Written on July 19th
Writing about Brexit in the Observer last Sunday, 16 July, Gus O’Donnell, a former cabinet secretary and head of the UK civil service, said:
…we need to start being honest about the complexity of the challenge. We keep being told by our politicians that Brexit can be delivered easily. This isn’t correct. Believe me, we are embarking on a massive venture. There is no way all these changes will happen smoothly and absolutely no chance that all the details will be hammered out in 20 months… We will need a long transition phase, and the time needed does not diminish by pretending that this phase is just about “implementing” agreed policies as they will not all be agreed.
This is as accurate as it gets about the realities of Brexit. O’Donnell’s warning comes a day after the Financial Times published a piece which noted that:
UK industry leaders have ratcheted up the pressure on the UK government by warning that a breakdown of Brexit negotiations resulting in no deal would be “catastrophic” with “massive disruption” leading to a sharp contraction in output.
Industries as diverse as road haulage and orchestras are sounding the alarm and warning that threats of walking away without a deal raise the prospect of an extremely difficult outcome for Britain in March 2019.