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FOCUS - Osservatorio Brexit N. 1 - 21/06/2017

 Make Brexit, not War

It is a well-known fact that the EU referendum which triggered Brexit was the result of a leadership contest in the Conservative party. The romantic idea sold to the Britons of “take back control” is simply that, a romantic idea that does not match reality.

One may speculate that, when Davide Cameron made the promise to hold the referendum in 2015 – a political move to unite a fragmented conservative party – he did not foresee he would have actually won the elections.

He did not foresee that he would have actually had to keep that promise.

But elected he was and there came the EU referendum, with the results that we all well know.

So here we are, 18 months after the current Prime Minister, Theresa May, notified the EU of Britain’s intention to leave the European Union.

One may have expected finally some unity in the Conservative party by now. Was it just for the sake of the country.

But no. Turns out unity is just another romantic idea. The EU referendum and Brexit seem to have only worsened that internal fragmentation of the Tories, who don’t seem to be able to agree on a way to deliver the dream they sold to the British public.

In the meanwhile, the clock is ticking.

The resignation earlier this month of Boris Johnson – UK Foreign Secretary and David Davis – UK Brexit Secretary – from HM Government signal that the internal conflict to the Tories has reached a new peak. The two resignations constitute a blow for the PM and threat to put at risk the survival itself of the current UK Government, in a critical moment for the country. So that the Government even tried – unsuccessfully - to bring forward MPs' summer break to delay time-consuming leadership contests.

The two Tory members quit within the space of 24 hours after the Prime Minister appeared to secure an agreement on the UK’s Brexit position just a few days before with the s.c. Chequers agreement.

Both Mr Johnson and Mr Davis object that May’s withdrawal plan seeks to maintain too close economic ties with the European Union (EU), rather than a harder separation

In his resignation letter, Mr Davis contested that the Chequers plan would leave the UK “at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.”.. (Segue)

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