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A recurrent claim of the Leave campaign during the 2016 EU referendum was that it would be easy for the United Kingdom, once it had decided to leave the EU, to agree with the larger countries of the Union, notably Germany and France ... But the misconception was illuminating for its misjudgement of the European Union and the solidarity between its members.
Today’s papers bring another story that the UK might be planning to breach the Brexit withdrawal agreement – including the report that the new Attorney-General Suella Braverman is poised to attempt to justify this legally. So what happens if the UK (or the EU) breaches the withdrawal agreement is not a hypothetical issue.
Brexiters are often accused of living in the past. That is manifest in the now recurring Brexiter response to concerns about Brexit: ‘but we did perfectly well before’.
Brexit will never be over.
The most important Brexit event of the week came and went with relatively little fanfare, yet it marks a significant moment.
'The Brexiters have no more idea in private than they do in public about what they are doing. Predictions based upon their concealed intent project on to them a competence they simply don’t possess.'
The delusion that the Brexit negotiations are ongoing, as discussed in my previous post, continues and in doing so becomes ever more surreal.
A pro-Brexit minister and MPs have accused the Civil Service of pursuing a ‘Remain’ agenda. Steve Bullock, a former civil servant, argues that the consequences of undermining civil servants in this way are potentially disastrous.
What are the legal consequences of leaving the EU for the UK? Those consequences are manifold, but some of the key aspects are set out in the Withdrawal Agreement Act (the ‘new Act’), which Parliament passed in January.
'For at the same time as attempting to relegate Brexit to distant memory, the government is also claiming all kinds of benefits from “having left the EU”.'
'Identity has been at the heart of Brexit. Anti-Europeans who could not bear the notion of sharing sovereignty at the European level ... They found that they best way to articulate this discomfort was by claiming that the EU was undemocratic, or anti-democratic.'
"The first week of Johnson’s new administration has seen both speculation about, and the beginning of some answers to, how he intends to undertake Brexit. The outrageousness of that situation shouldn’t pass without comment."
How has the Leave vote affected the UK economy, ask Swati Dhingra and Thomas Sampson (LSE) in this second of two blogs based on the CEP Election Analysis briefing on Brexit.
The full text of Sir Ivan’s speech is reproduced below.
With it still possible the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal, Mark Dayan looks at the impact that would have on NHS costs.
It may be time for the UK to consider the possibility the German car industry might not be riding to the rescue.