We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

We set four tests for Brexit. Three years on, all of them are failing

1 76 0

Has Brexit been a success? Now there’s a question. Remember how Zhou Enlai famously (albeit apocryphally) declared in 1972 that it was “too early to say” what the impact of the French revolution had been. He must be turning in his grave at this, because the UK hasn’t even left the EU yet – and may well never do so.

However, Brexit is a process, not an event. Whatever happens over the next few months and years, it will dominate UK politics and economics for the foreseeable future. Given this, the third anniversary of the referendum feels like a good moment to take stock.

And so we have. But first, some background. In February 2017, we at UK in a Changing Europe set out four “tests” for Brexit. We deliberately did not base them on what was going on in negotiations between London and Brussels. Rather, we decided to focus on outcomes. We argued that the referendum campaign, while dividing the country – as Brexit continues to do – also revealed some key themes underlying the British political debate.

And there was – perhaps surprisingly – considerable common ground across the referendum divide about what we should be seeking to achieve as a country. Generally, both sides argued that the UK should remain an open, outward-looking country; that both economic growth and social cohesion mattered; that we should invest in, and improve, our public services; and that we needed to maintain the UK’s international influence while preserving democratic control of our own........

© The Guardian