EU negotiations: 2yrs is a long time in politics

The UK’s withdrawal negotiations do not have to last 2yrs. That timeframe is a maximum limit, not a minimum target, for when the UK must leave the EU institutions after enacting Article 50. Moreover, the new Government has strong incentives – a need to demonstrate a referendum dividend at home and the alternatives to EU membership abroad – to strike trade deals with non-EU countries as soon as possible. Until we officially leave the EU (which we have not done yet), those trade deals are not possible, as we are bound by EU rules until the very day we walk out. Far from a long drawn out process, EU talks could be much speedier than people think.

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