Brexit: The future and the fallout

Brexit has won. It is not yet possible to understand all of the serious consequences of this popular – and populist – decision.
Three aspects seem to be central at this early moment after the counting of votes.

One, divorce negotiations have to be led in a constructive and fair spirit, but also in a way to make clear to everybody that exit means good-bye. There are Norwegian models of formalizing a new relationship, as well as Canadian and Swiss models. That remains to be seen. But the EU side has to make absolutely clear that leaving does not come with a premium, thereby setting an incentive for others to follow.

Two, there are politicians who want to play domino. Erdogan, not even being a member (and looking at his policies without a chance to become one), prepares a referendum on terminating the accession negotiations. Wilders in the Netherlands wants to have a referendum on ‘Nexit’ now as well. Others will follow. While the EU cannot and should not prevent that when national legislation allows for a referendum, these options should not look attractive. And, as expected, the first economic trends look disastrous.

Thirdly, the underlying problem is the huge and growing wave of popular resentment toward politics and politicians. And yes, decision makers in most countries are underperforming. The EU was and is not able to convey the impression that it can cope successfully with the challenges like the Eurocrisis and overspending in some countries; terrorism and related security issues; conflicts and failing states in the MENA area, the growing relevance of social networks, and the resulting migration streams; an unpredictable, rule-violating and assertive Russia; an arc of frozen conflicts from Ukraine to the Trans- and Northern Caucasus; and others. All of this is fuelling populism.

I invite you today to share your opinion on any or all of these aspects.|
– Prof. Dr. Klaus Segbers

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  1. Sergei Medvedev 2 years ago

    Indeed, Brexit has lost, and with each passing day this is becoming ever more evident. A week after the referendum, the winners are confused and mute, the British elite and society are deeply divided, the British pound and sovereign ratings have plummeted, the global markets have lost almost as much as in the 2008 crisis, Scotland is once again preparing for secession, the Northern Ireland Good Friday Accord is in jeopardy, and the EU is, for once, united in its intent to punish and expel the bad goat, and not to let this become a model case.

    It has now become clear that the referendum organizers were not prepared for victory, and have absolutely no strategy for leading Britain out of the EU. They planned to use the vote for increasing their political leverage, and for a better bargaining position with the EU. The Brexit vote has shown not only the deep crisis of the ruling political system, and a loss of publiс confidence in traditional politics, but also the pathetic futility of the much-feared populists and radicals.

    In the end, I believe, Cameron will wash his hands and leave in the fall, while the new PM, together with the Parliament, will be looking for ways to keep Britain in — from a re-vote to parliamentary veto to face-saving agreement with the EU on “new” (indeed old) terms of relationship. The EU will emerge as a winner, and a final blow will be cast to British pride and post-imperial delusion.

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  2. Andrey Makarychev 2 years ago

    “Some political philosophers (like Slavoj Zizek) have repeatedly warned that the ascendance of administrative and managerial technocracy increases the chances for purely political counter-reaction. This is what we indeed see all across Europe: EU elites are widely seen as too much embedded in institutional and legal formalism, and too impotent in situations that require political decisions and political will. At a supranational level the later is indeed missing, which makes the national level a home to revitalised political discourses. “Brext”, along with the recent Dutch referendum on Ukraine (which in fact was more a vote against the EU), are the most important episodes in this story of the revenge of the political and the national against the technocratic rationality and the cosmopolitan universalism”.
    Andrey Makarychev, Guest Professor, University of Tartu

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  3. Caroline King 2 years ago

    In the EU, the UK is the main voting block of the loose alliance of market orientated liberal economies. Therefore there is a risk that, without the UK, EU economic policy will become less liberal and more protectionist.
    As a consequence, EU economic policy without the UK could lead to more burdensome regulation that could hinder growth and innovation in Europe. Foremost is the EU Digital Single Market agenda. The UK represents a key ally in driving for liberal, permissive and innovation friendly approaches especially on data protection, free flow of data and platform regulations. As such new market access compliance requirements (non – tariff barriers) become more likely and more restrictive judgments and implementations of data protection regulation could impact the analytics and customer insights markets.
    Moreover, EU trade policy could become more protectionist, especially confirming the delay of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) and making some of the outstanding issues such as agriculture more challenging to negotiate.

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  1. Dawid Kruger 2 years ago

    At this stage it looks like the key battleground for the future of the EU will be France. Should Britain manage to muddle its way through the transition, and negotiate a good deal with the EU, it will strengthen the position of Le Pen and others in France who are pushing for a so-called ‘Frexit’. Given this, EU negotiators will have to create a punishingly bad deal for the UK, in an effort to dissuade other potential EU-leavers on the mainland.

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  2. Stuart A. 2 years ago

    Once again the UK’s exit from the EU shows that people have had enough of Europe’s mismanagement of a huge number of issues. Brussels needs to listen more to the common man and less to the elites! Thats what this vote was about.

