Tue. Jan 19th, 2021

new York Times Reports that Britishers have second thoughts About to leave the European Union. And well they should. a Recent rand study This indicates that no matter how the current Brexit negotiations end, the United Kingdom will be financially much worse. A clean break, which some Brexit advocates advocate, gives the worst results, reducing British GDP by about 5 per cent after 10 years.

Better – though still negative – results can be achieved by the UK staying in the EU single market, and perhaps the customs union as well. But this would require Britain to accept European rules and regulations without voice, and this would require the EU to make substantial financial contributions.

The British government’s own analysis, completed in January, reportedly gives results similar to the rand – an 8 percent loss in future GDP after 15 years.

Fortunately, EU member states have an established method for dealing with unsatisfactory referendums. This is called do-over. In 1992 Danish citizens voted 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent against ratifying the treaty that established the European Union. A year later he voted again, this time to ratify, with a margin of 43.2 percent to 56.8 percent.

Editorial cartoon on Brexit

Ireland protested once in 2001 with 53.9 percent to reject treaties that extended EU powers and voted again in 2008 with 53.2 percent. In both cases Ireland held a second referendum and ratified the treaty, with 62.9 percent and then 67.1 percent voting.

In the case of Britain, a Brexit do-over would be more complicated. Last March Britain formally began negotiations with the rest of the European Union. One way or another Britain should now be out by March of next year, and this unforgivable process can only be reversed, or even simply slowed down, if all 27 other EU members agree . But since Britain is also financially disadvantaged for the rest of the union, members have an incentive to welcome the prodigy.

By March 2019, the Prime Minister’s government will be required to present the results of their two-year negotiations with the rest of the Union in Parliament for approval on the conditions for Britain’s return. 48 percent of voters who opposed Brexit in 2016 may be unhappy but are not surprised by the results. Many narrow majority who supported leaving would be saddened and surprised, as the results would not match their expectations. Either the UK will maintain its privileged access to European markets but lose its voting rights, or it will lose both. And there is no real possibility of the market making that loss anywhere else.

Should Parliament reject the package presented, its already severely weakened government is likely to collapse, leading to fresh elections. The Conservative Party will probably elect a new leader, and its main rival, the Labor Party, can do so by current party leader Jeremy Corbyn, as he too supports Brexit. Voices on both sides are likely to call for a second referendum with Scottish nationalists and Liberal Democrats.

In the trio of the last three-over referendum, the European Union made some minor gestures towards holdouts. The Irish were assured that these agreements would not interfere with their neutrality on abortion or with their laws. The Danes were allowed to exit the monetary union. None of these concessions prevented the widespread progress of European integration, but they provided enough to change the minds of each nation. Instead of seeing Britain out the door, European leaders should consider, in the event of a second referendum, what kind of gesture might serve a similar purpose this time.

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