Friday, April 16, 2021
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Brexit: clarity and firmness

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Ramón Jáuregui. MEP. 

Everything is a question mark about the future of the UK after Brexit and also the future of Europe without the United Kingdom. Everything is speculation, most of them pessimistic in this kind of mega crisis hitting the Union, but not it alone, affecting the foundations of our social and democratic contract.

Today we know more than yesterday, because the British Conservative Party has been quick to replace Cameron as fast as they could and therefore the institutional crisis in Downing Street is formally behind them. The new premier has said she will fulfil the mandate of the referendum and will negotiate the departure of UK Union: "Brexit is Brexit" because we know that the intentions of the United Kingdom are to notify the EU of their desire to leave the Union and accordingly will activate Article 50 of the Treaty.

But there are more questions starting from here, When will this be? Will Westminster be in agreement? Will the legal difficulties that the Scots will put be resolved? What will they do if Scotland calls for a referendum to leave the United Kingdom, or intends to negotiate in parallel for a special status in Europe? What will happen in Northern Ireland if Eire makes a bid for Belfast? What will be the model of relationship with the EU the UK will seek in negotiating out? Will there be a general election in the UK before the end of the negotiation? Will there be a new referendum again before the final decision to leave the EU is taken, once exit conditions are known...?

Let's take it one piece at a time. We still have to wait a few months for the United Kingdom to notify its departure. We have to pass get over major internal legal difficulties and solve serious political issues. In my opinion, it is highly unlikely that the UK goes against a popular mandate, since although it is not imperative legally, it would be political suicide. The possibility that another referendum to "revoke" the previous one be convened seems unreasonable, even through there was an early general election. We are talking about Britain. But still, the management of Brexit is seen as complex, and has had disturbing effects so far, such as the winners fleeing the scene, as if they had been crushed by the people.

Chances are that the EU imposes harsh conditions

The most striking case is that of Nigel Farage, but the most significant is that of Boris Johnson, who has disappeared as if by magic, not their opponents precisely. And I say significant because it was he who led, led and starred in the campaign against their fellow rows and Prime Minister David Cameron. Everyone assumed that after their victory, he would participate in the leadership contest of his party to manage the Brexit that so fervently defended. Well, no. He has partially disappeared from the map, only to re-appear as Foreign Minister. An important figure, but hardly the absolute leadership role he played during campaigning.

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