    In 2 years time I believe UK will be far more prosperous that an EU which is rapidly falling apart under the weight of migration and overegulation.

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  3. worldklaus 2 years ago

    First of all, this referendum is not legally binding for the U.K. government and the U.K. parliament has to vote on the final agreement with the EU. It’s not uncommon that couple’s come to their senses after the divorce lawyers explained all the options and consequences, realizing that even a bad compromise maybe still the best option. I do not expect radical changes in the UK – EU relationship long term, as pointed out in the introduction Norway maybe an example where to look at for solutions. Norway does participate in all, but the last phase of the EU decision making processes. Norwegian experts and politicians are often consulted and listened too, and therefore Norway is still shaping the EU to some extent, just not voting on the final version of agreements. I believe there may be terms and condition under which the U.K. may “re-join” the EU. One alternative would be to make the activation of Paragraph 50 depending on a referendum on the final UK – EU agreement, which would leave a back door open for the UK to “reverse” the course after the 2 year negotiation period passed.

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  4. Mathias J. Jongkor 2 years ago

    My analysis about the some nordic nation reaction on Brexit from the EU is so bad because it open other small states to do the same and will prevent other states for coming to the EU, particularly eastern Europe.Historically Britain it had joined the EU Economic Community in 1973 and to EU in 1990s and today is leaving has a huge impact on EU. Within Britain, some politicins are very angry to stay out from EU and some they like it to stay in which is the nationalism has rise up for my point of view. Some scholars say such as Douglas Murray who explains that Britain has never been fully recognised the legitimacy of the European control over its institutions in a way that EU members states did. Brexit will affect the EU liberal rules for internal migration and economic regulations. The Brexit from European Union will impact on globalisation, but geopolitics are more than economics. Since the World War two, the US troops still in Germany to maintain the status quo there to avoid the possibility of conflict and Brexit is immediate threat to political order in Europe. Is sovereignty issue drive the Berxit? Britain can trigger global resssion political turmoil, trade and business in EU states. Some countries think that the Norwegian model is the best to stay away from EU, but the history of EU should be understood in the first place. The Norwegian is not a solution for the EU, but what happen if France did the same, for my point of view it will challenge the Union. Norway rejected the EU membership in 1994 referendum, but it has good access to the so-called single market, trade zone which pays heavily both in money and allowing free movement of people and capital. Norwegian politicians and people have accepted most EU regulations. In Denmark it seems that the opposition parties are calling for referendum or debate over the voting result led the Brexit from the EU and they want to look at future of the EU. In fact, the feeling of Danish government is so sad about the outcome but is okay. UK digests the results of the EU referendum, to stay out of from the EU will have a huge impact on economic and political if the UK staying would have brought lot of stability but if Britain has chosen to vote out. The reaction of Sweden is that the Brexit might rewind Sweden the arguments of the 1990, and the Brexit will break up the entire Union, but, the Social Democrat-Green government and the largest centre-right opposition party, the Moderate all of them stated that there is no desire for Sweden to hold a referendum. To conclude my opinion , if EU break apart, there will be a coalitions between states not only in Europe bout also will be in Asia and Africa. There are a lot of question about why Brexit from EU and what went wrong to Britain.

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    1. worldklaus 2 years ago

      Hello Mathias, glad to meet you here! My point is, that the UK’s economy is highly intergraded with EU member markets in general and in particular with the German economy. Over 40 years of co-operation and close integration can not be “untangled” that easily. I believe that any future UK government will be very hesitant to activate Paragraph 50 unconditionally. This will drag on for a (very) long time and after the dust settles, there will be measures taken to maintain a high level of integration with the UK, however this may look like in detail. Maybe this is a warning to the “protest-voters” in other countries, your vote counts and just going with the “no-sayers” may hurt. I go with Helmut Kohl on this one, we should take a step back, take it easy, and be co-operative and friendly to our UK friends. To be honest, the Greek crisis worries me much more, as the current currency may cause much more damage than the Brexit could ever do.

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  5. Yawa scopas 2 years ago

    The success of the referendum in Britain will not just inspire more countries to use referendums to leave the European Union, but also motivate ethnic and minority groups around the world to possibly demand a referendum to seek independence and statehood, thereby causing chaos in the states system that has existed since 1945.
    So quite apart from the social and economic consequences of the referendum for Britain and European, the idea of a referendum will have a global spill over effect, encouraging extremist populism and Islamism and thereby potentially further fragmenting already vulnerable states and societies.
    As long as referendums preserved the status quo they did not damage the body politic of nation states.
    Yet Britain has demonstrated that the status quo of economic and political unions and long held ideas if nationhood can be broken up when governments come under populist public pressure to change political direction by using a referendum as its mains political means to achieve it.

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