There is no guarantee that the EU27 and the Commission will accept her ideas. And there may be no deal at all. In which case the question lingers: are we ready?
Instead of chasing targets for their own sake, we will be free to explore new opportunities for energy supply, jobs and environmental improvements.
By reminding us that the EU status quo isn’t on the table, Juncker has done us a favour. Now May must set out her own stall.
His State of the European Union address demonstrates the status quo was never on offer in the referendum.
It was the former Prime Minister himself who presided over the drawing up of the Article 50 process from which there is no known means of resiling.
The famous photo of the EU’s negotiator sitting with a pile of papers was misinterpreted. Those were the order that limit his scope.
Since the UK has become a full member of Junker’s military plans, this plunges into doubt whether Brexit does indeed mean Brexit.
We will all have to wait until after the autumn’s federal election in Germany until the negotiating positions of the two sides start to firm up.
“A source from the European Commission confirmed that, legally speaking, the UK would have to leave…as part of Brexit.”
For both sides, this is a new kind of deal-making. Although Britain is still a member, this is not an internal negotiation in which the UK can be outgunned and outvoted:
Unless either the UK or the EU want a trade war, its most likely consequence would be making use of a mass of small deals to achieve sizeable gains.
If she tries to work through populist edicts and diktats, she will fail. And if the Right argues that a few tax cuts for the richest will solve our problems, this will be no better.
The more he leaks, the slower May will be to put anything on the table. And the slower she is to do so, the slower the negotiation will proceed – from which everyone loses.
Tusk’s statement last week responding to Article 50 struck the right tone. It was measured, matter of fact and avoided confrontation.
The EU’s draft document suggests broad agreement on most of what we want. And the three bones of contention are surmountable.