Alexander Stubb said Britain would need “a lot of time” to rebuild a relationship with the EU after Brexit and said it was “not going to be easy” for the UK.
Speaking to Bloomberg, the politician anticipated that negotiations with Brussels would become “tedious”.
“They are going to be both tedious and messy and with 20 years of experience in European negotiations, that’s what it’s usually like,” he said.
“But at the end of the day, it’s a pretty clear question that Britain has to answer – and the European Union. You have to give an answer to two things. Number one is, what is the exit date – and if Brexit is now moved on with Article 50 that exit date will most probably be April 1 2019.
Alexander Stubb has warned the UK it could be looking at "complicated" Brexit negotiations
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They [Brexit negotiations] are going to be both tedious and messy and with 20 years of experience in European negotiations, that’s what it’s usually like
“The second one is the price tag and this where it actually gets messy. You hear a lot of different figures, from €58billion tops to approximately €12bn bottom and when it’s a negotiation about money it does get messy at the end of the day.”
The UK building bridges with the European Union will be a slow process after Brexit, Mr Stubb added.
“If the UK says it’s going to leave the internal market, it’s going to leave and that also means financial services, then we’ll see what the normal set up is going to be at the end of the day,” he said.
“But what does become more interesting after the negotiations in 2019 is a future relationship of the United Kingdom to the European Union and that will need a lot of time.”
Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
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Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
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He then compared the UK to Greenland and how it took three years to negotiate its exit from the EU in 1985.
“You must also remember that when you’re negotiating Article 50 you’re talking about 200,000 pages of secondary legislation, it’s not going to be easy to just get out,” said the former MEP.
“The example I always give is Greenland, which has a little more than a few hundred thousand people maximum – it took three years.
“The UK is a little bit bigger, so it’s going to be very complicated and very messy.”
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