Recently, the Article 50 bill was cleared, in essence allowing PM Theresa May to instigate proceedings to withdraw Britain from the European Union, scheduled for completion in March 2019. Yet, whilst it seems Brexit may ultimately occur, with Britain leaving the European Union after 43 years of membership, the majority of political leaders have seemingly voiced their desire for an eventual return; these leaders include Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President, and his stature may highlight the influential position Britain may be in, enabling a superior deal with further beneficial outcomes to become attainable. As such, whilst withdrawal showcases the benefits of democracy, as the desire of the people is being achieved, the yearning of influencers for a re-entry may place Britain in an advantageous position, one which Theresa May might aim to exploit.
The 23rd June 2016 signalled the referendum, in which the population were requested to state whether they desired to remain a part of, or leave, the European Union. The Remain campaign seemed to receive the majority of celebrity, and political backing, and the support of these influencers seemed to suggest the country may ultimately remain a member of the Union. Yet, ultimately the withdrawal of Britain seemed to be authorised, via a 52%-48% majority, perhaps predominantly due to UKIP leader Nigel Farage who vocalised his support for Brexit. His gravitas, and remarkable public speaking prowess, focusing on nationalism and economic benefits, including the claim the £350 million saved per week may enable sustenance for the NHS, underpinned by the slogan, “take back control”, may have influenced the majority of voters.
Once legal conformation is announced, the British negotiators, spearheaded by Theresa May, aim to attain the best possible deal for the British population, and for both sides of the referendum spectrum. Attempting to achieve nationwide content may be pivotal for May as, considering it was her predecessor, David Cameron, who was elected as Prime Minister, achieving a beneficial deal for the whole population may lead to a vast level of support for Brexit, and ultimately her leadership. A key factor in the talks may be the Single Market, as whilst the Leave campaign suggested there may be opportunities for Britain to trade with growing economies including India and Brazil, a deal surrounding the Single Market may be of elevated importance due to the economic impact it may have. With 44% of Britain’s exports, or £220 billion, going to the EU, a favourable trade deal seems to be fundamental in reducing any pressure on British goods.
As aforementioned, the majority of the EU talisman, including Juncker and Tusk, the Council President, voiced their support of a British return; this may act as the catalyst in an increasingly beneficial deal, as with Britain seemingly a pivotal member of the Union, both as one of the longest serving members and it’s recognition as an influential country, it seems these European leaders may aim to appease Britain in order to maintain a consistent relationship. In addition, whilst the two-year negotiation time limit seems to aim to superiorly impact the EU, enabling them to have increased bargaining powers, the reputation of Britain, and the yearning of Juncker for a return, may enable a switch of influence.
Whilst negotiations may occur over a span of two years, recent meetings in Brussels, attended by the leaders of the remaining 27 members and Britain, seem to suggest future EU plans are being considered, and there may be motivation to create stability across Europe. In addition, Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, announced aims for arrangements for UK citizens who are keen to continue their relationship with the EU, which may enable the 48% who voted Remain to be provided with reimbursements, including free travel. Ultimately, with key members of Parliament providing their support for triggering Article 50, it seems to suggest the wishes of the people is being represented yet, with key European leaders, including Juncker, voicing their support for a British return, there seems to be multiple opportunities for Britain to be driven in the best possible direction.
How may a potential trade deal between Britain and the EU enable beneficial outcomes for both parties?