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197 votes
Accepted

Can somebody explain Brexit in a few child-proof sentences?

The EU is like a club that countries can join. The club has rules, one of which is called Article 50 and was written by a British guy. Article 50 says how countries can leave the club, and that it ...
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  • 17.1k
181 votes

What are the main reasons for why negotiating a proper Brexit deal has been so hard?

it was generally expected that the pro-Brexit politicians had some idea of how negotiations for a Brexit deal would fare and what the outcome would be. Who by? Everyone knew the lead Brexit team (...
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  • 7,162
153 votes

What are the main reasons for why negotiating a proper Brexit deal has been so hard?

Dani Rodrik's trilemma states that you can pick any two of three from "nation state", "prosperity" and "democracy". The argument goes that if you want prosperity then you must have free trade (hermit ...
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  • 18.1k
152 votes
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Why can't Northern Ireland just have a stay/leave referendum?

If you don't understand Irish history then you can't understand anything about Northern Ireland. Briefly, the whole of Ireland used to be part of the British Empire. This was due to some uncommonly ...
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  • 18.1k
145 votes

Why is it impossible to leave the Single Market without a hard Irish border?

In the strictest sense, it is of course possible; but it doesn’t make any sense, unless Brexit is only for symbolism. The whole point of Brexit (beside the symbolism) and of leaving the single market ...
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  • 5,720
123 votes
Accepted

What options are left, if Britain cannot decide?

The United Kingdom shall not leave the European Union without a deal That is not a legal decision. This is just a wish that Parliament has expressed. If nothing else changes, as things currently ...
113 votes

Why haven't the British protested Brexit as ardently as the Hong Kong protesters?

Brexit is more popular among Britons than what is happening in Hong Kong is among Hong Kong residents There was a vote for Brexit where a majority of voters voted for Brexit, but there was absolutely ...
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  • 14.6k
109 votes

Why does the EU care so much about the UK divorce payment?

The sum is quite small compared to the EU GDP, but that is not what you should be comparing it to. It would make more sense to compare it to the EU budget (as there the additional money would ...
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  • 1,631
94 votes
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Why is the UK so keen to remove the "backstop" when their leadership seems to think that no border will be needed in Northern Ireland?

The problem stems from three issues. I'll explain those, then the backstop issue will be more obvious. Brexit will create two sovereign regions, with (over time) different borders and import rules. ...
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  • 7,008
92 votes
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Could the UK re-join EU after leaving?

Article 50 of the Treaties of the European Union (the article which governs leaving the EU) has a clause which explicitly mentions that rejoining the EU is possible after leaving it: If a State ...
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  • 66.7k
91 votes

Why are UK MPs targeting the prime minister and not the deal?

Brexit is a submarine made out of cheese. Nobody sane at all thinks there is a good Brexit deal to be had. (Every proposed "good Brexit deal" uniformly assumes they can dictate terms to the EU; that ...
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  • 1,366
91 votes

On what legal basis did the UK remove the 'European Union' from its passport?

Both the Burgundy color and the words 'European Union' are recommended as part of passports issued by member states, but neither are compulsory. As such, the legal basis of the UK's decision is: ...
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  • 1,733
91 votes
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Why do the British opposition parties not want a new election?

There's a constellation of reasons: Johnson lost his majority (which makes him toothless and unable to get anything done), is getting humiliated day after day, and is putting his inadequacy on ...
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87 votes
Accepted

Does the Brexit deal being voted down imply that Brexit is not going to happen?

Parliament has already voted on Article 50 and Article 50 has already been invoked. If nothing else happens between now and March 29th, EU membership ends for the UK. That was the case whether this ...
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  • 2,067
86 votes

Why are the Brexit trade talks held up by the divorce talks?

This might be described as an "eat your vegetables" strategy by the EU27. The three preliminary issues are not palatable to the UK government: It is reluctant to discuss the divorce bill. Paying any ...
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86 votes
Accepted

Why is the UK still pressing on with Brexit?

