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UK: Political forces are currently configured - BBH

Analysts at BBH suggest that in UK, the political forces are currently configured for Brexit proceedings.  

Key Quotes

“If the UK is out of the single market, a customs border is needed.  The EC and Ireland say it cannot be between Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The Conservative government enjoys a majority at the will of the Democrat Unionist Party (DUP) from Northern Ireland, which insists that the customs border is not between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.  Therein lies the rub.  The irony is that if another election is forced, a Labour Government that could result would be less sympathetic to the interests of the DUP.”  

“It is a soft deadline in the sense that the ultimate decision about whether to proceed to the next stage of talks will be made at the heads of state summit in the middle of the month.  It ought not to press the patience of EU President Tusk, who makes a recommendation to the summit.  There seems to be a sense of frustration among the EU negotiators that the UK is still not demonstrating the sense of urgency that may be required.”  

“This first phase of negotiations should have been wrapped up by now.  The previous deadline was missed.  The kind of trade agreement that is hoped to emerge from the second phase often takes years to negotiate.  The UK has a hard deadline, the end of March 2019.  It is still going to require herculean efforts to make that deadline, and a potential UK election also could slow negotiations.”

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