Has Brexit been a national humiliation for Britain? In a recent opinion poll, nine out of ten Britons said they believed the UK’s handling of Brexit has brought shame to the nation, with over a third blaming the UK government.

It’s safe to say the ride has been a bumpy one. Originally, the UK was due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. That date has now officially been pushed back at least two weeks to 12 April, with the possibility that the divorce may be delayed even further (in theory even until after the upcoming European Parliament elections). What should Europeans make of it?

What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Jurre, who believes the whole Brexit experience has been so humiliating for Britain that it will discourage other countries from leaving the European Union. Is he right?

To get a response, we put Jurre’s comment to Jonathan Bullock, an MEP with the Brexit Party (and formerly a UKIP MEP). He pointed out that Brexit isn’t over yet, so we shouldn’t be too quick to pass judgment:

Well, we haven’t actually left the EU yet. There’s a process going on of disentangling Britain from the EU, so we won’t know how Britain stands outside the EU until we’ve actually left. This is merely the process of uncoupling ourselves.

Now, the British government have made [the Brexit process] far more difficult than it should be, so I think other countries would see that – that there’s different ways of doing it and that this has been very poorly handled by the British Prime Minister. But until we’re actually out of the EU you won’t see the benefits. Once we’re outside, people will see the benefits of Britain being outside the EU as a positive.

To get a different perspective, we also put Jurre’s comment to Francis Jacobs, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at University College Dublin and former Head of the European Parliament’s Information Office in Ireland between 2006 and 2016. What would he say to the same comment?

[…] I think the longer this has gone on, the more it has reinforced the trend in other EU Member States to see such [EU membership] referendums as very dangerous things, and that trying to leave the EU is by no means a simple process. There is a mechanism for leaving: Article 50, as we know, brought in by the Treaty of Lisbon in formal terms, but in practice unravelling yourself from the EU is very complex. That’s one thing that people have learned.

I think the second thing is the impact on the UK itself. Obviously, people in other EU countries saw firstly that the four component parts of the United Kingdom voted in different ways, with two voting to leave and two to remain. Then, it’s been incredibly divisive across British society in general. And you can see now that almost Left-Right divisions have been replaced by Remain-Leave divisions. It’s absolutely been a polarising thing in the UK, and I think that’s been a lesson for many other EU countries.

And the recent developments over the last few weeks have brought it home even more graphically… The UK is seen not as a laughing stock, but it is seen with great pity. There’s been almost universal regret across the EU at the UK leaving; partly because it weakens the EU itself, but also most people in most other EU countries, and almost all the governments, had felt that the UK, in spite of its Euroscepticism, had made a very big contribution to the EU and still had a lot to offer into the future……

Will Brexit discourage other EU countries from leaving? Has Brexit been a national humiliation for Britain? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) BigStock – Tverdokhlib; PORTRAIT CREDITS: Bullock (c) European Parliament, Jacobs (c) European Parliament

69 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Most likely yes, but never underestimate the populism and the stupidity of the people.

  2. avatar

    As long as the UK has not actually left the EU, it is very hard to know what happens when Brexit is a reality.

  3. avatar

    Oh, are they leaving? I hadn’t noticed. We have sufficient problems of our own in Spain not to have to copy the UK’s.

    • avatar

      every country in the world has some sort of internal problems. Yours isn’t an exception. It’s worth observing what happens around you, as it will have an impact on everyone. 🙂

  4. avatar

    only if their respective electorates acquire a real understanding of what is happening in the UK, whcih I very much doubt.

  5. avatar

    I don,t think so…Brexit is a good idea for Britain but the politicians got stuck in a maze of selfishnes.

    • avatar

      Brexit is stupid

  6. avatar

    The EU would survive with les corruption and better policies. Now is a nest of power and capitalism.

  7. avatar

    If there is a hard Brexit, the popularists will be wiped out in the elections as people will see the effects of those policies.

    • avatar

      Populists are already running a number of countries in the EU and outside it, and the electorates there seem quite satisfied with their policies.

    • avatar

      any statistics to prove that? It isn’t because those who vote vote for populists that the majority of Europeans are “satisfied” with their policies!

  8. avatar

    “Look at what EU will you make you go through, if you try to leave”
    – It doesn’t sound very democratic, does it?

    • avatar

      Does the EU have “democratic” trade deals with Japan, China, the US?

    • avatar

      The EU? So you’re not understanding what happens when you have to deal with 27 different states separately and all the rest, interesting.

    • avatar

      all you have to deal with is EC – unelected, undemocratic, institution 80% of the time protecting the European plutocracy.

    • avatar

      So you’re not understanding how the EU works either? What about getting a bit involved before talking about it?

    • avatar

      those unelected EU officials do a far better job than those voted for in the house of Commons.

