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Why Europe’s unified front could crumble as Article 50 ticks down

The 27 have stuck together so far—but nothing is guaranteed as we enter the second year of negotiations

By Simon Usherwood  

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier. Photo: Depo Photos/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

As we move into the second year of Article 50, it’s useful to consider whether the European Union will be able to maintain the impressive level of coordination and unity that it has displayed to date, for while that has worked so far, we are now entering more difficult terrain.

The reasons for that unity are clear enough.

Firstly, the EU might reasonably be described as a standing negotiation. Member states work in constant interaction with their counterparts and with…

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