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Brexit sentences to ponder

07/09/2016

“It’s far from clear what manner of departure from the EU the Leave vote signalled towards, not least because there were many stripes of Leaver. These ranged from nativist, conservative types, interested in significantly reducing migration, to liberal cosmopolitans, who see Britain’s future as being more, rather than less internationalist; from those obsessed with cutting Britain free from costly EU regulation, to those who see the EU as a capitalist conspiracy aimed at undermining workers’ rights.”

That comes from an interesting piece published by UK in a changing Europe*. It’s based on a longer paper published by the Open Europe think tank in July arguing for a Brexit transition through a three step process. I haven’t read that full paper but here it is.

In the midst of a fairly acrimonious debate, the range of players involved on the Leave side was certainly obscured in much discussion on the question.  It’s one of the reasons why I found writing an Op Ed about the subject rather challenging. In that piece, I argued the jury was sort of out for Brexit which could result in either a more “open” (if the country were to reengage economically and politically with countries outside the EU while maintaining a useful trading relationship with the member states left behind) or “closed” Britain (if nativist sentiment gained ascendancy).

The authors of the Open Europe piece go on to suggest  withdrawal commencing in late 2018 and then staged until 2024. They say this would provide time for post exit political, economic, and financial relations to “bed in”. It also has the added benefit of reaffirming British sovereignty because Westminster could start repealing or amending EU law from late 2018.

A staged process won’t please democracy activist pro brexiteers but could it help deliver a more enduring compromise? An interesting question to ponder.

*I earlier incorrectly stated that this was an Open Europe published piece.

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