    • avatar

      the hotel California… Its no secret the EUs hatred of democracy

    • avatar

      Stop bitching about leaving, because you are leaving in two weeks and no one is stopping you.

    • avatar

      if ye are so keen to leave, just leave. We are utterly sick of you. Absolutely nobody is stopping the UK from leaving.

    • avatar

      what the EU made UK go through😂. Referendum 2016. UK Didn’t have a plan for leave. 27 countries working together to help UK leave. EU still don’t know what UK wants

    • avatar

      Yeah, but England didn’t get to pick and chose, even though the brexiteers promised they would. The EU didn’t respect the referendum. The brits were promised everything.

    • avatar

      Or look what the corrupted politicians will put you through just because they want to dodge the tax paying.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “those unelected EU officials do a far better job than those voted for in the house of Commons”


      It may appear so but they have a far easier job because they have no direct responsibilities. The EU can create all the regulations and directives it wants safe in the knowledge that it doesn’t have to do the “dirty work” of implementing and inflicting them on the National populations..and when they fail to deliver, it is obviously where the blame will fall

  9. avatar
    catherine benning

    Will Brexit discourage other EU countries from leaving?

    No, Brexit will encourage all those who know in their gut what they are lined up for within this club is tumult. And that horror show will be upon them before they can say Jack Robinson. The EU army will have your children and grandchildren quickly rounded up for conscription to a war as horrific as the first World War. Your children, both male and female, under the equality laws, will be at the mercy of the equivalent and worse. And ask this, who and what will they be dying for? Do any of you really want to fight to the kill for the politics being pushed down your throats today? Do you really believe in the politically correct jargon forced on your sanity and will you be behind it with the lives of your sons and daughters? What will it achieve?

    I think the Dutch, Italians, Hungarians, Austrians, as well as the French, are at their wits end. The fight for freedom at the grass roots, is already well on the cards, so Brexit and its created happiness as we flourish, will be seen as a saviour for our collective historical ancestry and cultural cohesion will prevail.

    Globalism is dead. And the wealthy funders of this fiasco rolling in the grand theft of austerity, will end up in shite city, Marie Antoinette style.

    • avatar

      The only advantage tue UK has is its relation to Canada, Australia and USA. How will you compete with Asia in a world where markets and money rule tue world?
      It will be definitly interesting to see if there will be more good or bad sides.. for me from a economic sie it makes no sense. In today’s world who cares about a small county?

  10. avatar
    catherine benning

    Will Brexit discourage other EU countries from leaving?

    Trickery will not go unnoticed for eternity. And if any of the EU countries feel, as the British did and do, that chicanery took them into the EEC, then leave they will. You cannot keep a nation shackled, via propaganda, when reality exposes truth.

    This great orator exposed what was done to the British via their fellow man. It was never accepted as set in stone since then. And will not be accepted as set in stone now.


    You cannot discourage a citizen of any nation who seeks freedom from demanding it.

  11. avatar
    Frank Burgdörfer

    “Once we’re outside, people will see the benefits of Britain being outside the EU as a positive” – write Jonathan Bullock.

    How should such benefits emerge? Can additional barriers for trade and people bring them about? Or self-exclusion from decision-making on the continent? Or bringing oneself in a far weaker position when dealing with powers like the US or China?

    Brexit is highly irrational. It cannot implemented in a way, which would bring the benefits for Britain. Thus, the British do not know how to go ahead. And after fully understanding the nonsense they are doing, the British will return in one or two decades.

  12. avatar

    The question is problematic. Britain is not a nation state but an union and has also colonial past. Britain’s historical development is quite different from continental Europe and anti-Europe sentiment has always been strong in British political and cultural sphere. Britain, for example, always avoided monetary union. I think EU nations are well aware of the fact that leaving EU is not a solution in a highly globalised word.

  13. avatar

    No. I dont think so. EU, will disapear before that, because we are fed up of the burocrats and leftists

  14. avatar

    Probably but the best would be to have a strong EU which protect European citizens fr illegal migrations and from Chinese dumping and agressive commercial policy

  15. avatar

    I don t think Brexit will be so bad for UK…. As Trump is not so bad for USA… You should change your software… NATIONS are good to people more than EU

  16. avatar

    If the UK doesn’t experience any negative effects, then it will encourage other EU countries to leave. We’ll have to wait and see.

  17. avatar

    No. They do not have colonial age residuals as Northern Ireland to care about.

  18. avatar

    Yes…..I think so….Italy for example…☺

  19. avatar

    Thanks to the British politicians none will want to leave the EU now, none will dare to demand a Referendum over this issue..
    Thank you Britain for enforcing EU..

    • avatar

      people weren’t given a referendum if they wanted this political union either..

