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Very interesting piece by @JGForsyth on how UK government intends to approach trade & sec talks with EU. Some quick thoughts…
1. New government: agree election changes Brexit dynamics (Cabinet consensus but crucially stronger majority in Parliament). With clear direction from the top, and a new taskforce, UK negotiators will know how far they can go/compromise. But negotiation will still be complicated.
2. Sequencing: UK also right to push back on rigid sequencing. But UK also signed up to political declaration. That has some deadlines:
- June: agreement on financial services equivalence
- July: agreement on fish; transition

Only transition is a 'hard' deadline (as in WA).
3. Soft/hard Brexit: EU under no illusion that the PM is serious about divergence. They do not assume he will pivot to soft Brexit & are exploring options for deal given limited time available (a basic deal, sector-by-sector approach, etc).
4. EU ratification (i): this is a complicated. For mixed agreements (i.e. deals that cover areas of EU & member-state law), EU governments, EU parliament & national (sometimes regional) parliaments must vote. For agreements only covering EU law, EU gov's & EU parliament must vote
5. EU ratification (ii): but UK power to determine the kind of agreement/terms of EU ratification will be limited. If deal covers areas of member-state law, it's a mixed agreement. And in some countries, this means a vote in national parliaments (per constitutional requirements).
6. EU ratification (iii): [And national assemblies will not be happy if they are sidelined; UK-EU FTA is important & they have their own constituents to worry about].
7. UK-US deal: UK pivoting to US will not make EU more likely to agree to UK terms. EU is negotiating several FTAs. It will try to accommodate UK demands but will not bend over backwards if this risks setting an (uncomfortable) precedent for EU's other FTA talks. END
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