If you could not attend the Room for Discussion event on the 6th of March: “Understanding Brexit”, but still want to know what it was all about, you have come to the right place. Below you can find a very quick summary about what will be the implications of how Europe might develop after the 29th of March.
But first… a quick reminder that there has also been a pre-article about this event written by Rostra. Here is a link if you want to check it out.
As you are reading this article the deadline of the UK leaving the EU is becoming closer and closer. It is written in the law that the UK will be leaving, which means that until that time the politicians better are prepared and have come up with an agreement.
However, there is a very high chance that this deadline will be extended. The logical question assuming that this is true is, then, for how long will it be extended? And why is it so hard to come up with an agreement?
According to Rem Korteweg, one of the two interviewees, the question of extension strongly depends on the number of votes that are in favour, and against the referendum that will take place at the 29th of March. For now, let us just assume that there will be not enough votes in favour, meaning that the Brexit is likely to be further postponed. From the British point of view, the extension will preferably be for some months, probably two to three months. From the point of view of Europe, the preferred time of extension would be up to one year. The reason being is that it does not add any value to Europe to just postpone the referendum for some months. It is very unlikely that there will be significant changes within this short amount of time. On the other hand, the uncertainty for the people, companies, and entire Europe would still remain and even increase. As such, regarding the question of extension, it will be very interesting to see which side will benefit more.
The other point that was discussed is the negotiation strategy of the EU and the main role that Ireland plays in it. The reason why Ireland is so important is because of the so-called “Backstop”. This deal implies that whatever will happen to the UK, the borders of Ireland will always be open for the EU, meaning that Northern Ireland would still follow most of the rules in accordance to EU regulations. Obviously, the members of parliament are not very happy about that, which has lead to a lot of discussions, which are still and will most likely go on for months.
The last topic that was discussed was about the implications for Europe once the UK has left the EU, particularly what it means for the Netherlands.
As the Netherlands is geographically right in the middle between France, Germany, and the UK, the country has become over years the centric point between the three most powerful countries in the EU. However, once the UK has left, this centric point changes more to the South. This might lead to a huge loss for the Netherlands. The bright side is that many of the companies that are leaving the UK are likely to choose the Netherlands for their new headquarters. Along with these companies, more jobs will be created, bringing more money into the country and boosting the current economic climate.
As you can see, within this hour a lot has been discussed, and the difficulties of such a complex topic explained. There is a lot of uncertainty involved in this discussion, as there are many different outcomes that could occur on the 29th of March. Nevertheless, I hope this little summary helped you save some time, and that it made you interested in following the coming events.