The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, insists that Great Britain will still be a major force in European decision-making “until Brexit takes place” and continue to have an influence in years to come. This statement has reportedly not been well received at the European Union leader summit in Brussels where many leaders do not believe that Britain should have any say in EU matters since Theresa May’s confirmation that Article 50 will be triggered in March 2017.
This week Theresa May has also been warned by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and French Prime Minister, Francois Hollande, that Britain will face stern opposition throughout Brexit negotiations particularly if Britain takes the well documented “hard” Brexit approach. The UK Government has announced calls for stricter immigration laws and a desire to block an increase in European defence funding. Leaders from other Member States have warned that continued interference in European affairs will have a negative impact on future Brexit negotiations for Britain.
Furthermore, the UK’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has ruffled European feathers by stating in a newspaper column that the European Union is “generally a good thing” despite being a lead “Leave” campaigner. It is thought by Manfred Weber, leader of the Christian Democrats in the European parliament, that the short term “negative” effects on Britain has “increased faith in the European Union in the rest of Europe”. Weber is referring to the recent drop in the value of pound sterling and debate around the break-up on the United Kingdom, principally that of the mooted departure of Scotland from the UK.