With Brexit talks underway, it’s time to recalibrate POLITICO’s Brexit Power Matrix, which maps the relative influence of nearly 100 numbers spread across both sides of the two-year negotiation.
There has been considerable movement (indicated by the arrows below) since we last published the Power Matrix on March 16, two weeks before the triggering of Article 50.
While instability within the UK government could lead to major changes in this standings, for now both sides feature complete and stable squads. The complexity of Brexit demands that both sides deliver their best and brightest.
We know from early talks on Monday that Irish border issues could be particularly tense. This is one of the reasons why the key officials responsible for these issues – Oliver Robbins for the UK and Sabine Weyand for the EU – are ranked higher than in the original matrix. The UK Department for EU exit team is now in place and has grown with the Barnier team.
The matrix continues to illustrate that Brussels will be the center of gravity for the negotiations, but that national figures and not just EU officials have a crucial role to play. French President Emmanuel Macron, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and new London Evening Standard editor George Osborne make notable debuts.
Martin Schulz, the German chancellor candidate and former president of the European Parliament who sank in German opinion polls, is now excluded from the matrix. Other notable departures are populists Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders and Steve Bannon, whose political tide has receded for now. Theresa May’s former close advisers Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who found themselves blamed for some of May’s poor election performance, have also left, as has former EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson, who failed to strike while the iron was hot to use the Remain campaign database to form a new movement or political party.