  20. avatar

    I don’t think any have the slightest intention of leaving. There is no benefit in doing so. No one is surprised at the complexity of the negotiations. If I was for leaving ( I’m not ) I would take Mays deal. It went ok until our parliament knocked it back

  21. avatar

    Europe needs to stay strong and can only do that as a unit

  22. avatar

    EU will break up sooner or later.

  23. avatar

    The Brexit is a failure and the generator of this failure has been simpleton and stupid populisms.

    • avatar

      the “stupid populism” as she calls it, it’s the wanting of the people who expressed themselves democratically with a referendum.

    • avatar

      if the referendum is a democratic expression, then Scotland should be free to join the EU!

    • avatar

      Europe needs to stay strong !!

  24. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Is the torn EU flag in the picture an omen for the future?

    Enoch Powell Dec 1976 “prophecy” is a speech to be remembered! But probably dismissed as dangerous populism by the EU leadership of today, their elitist friends, think tanks & political serfs.

    What went wrong during the decade-long building process while constructing a free market economic model incorporating all willing, deserving and capable European Nations?

    This whole exercise has turned into a political nightmare & quagmire because of the ADDED condition to abide to strict central political oversight by Brussels (“how-ever sweet such definition may be phrased”) using a step by step approach to install political & legal structures to control and direct all and everything- EVERYWHERE in Europe- eventually!

    That will result:

    * in the destruction of all 28 remaining National parliaments.
    * stripping away ALL Nations sovereignty on the march to a Unitary European State.
    * demoting & reducing them to Provisional Councils & Regions with limited powers of self
    rule & self determination.

    It appears a perfect scenario of the revival of “The Teutonic Order” and the resurrection of the “Holy Roman Empire”. Whoever supports the present such EU concept- supports the resurrection of the “Kaisers Empire”.

    What is more frightening- Brexit, the EU or a coming Empire of old?


  25. avatar

    Britain cannot leave the EU. It is tied legally to an amalgamated defense treaty and can’t get out of it. Buy a yellow vest and let’s get this European Spring started.

  26. avatar

    Let’s hope!! To make the eu understand to the citizens, you have to broadcast to the maximum the sheets published yesterday by the commissionil on brexit with “no deal”. for once very pedagogic, they give chills of horror !!! Who might be salutary to make those who are tempted by this type of walk on the edge of the abyss!!!

  27. avatar

    I hope not,hope that evry boddy sees what treasonable freakshow it realy is🤬

  28. avatar

    I think Brexit has discouraged many British from leaving!!
    Look at the mess?

  29. avatar

    I think it already have! Italian far right hasn’t been mentioning the EU exit referendum for ages.

  30. avatar

    The Italians know that it would be much worse for Italy if there would be an exit from the EU. Britain is a stronger country and is in caos now, I can’t even think what would happen here!
    We have a government of incompetent reactionists liars two faces politicians, an enormous public debt and so on, I cannot even imagine the caos!

  31. avatar

    The “EU” is the member states of the Union. All 27 had to vote on and approve the transitional agreement.. Negotiated over two years. ” they”? The reason for the dates now agreed is the elections. The Commission will not be there. A new commission will come after the elections. If we do end up taking part. It will be an education. Electing candidates to the ” unelected dictatorship”?

  32. avatar

    Both the former communists and the former neonazis in the Swedish parliament have abandoned their Swexitplans. I think it’s because of Brexit.

  33. avatar

    We have witnessed how the referendum has been tearing apart rather than benefiting the country. Even worse, the formulation of government policy appears to be in a stand still for the parliament and prime minister have been struggling to realize the Brexit even though they do not know where it would lead the country too. They look so helpless. If Brexit is such a good idea, why those support it are afraid of Brexit without deal? Why political parties have to struggle so fiercely on how to exit? If we have time to take a look at The Crowd, Gustave Le Bon’s study of the popular mind, it appears that elites are being dragged by the crowd towards the cliff. Shall the future of a country be dictated by a simple majority of the voters, which is roughly 1/3 only? Isn’t this a tragedy of democracy? We appear to have seen the “death of Socrates”, this is the tyranny of “[simple] majority”!

  34. avatar

    I don’t think any nation apart from the UK has seriously considered leaving the EU,true a lot of people are very unhappy,hence the rise of far right parties in nearly ever country,except Britain funnily enough.

  35. avatar

    from what i hear it has already strengthened support for the EU in other member states. Let’s be honest, we all like to have a moan every now and again but nobody wants to be in the UK’s place right now. they have shot themselves through the foot.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Nadya

      The British have a different point of view, the majority feel many citizens of EU states have been indoctrinated by mass propaganda, leading to many having acquired a form of Stockholm Syndrome.


