European countries could block the UK’s attempts to get a favourable post-Brexit trade deal, the former president of the European Parliament has warned.
Pat Cox said some countries could dissent and refuse to ratify a deal, meaning the UK is unable to secure the approval it needs for an agreement. The Irish politician, who was president of the European Parliament 2002-2004, made the comments in a speech at the Cork Chamber’s annual dinner in Dublin, The Times reports.
He said: “[The Lisbon Treaty] will require European Council unanimity, European parliament assent and ratification by every parliament of the union or any regional parliament, such as Wallonia on the trade deal with Canada.
“Can you imagine just one MP with influence in one parliament on only one issue… who has a red line and could you imagine negotiating those red lines? And if [the UK] leaves the customs union they will need to join the World Trade Organisation, which needs the consensus of its 163 members to proceed.”
Mr Cox added: “Go figure who could delay things if they want to. This will be a hard and long road whether it is a hard or soft Brexit.”
The politician also warned “savage” elements of the Leave campaign will mean Theresa May is forced to create a Hard Brexit and criticised a growing climate of fear following attacks on High Court judges who ruled against The Prime Minister’s plans to trigger Article 50.
He said: “The judges [who made] the judgement have been instrumentalised to pass a message that anyone who puts their head above the parapet, who offends the keepers of the faith of Brexit will be taken on, taken down and taken out.
“From whence derives my conclusion that the politics of Brexit will be harder and not softer because the guardians of Brexit will be savage and eviscerate anyone who chooses to take an alternative stand.”
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
Much uncertainty as to the conditions of Brexit continue. Ms May’s attempts to quell concerns by stating that "Brexit means Brexit" have done little to resolve unrest. A leaked internal document to the Cabinet Office titled ‘Brexit Update’ states the Government has no coherent plan for EU withdrawal. It criticises Ms May for “drawing in decisions and details to settle matters herself.”
During the Leave campaign, a number of pro-Brexit campaigners said the UK could withdraw from the EU and renegotiate a trade deal on its own terms, however the plans were criticised for appearing to lack detail or take into account motivations of other countries.Reuse content