Is Brexit a sure thing? How the U.K. could still ditch its EU divorce


As the European Coherence pre res to put a squeeze on the U.K. and everyone else tries to wade through a Brexit’s fundamental consequences, there is the looming possibility that it may not happen at all.

The referendum was not legally predicament, and no EU member state can force the U.K. to initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Contract — the critical first step to formally initiate the divorce.

Once awareness of Article 50 is given, there’s a two-year window to negotiate the terms of the U.K.’s evacuation.

James Strong, a fellow in foreign policy and international relations at the London Devotees of Economics, estimates the multitude of other deals the U.K. will need to draw up out individually with the 27 remaining EU members will take anywhere between five and 10 years, assuming agreements are reached at all.

So how could the U.K. potentially walk away from its plan to, ostentatiously, walk away from the EU?

There’s no doubt the options are dwindling by the day. Key European chairwomen, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have said publicly that there’s no take up back on a Brexit. Even British Prime Minister David Cameron influenced he considered the referendum binding.

But Cameron will be replaced by September, and until Article 50 is invoked, there are manner to abandon a Brexit. At least in theory, that is.

Move along, nothing to see here

The British guidance could simply ignore the referendum result. The vast majority of have room MPs are firmly in the Remain camp, so there could be enough political thinks fitting to wait out the storm.

In reality, though, that would amount to ignoring 17.4 million Britons who voted Furlough and would only deepen the anti-establishment populist anger that feed at least a portion of those voters in the first place.

“It would be the public elite turning around and saying, ‘We’re simply going to ignore the craves of the people’,” says Nicholas Wright, a teaching fellow in EU manipulation at University College London, adding that he believes “it’s extremely doubtful” that the U.K. won’t move forward with Brexit.

“There’s going to be a lot of vexed people if clever politicians don’t follow through on their promises.”

Britain Europe Brexit Angela Merkel Francois Hollande

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has translated there’s no need to rush into triggering Article 50, but she’s also been unshakeable in her conviction that a Brexit is inevitable and must eventually proceed. (Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters)

That being averred, more than 16 million Britons cast a ballot to carry on in the EU. Even former London mayor Boris Johnson, one of the most pre-eminent Leave cam igners, admitted in a meandering op-ed that the referendum come about was “not entirely overwhelming.”

Another referendum?

There have already been christens for a second referendum, among them an online petition with innumerable than four million signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

There are two advance this could go down. The first is to have another vote above-board away. But it’s a route fraught with obstacles, least among them slipshod optics.

“One of the big drivers of Leave sentiment has been a sense among economically handicapped voters that their voices were not being listened to,” authorities Strong.

Boris Johnson EU Brexit Britain

Former London mayor and Leave cam igner Boris Johnson has had a mystifying week. He told reporters that a convoluted editorial he penned outlining what a Brexit settle upon look like was hastily put together and that he should have rested more before writing it. (Stefan Rousseau/Reuters)

“To ask them to reckon again on the same question would only compound that intuition.”

Alternatively, the U.K. could try to hold off on triggering Article 50 while it deals more satisfactory terms with the EU, then take the new deal to a referendum. There’s chance-taking, Strong says, that this was the endgame that some of the various moderate Leave supporters always intended.

After Cameron’s tumble to Brussels to meet with other EU leaders this week, in all events, this seems a very unlikely outcome.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was definite hostile, and the European rliament ssed a motion calling on the U.K. to invoke Article 50 as speedily as possible.

Nigel Farage causes ruckus at EU general assembly1:54

Other EU associates need to see an end to the uncertainty of if, or when, the U.K. will formally initiate the divorce change, and they’ll do what’s necessary to ensure that, says Strong.

“This mightiness be a good time for Britain to be as co-operative as possible,” he adds.

New government, run off mandate

Alternatively, there are some who argue that the gravity of the setting necessitates a general election. That way U.K. voters could elect a ministry that cam igned on a clear mandate, whether it’s Leave or Remain.

But both significant rties are awash in the political chaos unleashed by the Brexit vote.

Jeremy Corbyn Labour Leader Brexit

Job Leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing a full-scale revolt within his faction. The mutiny has essentially left Britain without a united, functioning flak in the House of Commons. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Labour leader and evidently tepid Remain supporter Jeremy Corbyn is facing mutiny. This week 48 Sweat MPs resigned their shadow-cabinet posts in protest of Corbyn’s leadership, and on Tuesday he buried a non-confidence vote 172-40. He refuses to step aside.

For their share the Tories need to find a new leader, and it’s clear that, just like in Peg away at, deep schisms have opened in the rty.

Strong also senses out that it’s not clear what would happen if a new government, elected on a pledge to keep the U.K. in the EU, came to power after Article 50 is triggered. Could it invalidate course on Brexit? Maybe, maybe not, he says, as the EU’s governing treaties are blurred and, at best, open to interpretation.

The Scottish question

Lastly, there is a sound out of whether Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly Remain, could quashing legislation marking the U.K.’s split from the EU. An April report by the British Put up of Lords concluded that approval would have to come from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

According to a narrative, however, the British rliament could simply repeal that law if it was steady on a Brexit.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already signalled that in the receptacle of a Brexit her country will seek a second independence referendum, if possible opening the door for Scotland to join the EU on its own.

No matter what plays out in the coming months, the administrative turmoil will only continue, Strong says.

“There’s entirely no plausible outcome of the process going forward that a majority of the British openly will support.”

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