Brexit negotiators need '360 degree' approach to secure constructive deal

As Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50 and start the two-year period for the UK to negotiate its exit from the EU, international trade lawyer Miriam Gonzalez Durantez has stressed the need for a flexible approach.

Speaking to ITV News, she said those leading Brexit negotiations need to have a "360 degree view" to secure a "constructive" deal.

"Negotiation is a lot about trying to double guess where the others are going and also to create a really positive dynamic between both sides."

"They are conducted by people so you need to get both sides working towards something very, very constructive," she added.

Ms Gonzalez Durantez, who is the wife of former deputy minister Nick Clegg, also said it was "a pity" that people who disagree with the government's main objectives are being reportedly being sidelined.

"What needs to happen is exactly the opposite. You understand all the different points of view and risks and that is when you are best prepared, " she said.

The lawyer also said that while she believe a deal will be reached with the EU, she would be "very surprised" if this would be within the two-year negotiation period provided under Article 50.

"I think that agreeing a proper replacement deal in two very challenging indeed and especially seeing the level of preparation I am seeing I would very surprised if that is done."

Ms Gonzalez Durantez also stressed that not having an agreement could have a serious impact on the UK economy given the EU is "the biggest trading partner and they are our neighbours".

She also voiced concern about what she referred to as the impact of "slightly artificial optimism" coming from the government on some business sectors.

"That has made some business sectors to be a little bit complacent about what may or may not happen and how they have to prepare," she said.

She added: "I think an enhanced level of realism would be preferable really."