to be fraught and nigh impossible. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that this may have extinguished any hope for a deal the UK could be pleased with in the allotted time.