So 2017 and off we go with the endless, remoaning festival of whining. This may last some time.
However, the reaction to the loss of our esteemed EU negotiator does rather split as usual on Remain (he was god, we are now lost) and Leave (EUSSR traitor, best rid of him).
So perhaps the key part that is unnoticed but of the most import, as I often repeat here, is that what Sir Ivan says is indeed truth.
The EU are not about to offer us a goldilocks deal but negotiate an exit treaty, then we will need to negotiate a future trade deal – AFTER Brexit. This trade deal maybe in stages but could take some time. I think 10 years is pushing it, but certainly 5 or more must be on the cards.
It can only be a ‘Hard’ Brexit on the terms of Article 50 and there is no will in the EU to make it otherwise for the traditional reasons - pour encourager les autres.
Plus with all the elections in the EU this year, not much is going to really happen – hence my despair at the hot air created for of all of this. First the EU will make some outrageous claims to negotiate with in the exit treaty (EU pensions payments for 50 years etc). This will keep the diplomats busy for 18 months. Then once this is agreed the Article 50 time-limit is nearly over and the UK is out (or free, rather).
The only possible change to this is if there are major changes in the French and German Governments – but even then little Luxembourg and Wallonia can have their say. This after all is the false democracy of the EU where the power of the few outweighs the will of the many.
So, I am in complete agreement with the Leavers that Sir Ivan was right to go to be replaced by someone whose heart was in it. But also that his resignation letter was not really meant for the Prime Minister but for everyone else as it contains a fair assessment of the situation – Utopia is nearly upon us!