Brexit – has the UK had a change of heart?

Over the last few weeks there appears to have been a bigger wobble than previous ones in the ready, steady, Brexit camp, according to press reports. Could the UK reverse the Brexit decision if it wanted to? Would you want to go back to the EU family?

Red, white and blue question marks

Yesterday, the pound hit US$1.40 against the dollar, the first time it has been at this rate since the EU Referendum vote, yet the UK’s Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has acknowledged that Brexit does cause “uncertaintly”.

On arrival at a summit of European finance ministers this week, Mr Hammond told TVNewsroom: “Because of the negotiations that are going on there’s a degree of uncertainty about our future direction and our future arrangements for trading with our European partners and that’s bound to have an impact on thinking about the economy.

“The sooner we can generate certainty, the better, and that’s why we are keen to build on the momentum that we generated in December and get the negotiations moving forward now in a steady way so that we can see real progress over the course of the coming months.”

Nicky Morgan, chair of the UK’s Treasury committee doesn’t appear to agree: “Financial services will be one of the most challenging elements of the Brexit negotiations. A paper articulating a clear sense of direction, and a desired end-state, could have boosted confidence that the government is up to the task,” Morgan said in an article in FTAdviser.

The UK government is sitting on the financial services Brexit paper, promised in Autumn 2017, which is intended to set out the UK’s negotiating position and trade goals for financial services after leaving the EU.

What do European MEPs think about all this?

According to to a report in The Express newspaper, “European MEPs were ‘ecstatic’ to see British MPs attack their own Government because it undermines the UK during Brexit talks”.

What do people in the UK think about Brexit now?

A survey commissioned by The Independent indicates that almost two-thirds of the UK public believe talks are going badly.

Copy of Brexit tweet

Does this financial uncertainty make you feel ready for a Brexit U-turn?

Would a Brexit U-turn even be possible if the UK public wanted it? According to a detailed and interesting article by Susanne Wixworth and John Weeks, ‘Reversing Brexit: Legal Route Via Vienna Convention‘, it is possible to reverse the vote. “EU treaties are the primary law establishing the governance and functioning of the Union. They do not stand alone and apart from other international laws. The European Union is bound by the Vienna Convention, which implies that the British government can unilaterally reverse Brexit”.

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