Even as negotiations begin, Brexit could still be mitigated—or even stopped completelyby Hugo Dixon / June 19, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in July 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
The hung parliament has created much uncertainty. But for those of us who want to stop a destructive Brexit, there are more reasons for hope than fear. To start off with, the chance of crashing out of the EU with no deal has dropped sharply. Theresa May, or whoever replaces her, cannot now seriously repeat her “no deal is better than a bad deal” threat. The votes in parliament to carry out the threat aren’t there. Our European partners would think we were joking if we repeated it. This is good news because quitting without a deal would be the most chaotic form of Brexit, triggering instant tariffs on British goods, and probably causing a recession, while leading to the hardest of borders in Northern Ireland, and ripping up all our other agreements with our European partners including on fighting terrorism.
There is also now a slender chance of reversing Brexit completely. It’s hard to see how this could happen. But with politics suddenly mercurial, with new elections now entirely possible before we leave the EU, and with storm clouds gathering over the economy, everything’s up in the air.