Brexit could be delayed until 2020 as EU exit compared to WW2’s ‘Phoney War’

A “PHONEY” war between the European Union (EU) and Britain is at a real risk of happening as Brexit talks are threatening to be pushed back until the end of 2020.

theresa mayGetty   Theresa May faces a difficult time with Brexit talks

Various European elections and the complexity of divorce talks could delay the Article 50 exit period being triggered and any substantial talks may not begin until 2018, senior European politicians have warned.

One senior European official even compared the stumbling blocks to the the eight month “Phoney War” at the beginning of the Second World War when none of the Western powers carried out any military action.

Leading figures in both Brussels and London say they have only just begun preparing for Brexit negotiations but due to the complexity of leaving the EU, this could take a long time.

We’ve not even worked out what all the questions are, let alone found the potential answers

EU official

The British Government has to first agree on what they want to demand from the EU before Prime Minister Theresa May can trigger Article 50.

This will be followed by three to six months of waiting for Brussels to set out a formal negotiating position, but when they will all sit around the negotiating table is up in the air due to the Dutch, French and German elections all happening in 2017.


.Delaying talks could mean a draft deal being vetoed if a new European Parliament assembly is elected in June 2019.

And the British general election in 2020 has raised questions a good enough deal could be reached in the last year of Mrs May’s term.

The senior European official said: “For all sorts of reasons we will want to finish this all before the June 2019 European Parliament elections.

“But that will be very, very tight.

“The complexity is vastly underestimated unless you want to be brutal and cut off ties.”

EUGetty   Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been trying to start off negotiations in Brussels

Another involved in the talks, said: “We’ve not even worked out what all the questions are, let alone found the potential answers.”

A third said they “did not expect much progress in 2017”, due to elections and because Britain was “nowhere” in deciding what its position is.

EU diplomats are getting fed up with the lack of action from Westminster.

One, at the heart of the preparations, said: “They have to sort themselves out.

“They come from London and they don’t know what they want.

Liam FoxGetty  Liam Fox is keen for Brexit talks to start at the beginning of 2017

BrusselsGetty    Brussels will have to thrash out what they want from Brexit as well

“They don’t know what their government wants, what their parliament wants.

“They have not prepared.”

Holding out to get the best deal may prove best for Britain as it will give negotiators the chance to find a sweet spot.

However, that method risks angering Brexiteers and anti-Brexit European politicians alike.

Anti-EU Tory MPs are pressuring Mrs May to trigger Article 50 as soon as possible – by early 2017 – but senior Whitehall figures have said that may be too soon for her to gain an agreement on Brexit options.


Brexit campaigner and International Trade Minister Liam Fox, said on a visit to the US last month Britain would leave the EU in early 2019, which would mean having to trigger Article 50 early next year.

He said: “We can’t negotiate any new trade deals as long as we’re part of the European Union, which of course we will be for probably the next two years with an exit in early 2019.”

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Stephen Tayler
Stephen Tayler

If they are messing us around just declare our independence of the EU and remove all their interference from our country. Then we can at least arrange deals with the rest of the world without all the waiting around. Let the EU get on without us for as long as they last without our money. Which is all they seem to want us for. This seems to just be delaying tactics to me on the part of the EU. Just make a clean break It will be less painful for all concerned in the long run.

Stephen Tayler
Stephen Tayler

If they government do not know what to do it is easy. Do what the people have demanded and take us out. At least trigger article 50 that way we can cease paying millions of pounds to the EU every week keeping them going while we are bursting at the seems with refugees? We need them off of our finances and we can then enforce our border control.

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