Sunday, October 30, 2016

Brexit does mean Brexit, after Article 50 is triggered

One has to sympathise with the plight of UK Remainers. They fought a difficult battle (albeit a tad late) for Remain and lost by a 52-48 margin after much uber populist propaganda by the other side (that had started it many years before). Plus they are now seeing May push for a hard Brexit option claiming that is what the people decided in June (not so of course).

Having said that, this is what I pointed out to some LibDems today after asking to clarify what is exactly the position of the chosen candidate in the Richmond by-election after various press reports:

Press reports have suggested that there was thinking to make the Richmond by-election a mini Brexit ref since the district voted 72% Remain last June. And that in line with that there were calls for Labour not to field a candidate. I hate to interfere with party politics but the issue is now of European significance. The concept that after Article 50 is triggered there can be a change re exit may be based on an wide interpretation of Art. 50 is very iffy. A hard vs soft Brexit choice set is of course possible then. To put it bluntly, the UK cannot trigger Article 50, negotiate divorce and then change its mind if the terms are not good. Not to mention that the negotiation as Barnier has pointed out will be on red tape issues not trade etc. That is his mandate. As an analyst I am of the opinion that Parliament should remove (via a series of two non confidence votes) May before March if Brexit is to be avoided, since after that the choice is what type of Brexit, hard or soft. That is an internal matter for the UK though, none of the business of those of us who are outside the UK or not British.

I should add that I am fully aware that this quite a tall order for Remainers, but one cannot expect the EU27 to wait two years for the UK to change its mind. Life simply does not work this way and there are potential precedents in play here, putting at stake the cohesion of the EU.

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