No one said that untangling the ties between the United Kingdom and the European Continent in the wake of Brexit would be easy. But what about beyond the EU?
The sheer volume of trade agreements alone between the U.K. and 168 non-EU nations is staggering.
Consider the fact that, as the Financial Times reports, there are at least 759 trade agreements that need to be re-negotiated between the parties after the U.K. leaves the EU. Within that count of 759, there are 295 bilateral trade deals. There are 202 regulatory cooperation agreements, the FT says. And there are also hundreds of pacts that cover such issues as agriculture and transportation. The scope and sheer number of agreements show that a wave of negotiation will be in the offing, with rather limited staff to do that wrangling.
As an example, the publication stated that there are only three people, on the U.K. side, involved in negotiating aviation agreements. The talks, according to the FT, show that Brexit is far more than a dance between London and Brussels. The aviation agreements alone will “need to be done in the space of a few months, once the EU-UK terms are clear and Britain decides how much of its aviation regulation will be repatriated,” the FT reported.
Might the negotiations be muddied a bit by upcoming elections? CNBC reported that in tandem with Britain’s June 8th election, Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of Parliament, which might inject new complications into Brexit, at least in terms of talks. Models show mixed predictions, with polling firm YouGov among the voices stating that May and her party would lose 20 seats and its slim majority in Parliament. Other polls, conversely, show a blowout. To make Brexit a bit smoother, May would have to have 326 seats in place to wield some power in negotiations and beyond as Britain moves away from the EU.