      The only countries who should want to Leave the EU are those who have been brought to abject poverty by belonging. Even, those who have seen an enormous unwanted lifestyle change since joining, as the British people have should call into question their allegiance. Since belonging to the EU, culturally, economically, crime, educational expectation, financial stability, health care, has all dramatically changed for the worse in the UK. Even our justice system and work prospects have gone from full employment and law stability to large swathes of unemployment, illegality and fear. Homelessness, begging on our streets, mass murder, rape are all something rarely experienced in the UK prior to being part of the EU. Their policy of open door migration has created no go areas in many of our communities, hate crime, as it is called, didn’t exist, acid attacks, child mutilation by ritual, as with obia witchcraft and so on. These crimes were non existent 50 years ago. Now they are a plague on our society and it is directly due to EU exploitation of our British lifestyle.

      How any state could be ready to accept that as a daily routine would indicate a shift in sanity. From civilised expectation to a less safe environment, as we have seen is appalling. The GB general public is no longer willing to allow such horror to be imported into their environment, without questioning the motives behind organisations or political dogma that would sanction such an introduction to their safety and way of life.

      What you should ask yourself is, why are you happy with that? And if indeed happy, how did you reach such a low expectation for Western evolution?

    • avatar

      Cathrine, you are sure that OTHERS are brain-washed? Because it sounds like you have fear of the future and the natural development of things and you blame the EU for everything that you don’t like. You make a whole cocktail of things in your response, which shows general poor understanding of current affairs. I will not go into details but all I’ll say is your response does not really answer the question of the debate. The truth is that Brexit has strengthened support for the EU in other countries because ultimately everyone understands that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. We all like to complain a bit every now and again but sadly the UK didn’t know when it was time to stop. Perhaps because UK politicians have hijacked Brexit to push their personal agendas and it is just too easy to manipulate UK public opinion, as is evident by your response to me.

      You also come across as patronising when you try to tell people what they should think. But patronising attitude has been an element in the Brexit debate and seems to be an aspect of British culture that it is patronising towards others. Ultimately, the break-down of the UK’s relationship with the EU and the failure of Brexit negotiations constitute a cultural clash to a large extent. Clearly, the British mentality and way of doing things have failed and have got the country into trouble. So, please, keep your advice to yourself. We don’t want to be in your place and have the sense to avoid it.

  36. avatar
    Afke Boonstra

    Has the whole Brexit experience been so humiliating for Britain that it will discourage other countries from leaving the European Union? When I look at my own country I don’t think so. On the 21st of March there were elections in the Netherlands. The voters elected the members of the Provincial Councils and the Electoral Colleges, who in turn elect the members of the Senate. This year we had one party which rose extremely from zero to twelve seats in the Senate. This was an Eurosceptical party called ‘Forum voor Democratie’ (Forum for Democracy), with as political leader Thierry Baudet. Publications of him are ‘Pro Europe therefore against the EU’, ‘The Significance of Border. Why representative government and the rule of law require nation-states’ and ‘Break the Partycartel. The nescessity of referendums’. These publications already show us some comparative aspects with the current Brexit discussion. However, Baudet’s opinions don’t only remain to his publications. Forum for Democracy calls the European Union: a boundless expanded and undemocratic idol, an outdated governance model and a cartel on top of a cartel. According to them, the European Union is non-reformable. However, what is the most similar to UK’s Brexit is the fact that Forum for Democracy is in favour of a referendum about the European Union, just like what happened in the United Kingdom regarding the Brexit.
    In my opinion, this party can be dangerous for the Netherlands’ membership of the European Union. The statements of Forum for Democracy can be considered as alarming. Casper Thomas recently (March 27, 2019) published the article “Baudet redt de wereld” (“Baudet saves the world”) in the Dutch newspaper ‘De Groene Amsterdammer’ in which he states that the Netherlands can be seen as amenable for the rise against liberal democracy. According to him, Baudet can be seen as a threat to independent institutions like free press and free science, which is considered as a worldwide rise against liberal democracy with which I completely agree. However, Forum for Democracy sees themselves as a lifebuoy for the society that tends to perish.
    Personally, I think this situation in the Netherlands shows us that the Brexit, until now, didn’t discouraged other EU countries from leaving. Yes, this may be only the opinion of one party but it is a party which is increasing in popularity. There are indeed still Eurosceptical sentiments growing in popularity in the Netherlands, therefore I argue that Brexit can’t be seen as a national humiliation or a discouragement.

  37. avatar

    It would probably have the opposite result, it would encourage other countries to consider the possibility of leaving EU. There are countries such as Deutschland where many parties have already supported the leaving before the English happenings. And these long term negotiations and the big fuss and the scandals took the Brexit into limelight. And it revealed a lot of advantages and disadvantages, but also showed the bad benefits of being a member of the EU. So the question of leaving should become one of the main issues of every country. Will europians decide to do away with EU or will Europe strengsten the connection between the member?

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