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Jesus I despise Brexit.
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grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Re: Jesus I despise Brexit.
Jul 31, 2018, 10:57
tjj wrote:
I have a 'Brexit' question Nigel and I hope you or someone else can answer it. As Article 50 has been triggered ....

Even if there were another referendum in favour of not leaving surely the process can't be stopped. It seems to me we would have to apply to re-join and get in the queue. The once strong sterling currency now worth almost the same as a euro, how long before its worth less. Would the EU want us ???


In answer to the first point - Article 50 can be revoked. This has been confirmed by the EU Commission (and also by the principle author of the wording of the Article -- who is British, coincidentally). But it needs to be done before the end of the two year period. The UK will cease being a member of the EU next March automatically unless that's done -- no matter how the negotiations pan out or what "transition period" gets agreed.

If Article 50 is not revoked by March and the UK leaves (either with a deal or without) then it will take a long time to get back in -- should you ever want to. Legally, the UK won't receive preferential treatment as an ex-member and the process to join the EU is a lengthy one.

Worth noting that the UK would be readmitted under less favourable conditions than it currently enjoys. It would have to give a commitment to join the Euro and Schengen (two items it currently has opt-outs on) and would lose its rebate and any other special benefits that Thatcher negotiated on its behalf.

In terms of whether the EU would "want" the UK? The answer is yes. But the amount by which it wants the UK as a member drops dramatically after next March. Having the UK inside the EU is a net benefit to the Union. Nobody has ever denied that... though Leavers / Quitters significantly over-estimate that benefit.

Leaving the EU is the right of any member, but it imposes costs on others that they never voted for. Ireland is spending a small fortune upgrading the port infrastructure, hiring over a thousand new customs officers and inspectors, and money that should have been going into our health service is now being spent upgrading the IT systems that handle trade with the UK.

And that's not to even mention the potentially larger social, cultural, political and economic upheavals that a hard-border on this island would impose.

So no, we're not too happy with what's going on in the UK (Ireland will be hardest hit, but it's not just us... the Dutch are hiring an additional 750 customs officers; the French are looking at spending almost a billion euro upgrading their ports and eurostar terminal). We'd absolutely love it if you stopped the insanity before March. The UK has lost a huge amount of respect in Europe because of Brexit, and that's not coming back any time soon, but we'd still prefer NOT to have to deal with the disruption caused by the UK leaving, if it can be avoided. And cancelling Article 50 could and would achieve that.

Once the UK is out, however, the damage is done. It would still be a net benefit for the EU to have the UK rejoin. And that would probably not be blocked. But nor would there be any great rush to see it happen.
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