As David Cameron leaves office on Wednesday and is replaced as Prime Minister by former Home Secretary Theresa May, the UK’s attention once again turns to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
With May in office, preparations for negotiating an EU exit will begin in earnest.
May has already committed to appointing a special “Minister for Brexit” tasked with overseeing the country’s negotiations to leave the EU and although she has said she will not trigger Article 50 — the clause in the Lisbon Treaty that formally begins the exit process — until after the end of 2016 at the earliest, plans are starting to fall into place.
Key negotiators on the EU side are already emerging, and thanks to the work of Philip Rush of Japanese bank Nomura, we can see exactly who will be important once negotiations formally begin, whenever that is.
Here is the chart from Nomura, showing the key runners and riders in Brussels, who will form the key teams negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU:
It is currently unclear who will be in the UK’s negotiating team — hence the light detail on the chart — but we do know that Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin will lead the government’s so-called Brexit Unit, announced by Cameron in the aftermath of the Leave vote.
Here is a little more from Nomura (emphasis ours):
While the EU is very clear that it will not negotiate until the UK has formally notified the Council of its plan to leave (consistent with article 50), it is already broadly clear who most of the individuals are that will be involved.
The EU Council will be taking the lead and ultimately making the big decisions, befitting of the heads of state and government who sit on it. Donald Tusk and his team will have a key role in forming the collective positions, as he did ahead of the referendum and around the EU’s significant change of direction on migration this year.
Moreover, Didier Seeuws has been appointed to lead the Council’s taskforce on Brexit. The Commission’s role is more technical in nature, with it providing the manpower and expertise to deal with the details. Meanwhile, the European parliament is a mere observer until it has to vote on the final deal.
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