EU Referendum: Brexit Could Take up to 10 Years to Happen, Warns Former Top Civil Servant

Lord O’Donnell, the former Cabinet Secretary, warns that Britain’s withdrawal from the EU would take far longer than the two years prescribed under Article 50

by Michael Wilkinson, Political Correspondent

Negotiating Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union would take “a very long time” and the country would be likely to walk away without any “great successes”, a former Cabinet Secretary has warned.

Lord O’Donnell, who worked under four Prime Ministers and was the country’s highest ranking civil servant, said that countries like France and Germany would not allow Britain to leave with a good deal because they would not want to play into the hands of anti-EU opponents in their forthcoming elections next year.

He also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it took Greenland three years to negotiate an exit from the trappings of the EU, indicating that it could take up to a decade for Britain.

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