On March 23rd, 2017, Thaima Samman moderated a breakfast conversation on Brexit with Robert Madelin, Fipra International’s Chief Strategist and former Director General of DG SANCO (Health) and DG CONNECT (Technology) at the European Commission, organized by the European American Chamber of Commerce.
Robert Madelin shared his views on the Brexit stakes and the negotiation process that will formally begin with the imminent trigger of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (N.B: which took place on March 29th after British Prime Minister May signed the letter informing the European Council of Britain's intention to leave the EU).
According to him, this negotiation is unique, because unprecedented. So, in order to fully understand Brexit, both the political will, reflected by the tone used by each party, and the legal and technical obligations, should be taken into account.
In London, Brexit is rather perceived as a smooth transition towards a future friendly cooperation and a deep, broad and ambitious free trade agreement, but the question of the departure’s cost creates important divisions. The remaining 27 Member States wish both to maintain the trade benefits and to avoid the deterioration of the founding principles of the European Union.
For Robert Madelin, it should be possible to negotiate both the United Kingdom exit and the country’s future relationship with the European Union at the same time, however the two-year deadline set by Article 50, once triggered, compromises this simultaneity. This period can be extended but it requires the unanimous agreement of the Member States. A transition period with more negotiations is therefore foreseen, during which the future of the EU-UK relations will be decided.
Read more about our analysis on the Brexit’s implications in the “Resources” section of our website.