THE MAN who wrote Article 50 has admitted it was NEVER supposed to be used as Britain gets set to divorce the European Union.
Giuliano Amato, a former Italian Prime Minister, claimed Britain must “lose” when it comes to finances – so they are forced to stay in the single market.
Mr Amato told a conference in Rome, he had inserted the get-out clause specifically to prevent the British from complaining that there was no clear cut, official way for them to bail out of the Union.
He said: “I wrote Article 50, so I know it well.
“My intention was that it should be a classic safety valve that was there, but never used. It is like having a fire extinguisher that should never have to be used. Instead, the fire happened.
“When it comes to the economy they have to lose.”
The Italian believes if it is hard for the British to trade away from the arrangement set by the bloc, they may consider abandoning the world’s biggest trading zone.
Britain voted in a referendum on June 23 to leave the EU.
To do so, London will have to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which starts a two-year countdown to a formal exit from the 28-nation bloc.
Amato served as Italian prime minister in 1992-1993 and again in 2000-2001.
He later helped draft a lofty European Constitution which eventually morphed into the less ambitious Lisbon Treaty.
A committed EU supporter, Mr Amato said the so-called Brexit vote was a “disaster” and urged other European leaders not to follow the example of Britain’s David Cameron, the prime minister who called last month’s referendum.
Mr Amato said: “If another leader is as mad as Cameron to offer a referendum on EU membership, for example in Holland or Austria, there is a risk (they would vote to quit).”
To show Britain the error of its ways, Mr Amato said the EU had to be “especially tough” in the Brexit talks.
He said: ”Don’t give Britain the possibility of thinking that Brexit is a better way of doing what they have always done, grabbing what suits them (in the EU) and opting out of what they don’t like. Brexit is a total opting out.
“They know this very well.
“The more they realise that they are losing, then the more chance there is that in 2020 someone will do something about it.”
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