Sir Winston Churchill would turn in his grave. If the Battle of Britain was the highlight of sacrifice by the very few for the future of so many in the United Kingdom and beyond, then the Brexit is the opposite. Rarely, dysfunctional (in)action of so few, affected the future of so many. This episode of the Brexit monitor looks back, takes stock and (with due hesitation given the unpredictability of things) looks ahead.
The 15th of January 2019 should have gone into history as the day that the United Kingdom took back control from the European Union .... if not for the fact that everything in this file always unfolds in entirely other ways than expected, while actually nothing has changed that much. Theresa May is still there, the Brexit-deal is by no means dead, and the British remain hopelessly divided. In this interim Brexit-update, I try to explore the current situation, and make some predictions.
Has any progress been made in the Brexit negotiations during the past weeks? The signals are vague, and the details are thin. Is there any smoke, and if so where is the fire? The little that comes out of the ‘tunnel’ suggests that progress is underway on the Irish border issue and financial services, but we are as yet not allowed to know to what extent. Although I think Brexit still is a ridiculous idea, a deal is better than no deal. This article will explain why based on a comparison of performance between Ireland and the United Kingdom, since 1973. Also, the results of the 2nd quarter of 2018 of the Brexit monitor are now available as well.
On 2 February, the United Kingdom completed its negotiations with the EU on the revision of their treaty obligations. This did not provide the outcome Cameron had hoped for. It would appear that anti-EU movements in the UK in particular can turn this to good account. There is a real risk that the agreement is grist to the mill for anti-Europe parties in continental Europe as well. In this article I will discuss the history and circumstances of British participation in the EU, its desire to revise the terms of membership, the agreement of February 2 and the implications it may have for both Cameron, the UK and the EU itself (Google translation of an article written in Dutch on February 4, with some minor amendments).