Is Brexit Irreversible?
It may be wishful thinking, but the British vote to leave the EU can be reversed. The fact that the June 23 referendum was not legally binding is less important than the political commitment made during the campaign to respond to the outcome. But if the political context changes as dramatically as it appears, this may influence the decision. Citizens are mobilizing in large numbers, and the UK and Scottish parliaments may manage to block the result. With leadership changes in both the governing Conservative Party and potentially the opposition Labour Party and a possible early general election, there is growing space to change the outcome.
The rest of the EU is worried that the current limbo could unleash further destabilizing forces on an enfeebled EU and is frustrated at having to deal with such an awkward partner. But it is in the interests of all to avoid a rupture and facilitate a British rethink by being patient about the timeframe to activate Article 50 of the EU treaty, which sets out the procedure for leaving the bloc. British Prime Minister David Cameron’s timeframe of three months should be seen as reasonable.