You are making the same mistake as the remain campaign did: This is not a rational decision, at the core, it's an emotional decision. It's not about what financial, economic or whatever benefits ...
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85 votes

What are the arguments in favour of Brexit?

In decreasing order of certainty: If you work (or intend to work) in a field dealing with border/customs/phytosanitary etc., Brexit may have new job opportunities. If your job/income was somehow ...
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  • 102k
85 votes

Why is the UK blaming the EU and what does the UK want?

Simplified, one key issue that drove or drives the Brexit movement is for the UK to have full sovereign control over the standards goods must adhere to. Equally simplified, one key issue for the EU is ...
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  • 12.2k
80 votes

Is there an Impartial Brexit Deal comparison site?

While the data given seems factually correct, I agree that the framing on that website is biased towards staying in the EU (evidenced by only giving a button to contact your MP if you're worried about ...
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  • 1,733
80 votes
Accepted

If Boris Johnson were prosecuted and convicted of lying about Brexit, can that be used to cancel Brexit?

No. The referendum was legally not binding, it just caused a political situation which made the article 50 notification seem a political necessity. The UK could have stayed or left regardless of the ...
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  • 78k
79 votes

Why is May in charge of Brexit negotiations? What happened to the prominent Brexiteers?

In short all Leave candidates who put themselves forward for the PM job lost in a run-off to Andrea Leadsom (a Leave supporter) who then backed out. Major Leave supporters were given top level ...
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  • 21.3k
78 votes
Accepted

What would the United Kingdom's "optimal" Brexit deal look like?

The "optimal" solution for Brexiteers is:- The UK does not have to follow any EU rules. The UK gets to decide rules for imports. UK industry gets to export to the EU freely in spite of those goods ...
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  • 7,162
76 votes

Why do UK politicians seemingly ignore opinion polls on Brexit?

It was discussed in the discussion on one of the online petitions. The standard Tory line against it is: 17.4 million people voted to leave. After that, 499 Members of Parliament voted in favour of ...
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  • 21.3k
75 votes
Accepted

Why does the EU care so much about the UK divorce payment?

First off, per the other answers so far, €50 billion (or €100) is by no means peanuts. More importantly, this article gives, I think, a reasonably level-headed breakdown of what the Brexit bill is ...
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74 votes

Why did the EU agree to delay the Brexit deadline?

A no deal Brexit would also hurt the EU. Not so much as to offer the pact that the Parliament wants (in the case that the Parliament knew what it wants), but enough to provide an extension to see if ...
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  • 27.5k
70 votes
Accepted

What does the British parliament hope to achieve by requesting a third Brexit extension?

The Parliament doesn't have a single opinion. It probably has 650 different opinions (perhaps more!). Individual members may be hoping to achieve different things by an extension: Strong remainers, ...
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  • 92.1k
68 votes

Can Northern Ireland's border issue be solved by repartition?

"Northern Ireland" itself was created by a variation of that process: there was a referendum on whether to become independent after the Irish War Of Independence, and those electoral regions which ...
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  • 21.3k
67 votes

Why is the EU concerned about the UK "unilaterally withdrawing" from a proposed Irish backstop?

The EU is acting in the interests of the remaining 27 members. In this case it is specifically acting in the interests and on the instructions of the Republic of Ireland, which opposes a hard border ...
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  • 1,201
66 votes
Accepted

What issue does the EU take with the UK's Chequers proposal?

The EU fundamentally cannot accept the trade portions of the Chequers proposal which in short propose Single Market access for goods from the UK, without requiring the UK to accept freedom of movement....
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  • 21.3k
64 votes

Has there been any indication at all that further negotiation between the UK and EU is possible?

Is there any indication at all that the EU would be willing to re-open negotiations on this matter No. BBC, Dec 2018 European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said there could be ...
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