Brexit: Anand Menon says ‘egregious mistakes made early on’
Director of UK in a Changing Europe, Professor Anand Menon, argued the UK initially made “egregious mistakes” in the Brexit talks. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Professor Menon argued Theresa May calling Article 50 without a clear plan made things more difficult for Boris Johnson. He added leaving the EU was always going to be difficult due to the longstanding relationship that was built.
Professor Menon said: “I think the most egregious mistakes of these negotiations were made early on.
“If Boris Johnson wants a minimal trade deal with the European Union he is going to get one, so in that sense, he has got what he wanted.
“I think triggering Article 50 without a clear plan as to what the country wanted was a big mistake.
“There is also no escaping from the fact that if you are part of something like the European Union for 40 years, leaving is going to be difficult and messy however well you handle negotiations.
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“This is because it is incredibly complicated as you are asking companies to change their ways of operating in very profound ways.
“There is no way of making that easy.”
After a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, Boris Johnson announced both sides would continue to talk up until Sunday.
Following a phone call with her on Sunday, Mr Johnson announced that more time was now going to be set aside to continue Brexit talks in hopes of agreeing on a trade deal.
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The Prime Minister said the UK would not be walking away yet despite the two sides being very far apart on key issues.
He told Sky News: “When we went out to Brussels on Wednesday, the hope was that we going to be able to finish things off today if there was a deal to be done.
“As things stand, I’m afraid we’re still very far apart on some key things.
“But where there’s light, there’s hope. We’re going to keep on talking to see what we can do.
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“The UK certainly won’t be walking away from the talks. I think people can expect us to go the extra mile.
“The Commission are very determined to keep the negotiations on the way that we’ve been done.
“I’ve got to repeat that the most likely thing now is of course that we have to get ready for WTO terms.
“Don’t forget everybody, we’ve made huge preparations for this. We’ve now been at this for four and a half years.”
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