Britain and Brexit

Clear-cut decision; uncertain consequences


 

On June 23, the people of the United Kingdom voted to end four decades of membership of the EU. The vote was decisive: 52% to 48% in favour of leaving. And it was momentous: Britain’s place in the world has shifted irrevocably, and the course of EU history will be changed.

We are now in the uncharted waters of the world’s fifth largest economy having to unravel itself legally, socially and economically from the EU.

Financial markets face weeks if not months of volatility. The negotiations over the exit agreement will likely take several years and be confusing, complex and critical for the future shape of both the EU and the UK polities.

Beyond resolving the practical but complicated questions of the management of issues ranging from trade to labour markets, migration, sovereignty and national security, the UK’s decision poses both an existential challenge to the ‘European project’ and the EU’s unelected institutions.

The vote also laid bare a deep fault line running through Europe’s political parties, with disaffected rank and file memberships on the one side and party elites on the other.

The UK’s two mainstream political parties, the Conservatives and Labour, may break up or reform around new leaderships.

In continental Europe, where political support is shifting from the centre to parties at both extremes of the political spectrum, the calls for more national referendums on EU membership and a rejection of austerity and globalisation will become more strident.

Join three of Oxford Analytica’s expert advisors on UK and European affairs to discuss the prospects and challenges now facing the UK and the EU, including:

  • What would be involved in the UK unravelling itself from the EU, how long would that take and what would be the key points of negotiation?
  • What will be the long-term impacts on globalisation and political fragmentation?
  • How will Brexit influence the future of ‘the European project’ and its pillars such as the euro and Schengen?
  • What could the United Kingdom’s future trading relationships with the rest of the world look like and does the UK have the civil service capacity to negotiate trade agreements on its own?
  • What might be the impact France, Germany and Italy’s forthcoming elections?
  • How divisive for the UK’s governing Conservatives and the opposition Labour party will the vote, and who will form both parties’ new leadership?
  • What impact will the regional vote have on the possible break-up of the United Kingdom?