Brexit: Time regained

11 July 2019
Andrew Duff (President of the Spinelli Group; Former Member of the European Parliament 1999-2014)

The UK has wasted precious time in the Brexit process. A no deal outcome has become the legal and political default. The new prime minister cannot avoid returning to Mrs May’s deal if he is to avoid no deal.

Andrew Duff argues for changes to be made not only to the Political Declaration but also to the Withdrawal Agreement itself. One amendment is needed to buy time: the transition period should be made extendable until the final association agreement enters into force. Such a revision will not breach anyone’s red lines, will obviate the need for the Irish backstop, reassure businesses and citizens, and enable an orderly exit.

Duff also argues that the British should pay far more attention to the joint governance of the Withdrawal Agreement. The idea that the UK will become a vassal of the EU is nonsense: in fact, the British will be able to wield influence after Brexit if the new prime minister adopts a positive attitude.

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