Monday 24 April 2017

Brace yourselves - Brexit will take years ... and years

British Prime Minister Theresa May is no hurry to trigger Article 50. Photo: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
British Prime Minister Theresa May is no hurry to trigger Article 50. Photo: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
John Downing

John Downing

How long will it take for this Brexit business to be finalised? Well, the short answer is that it depends on who you ask; the honest answer is that right now nobody knows. But nobody thinks it can be done quickly.

The head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, scared the stripes out of many people last month when he noted that it took Russia 20 years to negotiate its membership terms of that body.

"It is very difficult to predict," he said. "Russia's accession to the WTO took 20 years. Other negotiations happened faster.

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