One Year Brexit Delay Isn't Enough, Warns Former EU Negotiator

18 October 2018, 08:14

A former Chief EU negotiator has told LBC that Theresa May's one year Brexit delay won't be enough to agree a trade deal.

The Prime Minister is considering taking up Michel Barnier's offer of an extra year to give more time to negotiate the issues surrounding the Irish border.

Sir Michael Leigh, the former director-general for enlargement at the European Commission, pointed out that the Canadian free trade deal which Brexiteers are keen on replicating took seven years to complete.

Nick Ferrari spoke to Sir Michael Leigh
Nick Ferrari spoke to Sir Michael Leigh. Picture: LBC

He said: "It was always going to be a question of kicking the can down the road as there's no immediate solution to the Irish backstop issue.

"But in truth, even one year will not be sufficient to negotiate an ambitious future partnership of the type the Prime Minister is talking about.

"In reality, what is needed is a transitional arrangement which is renewable until the future partnership is in place.

"What the Prime Minister apparently wants for the future is an ambitious trade agreement of the sort that was agreed between the EU and Canada, but with additional features to benefit Britain.

"The agreement took seven years to negotiate with Canada. So frankly, it's shadow boxing to talk about a transitional period of 21 months or three years. In reality, more time is needed to negotiate a future partnership."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

The Met Commissioner said it “pains me horribly” when she thinks of the teenagers killed by knife crime

Knife crime 'a stain on our city' says Met chief as deaths near 5 year high

Exclusive
Dame Cressida Dick spoke to Nick Ferrari on Call the Commissioner at Breakfast.

Met chief 'doesn't accept' failure as poll reveals only half of Londoners trust the force

Call the Commissioner watch again

Call the Commissioner | Watch Again

The Science Minister was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

'Government not trying to tell public who they should kiss or where', minister says

Wes Streeting teased Sajid Javid about when he will get booster jab

Wes Streeting 'can't jump the queue' for Covid booster, Sajid Javid jokes

The Health Secretary was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Sajid Javid denies Boris Johnson broke Covid rules with No 10 Christmas party

Sajid Javid told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast people don't need to cancel Christmas plans.

'No need to change Christmas plans' despite Omicron fears, says Sajid Javid

The Shadow Health Secretary was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Wes Streeting: Government 'falling well short' of half a million daily booster jabs

The JCVI member was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

JCVI Member: Medics are 'keeping their fingers crossed' booster jabs will deal with Omicron

The care minister has urged everyone to get their jab in time for Christmas

'All we want for Christmas is for everyone to get jabbed', says care minister

Ian Maxwell was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Watch in full: Nick Ferrari speaks to Ghislaine Maxwell's brother ahead of trial

The sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is set to begin in New York today

Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother says Prince Andrew was 'cancelled' on 'dubious grounds'

The UK wants to step up cooperation with France, a minister has said.

'Not just a British problem': UK ready to send ground support to France, minister says

Dominic Raab has dismissed claims Boris Johnson has been the subject of a number of no confidence letters

Raab dismisses PM no confidence letters as 'tittle tattle' as party rating plummets

Dominic Raab defended Harper's Law

Raab: Harper’s Law isn’t blurring lines between murder and manslaughter

The uncle of Dawn Ashworth says Pitchfork should have been handed a whole life sentence

Uncle of Pitchfork victim says Parole Board put kids 'at risk' by releasing killer