Labour spin doctor, Alastair Campbell Slammed the Prime Minister for Revealing the Article 50 Timing. Others have done the same.
Timing of the article 50 announcement, by March 2017, is ahead of French and German elections. Politicians will have elections, not Brexit on their minds.
Many blame Theresa May because it will take time off the negotiations.
Politically speaking, May knows precisely what she is doing.
Those who think otherwise, need to consider how well she has rounded up support in many quarters by offering something to everyone: UK Prime Minister Attacks QE, Irresponsible Capitalism, Tax-Dodging Companies.
The date was carefully timed, precisely to put pressure on Angela Merkel by German car manufacturers (European car manufacturers and businesses in general), telling Merkel to go easy.
Late last week the Financial Times reported Merkel Warns European Business Not to Press for ‘Comfortable’ UK Trade Deals.
Mrs May’s insistence on new immigration controls and an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice makes it highly unlikely that Britain would seek to stay in the EU’s single market.
British ministers instead now speculate on the possibility of seeking sectoral deals to keep trade flowing, including a special regime for key traded goods such as cars. They also argue that the importance of the UK as a market for EU goods will oblige European governments to offer favourable trade terms.
Ms Merkel urged companies in sectoral talks to resist “pressure from European industry associations” and avoid the temptation to set aside EU principles — especially the freedom of movement — because it was “comfortable” to do so.
The chancellor dropped her usual references to the importance of maintaining close ties with the UK and instead highlighted her main priority — keeping together the EU 27.
She told the annual conference of the BDI, the German industry association: “If we don’t insist that full access to the single market is tied to complete acceptance of the four basic freedoms, then a process will spread across Europe whereby everyone does and is allowed what they want.”
That Merkel felt the need to make such statements shows precisely whet she is up against.
Businesses are going to press for free trade, and they should. Is the loss of jobs worth the alleged “integrity” of the “single market”?
If you have to act like gang leaders to maintain integrity, how much integrity do you really have?
Merkel will not listen of course, but will she be around? Another mess could just do her in. Well done, Theresa May!
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Mike “Mish” Shedlock