Brexit: What if Britain changes its mind?

18 January 2018
Andrew Duff (President of the Spinelli Group; Former Member of the European Parliament 1999-2014)

Recent excursions by Tony Blair and numerous others from the British establishment have lit up the argument about whether the United Kingdom can, and if so will change its mind about Brexit.

In this paper, Andrew Duff explores the new terms and conditions that would be likely to apply to the UK’s renewed membership, including:

  1. Political integration: Reaffirmation of ‘ever closer union’ through the full restoration by the Westminster parliament of the European Communities Act 1972 and the repeal of all ‘withdrawal’ legislation.
  2. Sincere cooperation: guarantees that the decision to revoke Article 50 was sincere, durable and legitimate in domestic terms; agreement to drop mandatory referendums to ratify EU treaty change.
  3. Financial contribution: agreement to contribute more to a higher EU budget under a reformed financial system, including an end to Thatcher’s rebate.
  4. Specialised agencies: acceptance of the irreversible relocation out of London of the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency.
  5. Citizens’ rights: formal endorsement of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights by ditching any pretence to a British opt-out.
  6. Justice and home affairs: ending the British opt-outs in civil and criminal law.
  7. Refugee policy: commitment to a common asylum and immigration policies, including acceptance of its fair share of refugees.
  8. Financial sector: engagement with Banking Union and commitment to never again seek to block the reform of EMU governance.
  9. Defence cooperation: participation in permanent, structured cooperation in defence.

The UK would not be obliged to join the Schengen area or the euro.

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