Brexit White Paper puts Theresa May in a straitjacket, says professor Catherine Barnard

Brexit White Paper: 'transparency puts Theresa May in a straight jacket', says professor Catherine Barnard

Theresa May delivering her 12-point plan address for Brexit at Lancaster House

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A leading professor in European Union law has said the transparency granted by the Government's planned White Paper on its EU negotiation strategy is both an "advantage and disadvantage."

Yesterday (Wednesday), Theresa May announced there will be a White Paper for Brexit, following widespread requests for such a document, led by members of the Labour party.

The Government is expected to lay out its strategy for negotiating with the European Union in the formal policy document, while the bill is set to be outlined in Parliament by Brexit secretary David Davis today. 

Catherine Barnard, a professor of European Union Law at the University of Cambridge and Senior Fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe, said the White Paper will come at a cost.

She said: "Transparency comes at the price of tying Theresa May’s hands in negotiations.

"She will need to be fleet of foot to respond to what the 27 might or might not be offering.

"The advantage of transparency is that people know what she wants, but the disadvantage is that it puts her in a bit of a straight jacket."