Happy Brexit day! It has now been two years since the UK government triggered Article 50 and formally began the process of leaving the European Union. At midnight tonight (Brussels time), Britain was due to finally head out the door. Yet, despite the clear frustration of many who voted Leave, the UK remains a Member State of the EU, and the exit date has been pushed back at least two weeks to 12 April.
The latest polling suggests almost nobody in the UK is happy with how Brexit is turning out. Fully 81% of voters think the UK government has bungled the Brexit negotiations, with both Leavers and Remain voters equally unhappy about where things stand.
Some analysts are suggesting that EU negotiators have been too tough on Britain. At almost every stage of the negotiations, the European Union has controlled the process in order to apply maximum leverage. While the UK side has appeared disorganised and apparently lacked a coherent vision of their desired outcome, the EU successfully closed ranks soon after the referendum and has maintained unity ever since.
Of course, if we do arrive at a “no deal” outcome, then perhaps the EU should have been more restrained and not pressed home its “overwhelming advantage” during the Brexit talks. On the other hand, “no deal” isn’t necessarily the end of the process. The government shutdown in the US demonstrated that negotiations can continue even after the cliff edge has been passed (with, if anything, even more pressure on Britain to come to the table).
Are you happy with Brexit so far? Have the negotiations gone as you expected? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!