Britain could be given a "special status" in its relationship with the European Union after Brexit is complete, Germany's foreign affairs minister said yesterday (Tuesday), but it should not drag its feet over divorce talks with the EU.
Michael Roth said that Britain should be ready to invoke Article 50 by January 2017, despite reports that the Brexit ministries run by David Davis and Liam Fox were in chaos. But Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, insisted yesterday: "We are ploughing ahead, working together to deliver a successful Brexit as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister is clear - she expects us to knuckle down and get on with it."
Mr Roth gave no details about what a "special status" might entail for the UK, but noted that arrangements with states such as Norway would not be suitable. "Given Britain's size, significance and its long membership of the European Union, there will probably be a special status which only bears limited comparison to that of countries that have never belonged to the European Union."