Calls for a second referendum on EU membership persist, with some suggesting that the British electorate should keep “an open mind” about reversing Brexit. There’s nothing wrong about keeping an open mind, but there’s also nothing open-minded about reversing Brexit.
Much has been said about the consequences of Brexit on Ireland. However, far too little attention has been given to the threats posed to Ireland by continued EU membership. This blog post provides a primer on how EU membership has benefited Ireland so far, and how these benefits cannot last if Ireland remains a member state.
In your efforts to ensure your country’s smooth transition away from EU membership, you have met more than one stumbling block. Between restoring British legal supremacy, settling your accounts with the EU, and establishing functioning borders, your attempts to define a future relationship with the EU have fallen short. It’s time to keep calm and walk away from Brexit negotiations.
While the UK’s parliament debates the EU Withdrawal Bill, its government is pursuing a post-Brexit deal on the continent. On both fronts, the decision Britons took to leave the EU is under threat. Indeed, their government has precious little wiggle room to deliver, but it still has a few aces up its sleeve.
Rather than inspiring a constructive attitude to Brexit talks in Brussels, Theresa May’s Florence speech generated yet more calls for “clarity”, and that “sufficient progress” be made before talks could advance. This lacklustre EU position is not the result of sincere consideration of May’s proposals. Rather, it looks a lot more like a deliberate tactic to either prevent Brexit, or punish Britain.
In recent travels and public statements, Ireland’s new Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar has made clear he is no friend of Brexit. By toying with brinkmanship he betrays a shallow appreciation for his nation’s historically close relationship with the UK. Rather than cross his arms and lament the democratic choice of Britons, Varadkar needs to mature as a political representative and deal with his neighbours in good faith.
With Article 50 triggered and Brexit negotiations well underway, the UK government looks like it’s carrying out the instructions it received from 17.4 million voters last summer. Nevertheless, a growing threat hangs over Brexit Britain.
Having voted to leave the EU last June, the people of Britain have already made clear that they want their future to belong to them. In this regard they are several steps ahead of other member states. Now, the country must ensure that Brexit is timely, true to voters, and successful.
Many significant figures in business, politics, and the media openly campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU. Since June’s Brexit vote, elite pushback has persisted, if not accelerated, threatening the vote’s result. Rather than oppose the British people, these figures should focus on making the most of the opportunities presented by Brexit.