Some Brexit Scenarios

For our last pre-election episode we talk with Anand Menon, director of the UK in a Changing Europe, about what might happen to Brexit once the vote is done. What choices does Johnson face if he wins? What paths are there to a second referendum if he loses? And what will remainers do if Britain does finally leave the EU? Plus we discuss what the rest of Europe makes of it all. With Helen Thompson. Tomorrow, we talk about the result of the election as it happens.


Talking Points: 


There are basically two scenarios: Johnson gets a majority and the withdrawal bill passes, or there’s a hung parliament.

  • The first is slightly more probable, but the margins are getting closer.
  • If Johnson has a majority of even one, the UK will probably leave.
  • But we still don’t know what Johnson wants. Will he be a prisoner to the ERG or will he be a one nation Tory and go for a softer Brexit?
  • The next crunch point will be the end of June with the extension for transition. 


EU leaders have been assuming a Johnson victory.

  • There’s a conversation in Brussels about how flexible the EU should be, given Johnson’s comments on European trade.
  • Relations within the EU have gotten more fraught.
  • What about the UK’s security relationship with the EU? 


Would a hung parliament inevitably lead to a second referendum?

  • It’s not clear that a Corbyn minority government could legislate for a referendum. You might actually get another election.


The gap between Labour and the Conservatives is as wide as it has been in recent history.

  • The Lib Dems have again fallen behind.
  • The public seems to be uncomfortable with revoke. It’s not a vote winner.


If the UK leaves, where do the remainers go? 

  • It doesn’t seem that project rejoin would have much steam in the short term.
  • If Johnson wins, it will be on less than half of the vote. And the likelihood of a fifth Conservative victory is unlikely. 
  • There is a reason for Labour to believe that next time is their real chance.


Mentioned in this Episode: 


Further Learning: 


And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking


 

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