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Indian-origin academic warns UK politicians over Brexit complexities

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London: On Wednesday a Indian-origin academic warned the UK politicians that invoking Article 50 will only be the start of a long process of extricating Britain from the EU and establishing new relationships with other member states.

A new report by an independent group of academics called 'The UK in a Changing Europe' found that identifying and transposing legislation to be included in a new repeal bill will be a daunting task for civil servants.

"Brexit has the potential to test the UK's constitutional settlement, legal framework, political process and bureaucratic capacities to their limits – and possibly beyond," said Prof Anand Menon, who heads the group.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"An irritating aspect of the current debate is the tendency of Brexiters to accuse those who warn of difficulties of 'talking Britain down'. It's a good line but a pathetic argument. Since when was rational debate a bad thing? Forewarned, surely, is forearmed, and this report will help identify potential stumbling blocks ahead," Menon, professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London, told the Guardian.

The group of academic experts have been commissioned by the UK's Political Studies Association to study the implications and future course after Britain's historic vote to leave the 28-member bloc in a referendum on 23 June.

The UK in a Changing Europe has pitched itself as an "authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations".

They warn that while Article 50, as set out in the Lisbon treaty, concerns the terms of a divorce with the rest of the EU – including what share of EU liabilities the UK should take on, for example – it is unclear whether the process can allow for parallel negotiations on Britain’s future status.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had said last month that she plans to trigger the article to kick-start the two-
year process of negotiating a separation from the EU by the end of March 2017.

The government will also publish a great repeal bill, which will transfer all EU-originated laws into British law, so that MPs can decide how much they want to discard.

First Published On : Nov 2, 2016 18:11 IST

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