Lord David Owen Interview on UK EU Stalemate after Brexit

Lord David Owen Interview on UK EU Stalemate after Brexit


In a recent interview with Lord David Owen (who is also a former foreign minister of the UK) on the UK EU Stalemate after Brexit, he shared his views and also the possible solution with Subodh Gupta editor Journalism News Network.

Q1) Your views on the current UK/EU stalemate after Brexit.

Ans)  It was always gonna be a difficult negotiation. Article 50 is heavily weighted and deliberately designed by people who are lifelong federalist who never wanted Britain to leave. So article 50 is placed EU negotiator in a dominant position so it is hard for Britain to get their views across.

However, I think there probably will be a negotiated settlement and Britain will leave by end of March 2019 and then there will be a transition period until the end of Dec 2020 and come the year 2021 Britain will be out of the EU more or less completely with probably a trade agreement broadly similar to Canada. Then we will be living in the market of the world rather than the protectionist envelope of the European single market.

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But we will be back as a sovereign nation capable of making our own sovereign nation and no longer having to consult 27 other countries.

In any large group of countries, it is difficult to get a tough and realistic decision and there is a strong wish in Europe led by president Macron of France for a federal Europe. I have never believed in federal Europe and this is one of the reasons that I voted to leave in the referendum as that is the direction Europe seems to be going and good luck to them.

Once you have a currency you have to have a country and it is very difficult to run a successful currency without being a single country. I think that’s the direction they are going in. Good luck to them.

If Germany ready to finance France in any economic difficulty good luck to them but I don’t think Germany is ready to finance Italy so I think eurozone should be tight federal grouping and will be smaller than currently as it is now but that’s for them to decide.

I am still quite happy with the fact that Britain is coming out.

Q2) If no decision reached, do you think hard Brexit will be better than no deal? 

Yes, I don’t want that and I think that’s unlikely.

It was an extraordinary situation that we have a prime minister who won the election in 2015 and promised a referendum in 2016 and stated that he would respect the decision but the result came and it seems that he doesn’t respect the result and he resigned and we find out that the civil servants haven’t prepared any alternative so its an extraordinary example of disgrace by our government.

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Anyhow prime minister Theresa May comes in and she is reluctant remainer. She had a difficult time. Her last speech went well with her party and country and she is adamant that you have to hold in reserve that we would come out as per WTO trading terms by April 2019 and we have been told by the head of our customs union that all the electronic digital computer equipment mechanism to smooth out exit would be in place in time and he has said it twice and that was of concern to me.

I would have still preferred a bit more time for transition.