Brexit Trade Deal with EU Could Take 10 Years, U.K. Envoy to EU Says

Demonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON, Dec 15 – A post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union might take 10 years to finalise and could still fail, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the bloc has told Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Ivan Rogers, Britain’s envoy to the EU, warned ministers that the European consensus was that a deal might not be done until the early to mid-2020s and that national parliaments could ultimately reject it, the BBC said.

May’s office said it did not recognise the views expressed by the diplomat, the BBC said.

EU officials have long said that negotiating a trade deal with the bloc can take years, pointing to the fact that Canada started talks in 2009 for an agreement that has yet to enter force.

But British officials say they hope to reduce the amount of time to strike a deal, arguing that British regulations are in line with EU standards after decades of membership.

May has said she will invoke Article 50, the up to two-year divorce process for leaving the EU, by the end of March.

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