Why the PM should delay invoking Article 50

While there have been numerous calls for Britain to invoke Article 50, there are good reasons for wanting to delay the move.

These reasons are the following:

1) To allow time to prepare for negotiations

Before invoking article 50, the government must determine its objectives in its negotiations with the EU. Britain’s Brexit government has only recently formed. It needs time to assess assess its negotiating position and how best to play its hand.

2) To allow tempers in Brussels to simmer

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker has promised that British “deserters” will face “consequences'”.

Mr Junker should have time to acknowledge that the EU will want to retain a strong, mutually beneficial partnership with Britain. This means adopting a more cooperative approach.

3) The French and German elections in 2017

Given that the French and German leaders will be the most important actors in the Brexit negotiations, it matters a great deal who they are. Waiting for the results of those elections would mean that Britain could enter into negotiations with a better idea of who it’s negotiating with, and consequently what it can expect.

4) In case of Frexit

At the moment Eurosceptic parties on the continent can draw on Brexit as a source of inspiration. “The British are leaving, so can we!”

However, if Britain begins negotiating its exit, EU leaders can take a tough line to dissuade other countries from following Britain’s example. Therefore it would be better if Britain were to wait for a time before beginning negotitions. In doing so, it may find that it is joined by another European country. This would greatly improve its negotiating position.