13 Jun, 2016
© Jon Nazca / Reuters
Divorces are messy, prolonged affairs, and if Brexit occurs it will be no exception.
Surprisingly for such a major issue facing the UK, there is no agreement as to how long it would actually take Britain to leave the bloc.
While some say two-years, others predict negotiations could last more than 10 years. RT looks at the varying predictions over how long a Brexit will take.
Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty says that a member state seeking to leave the EU has two-years to complete negotiations on how it will withdraw and what it’s relationship with the bloc will be like post-Brexit.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) June 12, 2016
In theory, Britain could leave the EU even earlier. That’s if negotiations are wrapped up before the two-year time limit.
An extension on the two-year limit can only be granted with the unanimous backing of all EU member states.
EC President Donald Tusk warned it could take up to seven years for Britain to leave the EU in the event of a Brexit.
Speaking to the German daily newspaper Bild, Tusk said the UK’s relations with the EU would be in limbo during this period.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) June 10, 2016
Although contractual ties could be dissolved in two years, Tusk said that getting every country to approve the agreement could take much longer.
“Every single one of the 27 member states as well as the European parliament would have to approve the overall result. That would take at least five years, and I’m afraid, without any guarantee of success.”
“Every family knows: Divorce is traumatic for all,” he added.
World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevêdo predicts it could take the UK decades to leave the bloc successfully.
Because no country has ever left the EU before, negotiations could drag on for more than 10 years.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) June 9, 2016
The UK would also have to negotiate its place in the WTO, because its current membership status is based on it being in the EU.
He predicts that trade will continue during this period of negotiations, but “on worse terms.”
“It could take quite some time before the UK got back to a similar position that it has today in terms of its trading relationships with other countries. Time will tell where all of this leads,” he told an audience at the World Trade Symposium in London.
The day in Brexit: Anti-EU feeling spreading across Europe, study finds
8 Jun, 2016
© Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP
A Pew Research Center opinion poll of over 10,000 people across Europe found that a growing number of citizens are turning their backs on Brussels.
Support for the bloc is at its lowest in Greece – a country brutalized by years of austerity policies harshly imposed by Brussels. Just 27 percent of Greeks surveyed have a favourable opinion of the EU.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) June 8, 2016
Although one of the founding members of the club, French people are now desperate to leave. Just 38 percent support the bloc. By contrast, UK support stands at 44 percent.
“The British are not the only ones with doubts about the European Union,” concluded Bruce Stokes, chief author of the Washington-based Pew Research Center report published on Tuesday.
Welsh on the fence, Scots afraid to jump
Polling data from YouGov indicates voters in Wales are split down the middle over whether to remain or leave the European Union.
According to a survey conducted last week, Welsh voters are divided 41 percent for Brexit and 41 percent against.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) June 6, 2016
A TNS poll published on Wednesday indicates 51 percent of Scots will vote to remain in the EU on June 23.
Contrary to the mutterings of the Scottish National Party (SNP), most Scots do not support pursuing an independent Scotland in the event of a Brexit. Some 38 percent polled by TNS said they backed independence from Westminster, while 48 percent are pro-UK.
Voter registration deadline extended
Emergency legislation in Parliament extended the voter registration deadline for participation in the EU referendum to 23:59 BST on June 9.
The urgent legislation was tabled after Whitehall’s voter registration website crashed under the weight of user traffic on Tuesday night, two hours short of the original cut-off point.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) June 7, 2016
Leave campaign chief executive Matthew Elliot accused the government of “trying to register as many likely Remain votes as possible.”
“Don’t let the government skew the result of the referendum – make sure you and your friends are all registered today,” he said.
Farage in racism spat with Archbishop
Prominent Leave campaigner and UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been bogged down in a quarrel with the UK’s most senior cleric, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Most Rev Justin Welby accused Farage of giving “legitimisation to racism” for political gain on Tuesday, after the UKIP leader warned women are at risk of sexual assault by migrants if Brits stay in the EU.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) June 5, 2016
Farage shot back on Wednesday, accusing the Archbishop of turning a “blind eye” to recent events in Cologne, in which a group of migrant men allegedly sexually assaulted German women during New Year’s festivities.
However Farage’s outburst prompted a similarly harsh attack from fellow Brexiteer Conservative minister Andrea Leadsom, who described his comments as “outright blatant scaremongering.”
In all, I’ve asked about forty people here in the Scottish Borders what way they are voting in the coming referendum. All, with the exception of one, said they are voting to leave the EU. One person was undecided.