What next?

The key reason why the government doesn’t want to trigger divorce negotiations with the EU is that Britain still has to decide on what alternative relationship to seek.

There was no consensus on the Leave side on this. Indeed, contradictory visions were offered.

Some advocated seeking to keep full access to the European market which, as they are now beginning to admit, would mean accepting the common rules for the common market (without a say on them anymore), including free movement. But opposing free movement was the main argument used by many Leave campaigners.

Others Leave campaigners therefore advocated leaving the single market completely, even though that would mean British manufactured exports to it would face a tariff and the financial sector would lose its automatic right to ‘passport’ various banking and insurance services across Europe, endangering millions of jobs in Britain.

Until a government can resolve these differences and go for one or other of these unpalatable options, the negotiations can hardly get underway.

And when they do choose one or the other, there will be horrified gasps from many – including Brexit voters who will say they didn’t vote for that!

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16 Comments

  1. Another possible barrier is that the cost of Brexit is proving enormous. There is a risk that issuing A 50 notification would make things even worse. At best it fixes the UK into the present chaos. Cameron baulked at doing it. It will be a brave, reckless or stupid person who pushes the A 50 button. They risk polical oblivion. Unfortunately Boris is reckless – but he is not stupid. What a state we are in now. Our futures could depend on whether Boris’s recklessness wins.

  2. 1. The working class felt they were being ignored. One person said to me, ‘the big people don’t understand’. It was a protest against the establishment.
    2. Migration: fear of people from the EU taking their jobs, housing, school places.

    • Ironic isn’t it: that the best way to acknowledge the protest that voters are being ignored is to ignore the result of the vote…

    • Yet if the “working class” (your generalisation, my background) listened themselves they would have heard, amongst many other things labelled as ‘fear’, the chief economist of Leave saying that he acknowledged that the manufacturing base of the UK would be destroyed by Brexit but that it was OK because there were would service and marketing jobs instead. There seems to be some thought that the working class are thick and acceptance of being unengaged. Well sorry, every adult has a responsibility to engage themselves and make rational decisions based on facts. If they choose to follow opinions of their chosen newspaper and Facebook, that’s their choice and we shouldn’t feel sorry for them enmasse. They should be criticised for it to try and change that never ending argument

  3. Parliament can decide to ignore the result. Perhaps the media could be persuaded to be positive about the EU.

    Thing is: we all voted from our gut. I love Europe. I voted remain. Simple. My cousin likes the idea of thinking she can be in control ‘again’. She voted to leave.
    How many people vote with their intellect?!

  4. Have you raised or are you aware of the basis that Jean Claude Junker and Martin Shulz are to meet Nicola Sturgen . I think such meetings are completely incorrect –

    Our membership is at United Kingdom level. The referendum was at United Kingdom level. By meeting with one area of the United Kingdom they are involving themselves in the internal affairs of a member state

    In addition, yesterday the EU, and they in particular, said there could be no side negotiations or informal talks until the correct process had been followed and we enacted Article 50. On this basis should they only consider talking to Nicola Sturgen if and when Scotland became an independent country.

    These meetings will look to many as outrageous double standards and openly political engineering.

  5. In the light of this the Labour Party needs to decide whether we go for complete access to the single market (EEA) or some arrangement that limits free movement and therefore loses access in a number of areas. Clearly financial services is an area that would be denied – Switzerland, which of course does have to accept free movement despite their own referendum, doesn’t have access to financial services.

  6. You will be aware of the sharp rise in racist and xenophobic incidents following the vote, and this is almost certainly because the xenophobes think they have won the vote and that the majority think like them.
    Other European countries have similar problems although they have not yet empowered the hatred with a referendum.

    The EU is clearly a flawed organisation, there are good, sound reasons why people might not want to be a part of it. And there is also racism.
    As long as reasonable people vote alongside the racists, they will see those votes as solidarity with their hatred.

    The EU needs to wake up and enact some serious reforms in order to eliminate the reasons why reasonable people vote alongside racists. It is the intrusion upon national sovereignty and lack of democratic accountability that appears to be the biggest problem, this is what needs to be addressed first.

  7. It feels we are stuck between a Tory Party who, with a new leader will start article 50 and an EU that wants this to start asa. If we accept the referendum was a democratic decision that must be honoured I don’t see any way out of that – My hope at present is for a growing movement of people, e.g. the proposed march to parliament on Sat July 2nd and this would eventually build a pressure on politicians to think again. Something like the peaceful protest movement in Leipzig in 1989. It might then be possible to claim the referendum was so misleading and uninformative it was not possible for the electorate to make an informed democratic decision.

  8. Richard, the Remain voters need some hope. Can you comment on the mood of Europe and Westminster and the likelihood that Art 50 will not be triggered?
    How likely is it, for example, that a new Tory leader might say to the public, “we’d hoped to get access to the single market without free movement, we can’t, so we need a new referendum on the only deal we can strike”?
    Is there any discussion about whether notice under Article 50 can be withdrawn?

    Have you any tips on what the millions of desperate and frustrated Remain supporters might do that might have some effect?

  9. Why not stop it in the house of Lords? As the Electoral Commission states that the Government Can do what it likes. Therefore we don’t need to split from the EU?

  10. the govt. have created havoc for the british people a new treaty may be a way out of the shambles

    article 50 need not be aplied until the new govt. new govt defines its policy on the eu and the uk

  11. For the first time i fear being separated from my son and husband because i am EU citizen. I work full time, my husband is disabled… What will happen to my British family. This uncertainty is common amongst EU citizens and I am talking about highly skilled people. When we will receive any answers?

  12. Could you please tell why Jeremy Corbyn is anti EU and a brexiter. I have heard no explanation from him regarding this. I am a strong believer in the EU and I do not see why 48% of the electorate have to suffer when the referendum was only advisory, not only that but there is no divide between the Labour Party and the Tories regarding this very important life changing decision.

    Who do I vote for!?

    • In my opinion, Labour are conflicted. On the one hand the EU offers so much that any socialist would aspire to – citizen / worker rights and protections, environmental safeguards, product safety, international cooperation, regional aid and so on – yet it’s economic foundation is fundamentally based on free-enterprise. Yes, there are state-owned industries operating within the EU but the direction of travel (much of it down to UK Tories incidentally) is, as I understand it, towards ever more private enterprise and the gradual eradication of state aid and state ownership.

      Some cite the difficulties experienced by the UK steel industry last year as evidence for this. EU rules on the Single Market made direct state aid problematic. Against this, UK Govt resistance to EU anti-dumping measures (the prime cause of the steel industries problem) for fear of alienating China made the problem many times worse.

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