macliam wrote: Chadwick wrote:
macliam wrote:I'm afraid talk of a second referendum is pointless. The damage is done - if the EU agreed to rescind Article 50 it would likely be on worse terms and with a hefty bill for the disruption caused.
I disagree. We haven't left yet, nothing has changed, so there's nothing to revert if we cancel Article 50.
The UK would need to rescind the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, but as that largely deals what happens on the event of our leaving, it's possible there's no urgency to that.
But our relationship with the EU hasn't changed yet, and we wouldn't be asking for any changes if we rescind Article 50. I would expect our terms to remain the same. Neither would I anticipate a bill from the EU. They're not billing us for their time now, so I would not expect them to bill us if we call the whole show off.
I think you have a rather anglo-centric view. I'm sure the other EU members would tell you that the UKs decision to leave the club has impacted them in many ways already ..... and has incurred costs (not least the travelling circus of the Brexit talks). Why should the EU pay for this?
Even if there is no "hefty bill", why should the EU trust the UK not to renege on agreements or afford it the same privileges it had as an early member? Whether tacit or explicit, there will be costs and the UK could not just resume its position as if nothing had happened.
Nothing has changed. We're negotiating what is going to happen in the future, but right now, our membership of the EU is on the same terms as it was before the referendum. If the EU want to renegotiate that, but this time with someone picking up the tab for both parties, I think that's a brave decision.
However, I agree with you that damage has been done in terms of trust and our ability to negotiate future special terms. If we were to stay in now, and in a couple of years ask for another unique exemption from some policy, the other members know they can say "No. What you gonna do? Leave again?"
I do think we can technically remain in our current relationship, but it will take a while to convince the other EU members that we really mean it, and for them to trust us again.
The other option is that if we leave and then choose to rejoin in a generation's time, we will have lost all the special privileges we currently enjoy, and we will have to negotiate new terms. Hopefully, we'll have a different team doing it then, or we really will be screwed.
The Brexiteers have seriously damaged and diminished Britain's status in Europe. They've committed us to an economic hit and made us look petulant, indecisive, xenophobic and arrogant. It's not a term I will use myself, but if we're going to bandy about words like 'traitor', we should think carefully about who it applies to.