"Brexit is a tough job, Johnson obliged to take up responsibilities"

Euronews, 15.07.2016

Interview

Link to interview


Which strategy will Theresa May pursue towards Brussels and when will she trigger the article 50? The EPC think tank Director Janis Emmanouilidis gave his take on the on-going British political sequel in a interview to Euronews.

Arianna Sgammotta, Euronews: How do you see the British Government’s re-shuffle conducted by Theresa May?

Janis Emmanouilidis: It includes a number of surprises. Obviously the fact that Boris Johnson became the Foreign Affairs Minister is something which many have not expected. On the other hand we know that these decisions are been taken against the backdrop of national politics. It is national politics which obviously prevail and that makes one understand why the choices have been made. But we knew, also, beforehand that Theresa May would be a tough negotiating partner to deal with. The new government has a huge and a very difficult task, both in terms of internal British politics, but also in terms of negotiating with the EU27 some kind of a new form of relationship based on the Brexit vote.

Arianna Sgammotta, Euronews: Boris Johnson is in and Michael Gove is out. Why? And what do you think of these moves?

Janis Emmanouilidis: Everybody knows that Brexit will be a very difficult exercise and that UK will also have to make some difficult choices. Which means that having inside those who were the front Brexiters- and obviously Boris Johnson was one of these- put them also in the same boat. They have to take up some responsibility for any kind of outcome- which is still a very open question what outcome we will have – and they would be then part of the UK Government and have to back it in one way or the other. So I think that this choice is more linked strategically to the UK internal politics.

Arianna Sgammotta, Euronews: Speaking about the negotiatons between EU and UK. Do you think that Theresa May will trigger the article 50 soon or not?

Janis Emmanouilidis: It depends on what we consider to be soon. If we consider to be soon within a month or two months time, I think that the chances of that happening are rather low. I think that both on Johnson and the new Prime Minister’s side they have to figure out what kind of model they want to pursue and what their final objective is. They also have to be sure when they trigger the Article 50 that they will be moving in that direction. Also what we have heard before the referendum and also after from those who were advocating the Brexit is very difficult to translate into reality.

Link to interview here



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