Brexit clarity (in three bullet points)
Dear esteemed clients, please ignore the news media on all Brexit opinion. Like the rest of the population, they are as riven on the issue as those of us gathered round the watercooler or sitting in the pub. Depending on how they voted personally, they either hold every piece of anti-British spin from Brussels as the gospel truth or believe that the UK’s ‘cake’ is going to be even more tasty in April 2019.
In truth, there are only three things to remember:
- It’s a negotiation, with posturing on both sides, but where the EU needs to frighten the Italian electorate (due a General Election before May next year) and the wider EU voter into not voting for an anti-EU political party ever again.
- No serious negotiations can take place before Angela Merkel is re-elected on 24 September. Only then will there be a possibility of some actual movement in the talks.
- Like all EU negotiations, possible deals only occur in the small hours, five minutes after the deadline, at a meeting of the EU’s heads of government (the European Council) after the so-called ‘bilaterals’ – side meetings between individual PMs where deals are actually struck.
So the next key moment to read any Brexit news will be on the morning of 21 October, where we’ll see the next big movement in Brexit events, or not. Until then, turn to the sports pages.