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Davos participants give their reaction to May's Brexit policy speech

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By Euronews
Davos participants give their reaction to May's Brexit policy speech


At the World Economic Forum, Euronews canvassed opinions on Theresa May’s Brexit policy speech.

Ryan Heath, former European Commission spokesman .. now Senior EU Correspondent for Politico reckons the British prime minister still has a difficult path ahead.

“If you look at what happened with Greece, if you look at what happened with the other bailout programmes over the last five years, when it’s a 27 versus one negotiation, the 27 win. And they stick together like glue because it’s about their survival. So, I think, essentially telling Europe it has to be nice to Britain otherwise she is going to storm off, is a very risky strategy.”

[Theresa May] needs to be really realistic about the next two years. She doesn’t have the best negotiating team; Britain hasn’t had trade expertise, for example, for decades. So, to build up that expertise and to get this deal done in two years – not just the divorce but the new relationship – it means you’ve really got to keep all the good will you can on the other side.”

Andrew Baldwin, Regional Managing Partner with Ernst & Young for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa, told Euronews he believes the UK does have some leverage over negotiating access to Europe for its financial firms.

“Financial services in London generate 1.3 billion euros of lending into European companies. Of that, 70 percent of that comes from banks – UK banks or overseas banks that take advantage of London as a base. That is going to be a critical part of any transition arrangements – because if it’s not sorted out, if it’s not agreed and negotiated, the real risk to the European economy is they will see a real slowdown in their bank-driven capital growth.”