The United Kingdom has been a member of the European Union since 1973. That will change on 29 March 2019. Discontent grew among the British in recent years. The handling of the financial crisis and the approach to the (Syrian) refugee crisis fed that dissatisfaction. To nip the growing popularity of the Eurosceptic and right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the bud, former Prime Minister David Cameron declared a referendum on February 22, 2016. The British people could decide on the fate of their country.

At first, the leave camp – the side campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union – wasn’t positioned to win the vote Former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and UKIP party leader Nigel Farage turned the tide. Their focus on the presumed exuberant costs of an EU-membership and the ‘dangers’ of immigration pushed more and more Britons towards the leave camp. On the other side was a remain camp who wasn’t exactly offering strong resistance. Their campaign focused on the possible (economic) consequences of a divorce. They thought the chances of a pro-Brexit vote were minimal. Indeed, the remain camp was leading just about every poll there was.

What was considered unthinkable, however, occurred on 23 June 2016. The people of Britain (or at least those that showed up to vote) had chosen to leave the European Union. ‘Brexit’ has been causing much uncertainty since then. The Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, resigned and the now infamous Theresa May took over.


Importance of a good brexit deal for the UK

Achieving an agreement on the Brexit bill, the Irish border issue and EU citizens’ rights was an essential precondition for the EU to start negotiations on its future trade relationship with the UK. A deal on trade is crucial to secure a mutually beneficial level of economic integration between the EU and the UK in the future. As a result of the depreciation of the Pound Sterling since the Brexit referendum, British trade is already strongly influenced by the entire Brexit process. At first sight, it might seem that British exporters can clearly benefit from the weaker Pound. But the recent dynamics in British trade are far less rosy than is often thought. At the end of 2017 we already saw a foretaste of the major structural challenges that Britain’s economy and trade will face after it actually leaves the EU. A sound free trade agreement with the EU can ease but not eradicate the Brexit pain for the British economy.

Trade agreement with the EU is essential for the UK

Handelsakkoord met EU is essentieel voor het VK

Latest opinions on Brexit

Does Brexit reflect a trade failure?

ERR 201903 Does Brexit reflect a trade failure?

Irish border remains the ultimate stumbling block for Brexit

EO20190313 Irish border remains the ultimate stumbling block for Brexit

Brexit deal includes clever strategy for future trade

EO20181115 Brexit-deal bevat slimme strategie voor toekomstige handel

Dancing Queen causes additional Brexit damage due to restriction on immigration

EO20181010 Dancing Queen zorgt voor bijkomende brexit-schade door immigratiebeperking

EU should save Brexit negotiations step by step

EU moet brexit-onderhandelingen stapsgewijs redden

Turbulent autumn is coming

Turbulente herst in aantocht

UK economy temporarily putting up a defence against Brexit

Britse economie vecht tijdelijk terug tegen brexit

Trade agreement with the EU is essential for the UK

Handelsakkoord met EU is essentieel voor het VK
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