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The Brexit endgame

Leaving the EU didn’t have to be done in this shambolic way, argues David Allen Green—and we can still reset the whole strategy. Alongside, Prospect examines the options parliament still has to force ministers to change tack

The Brexit endgame

Leaving the EU didn’t have to be done in this shambolic way, argues David Allen Green—and we can still reset the whole strategy. Alongside, Prospect examines the options parliament still has to force ministers to change tack

The United Kingdom is facing a departure from the European Union on terms that few if anybody in the UK seems to positively want. Is this bound to happen? Or is it not too late for Brexit to be done another way?

At the time of the referendum no UK politician, campaigner or pundit—and presumably no voter—wanted a departure based on the current draft withdrawal agreement, especially with its Irish backstop arrangements and its long transition period in which the UK will continue to have legal and hefty financial obligations without any representation. Few wanted the UK to leave with no withdrawal agreement at all. But unless something unforeseen happens, the current draft withdrawal agreement or no agreement are the two most likely outcomes.

How this predicament has come about will one day be of interest to historians. Perhaps they will say that these two available forms of Brexit were inevitable, and no better method of departure would ever have been possible. They may conclude there was a direct line from the referendum result, or perhaps from the Article 50 notification, which led to what is currently set to happen on 29th March 2019.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s December issue: Timothy Garton Ash and David Allen Green assess Brexit and ask whether it’s too late for things to change. Garton Ash explains how Brexit is just one part of a fracturing Europe and that it might not be too late for the UK’s situation—or that of the rest of Europe—to change. Green takes apart the “shambolic” way that Britain has approached Brexit and suggests a number of options that parliament should strongly consider if minister are to change their views. Elsewhere in the issue: Jo Glanville visits a rural GP surgery and exposes the crises that are played out day-in-day-out all over the country. Stephen Phelan suggests that Spain’s decision to exhume General Franco’s remains threatens to disturb more than his bones. Martin Rees writes about our dreams of understanding the entire universe—and how we may never be able to satisfy that desire.