A strong hand in Brexit negotiations
In the face of a united and determined EU, how far will the size of the British government’s majority, post-election, influence the outcome of Brexit talks? The government’s position is clear: a hard Brexit, leaving the single market and the customs union.
The European Union’s position is clear: Deal with British obligations first, and only when satisfied will negotiators discuss a framework for a free-trade agreement. Under a Conservative government, the choice for Britain is between a hard Brexit and a chaotic Brexit. For some Conservative members, the World Trade Organization’s option is preferred; their voices become more muted if the Conservatives win with a larger majority. But the challenge in agreeing on Britain’s financial obligations and the rights of EU citizens in Britain (and) should not be underestimated. EU leaders also have an eye on upcoming elections in Austria and Italy, where anti-EU parties could gain enough support to lead governments in each country, while French President Emmanuel Macron needs to neuter the threat from the National Front during his next five years in office. The message will be that leaving the EU is difficult and damaging.