Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Telegraph: Sorry Boris, a vote to leave means we leave

The Telegraph: Sorry Boris, a vote to leave means we leave

by Alan Renwick

"This gets to another political problem: the two-year limit and the requirement for unanimity to extend that limit make the UK’s negotiating position in this scenario very weak.

And if our membership lapses with no deal done, we are obliged under World Trade Organisation rules immediately to impose tariffs on our trade with EU countries. That harms us much more than it harms many of those countries. There is no guarantee in this situation that the UK could strike a better deal at all.

The same problems apply to the idea of choosing at a second referendum between the negotiated Brexit terms and continued membership. The UK has no clear legal right to reverse its initial decision. A way of fudging that might be found. But it would require unanimous support of the 27, which squeezes the UK’s power to bargain for a decent deal.

In short, a vote to leave is a vote to leave. Anyone who says otherwise is playing with fire."

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