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Justin Welby: Chance of agreeing Brexit deal in 18 months 'infinitesimally small'

Justin Welby: Chance of agreeing Brexit deal in 18 months 'infinitesimally small'

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the chances of Britain agreeing a deal on Brexit in less than two years are “infinitesimally small”.

Justin Welby this morning reiterated his call for the Government to reach out to other political parties to arrive at a common position on quitting the EU.

And he sounded a note of caution about the complexities of the process and their inevitable political impact.

The peer told the BBC’s Today programme: “There are literally thousands of separate agreements to come to. If each one of those has to be argued as a point of confidence on the floor of the House of Commons, the chance of getting this done in what’s now roughly 18 months is infinitesimally small.

“There has to be the political leadership that says we have major questions that are political, huge political decisions – the obvious one is the Single Market and Customs Union, but there are thousands of other decisions that can be made.”  

He added: “Can the politicians not put at the front of their minds the needs of the United Kingdom to come out with a functional, working system for Brexit and agree that certain things are, as it were, off the political table and will be decided separately in an expert commission or a commission of senior politicians led by someone that is trusted in the political world?”  

The Archbishop said in June that talks across the political spectrum – as well as with faith groups and other parts of society – could help to bring about an “internal reconciliation”.

He said last year said there had been an “out-welling of poison and hatred” after the referendum.

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