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Brexit One Year On: Europe Ducks Bullets while Britain Shoots Itself in the Foot (DIEEEO75bis-2017)

One year after the Brexit referendum, Britain's negotiating position relative to Europe has deteriorated. Whereas Europe seems to have turned back the populist tide in the Netherlands and France, elections in Britain have left Prime Minister May weakened and dependent on the Northern Ireland DUP to form a government. She is caught between the right wing of her party, who demand a hard Brexit, and a majority of both Houses of Parliament who insist on a softer version. It is not clear how long she can remain Prime Minister. By contrast the 27 remaining members of the EU remain united (for now) behind a common negotiating. Britain's geopolitical situation also has deteriorated, with the behaviour of President Trump increasingly calling into question the value of the "special "relationship". But if Britain looks weakened, Europe's existential problems remain (the Euro, managing a multi-speed Europe, defence and Security) and will need to be dealt with even as the Brexit negotiations play out. Both sides may need to demonstrate greater pragmatism over the next two years.

Author: Shaun Riordan


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