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183 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 (...
Graham's user avatar
  • 7,581
154 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 ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
146 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 ...
chirlu's user avatar
  • 5,772
126 votes

If "more guns less crime", how do gun advocates explain that the EU has less crime than the US?

They don't. While there are a lot of half-assed arguments (on both sides, to be fair), any serious statistical analysis that actually controls for variables comes down on the side of gun control. A ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 6,483
124 votes
Accepted

What options would have been left, if the UK government couldn't have decided on how exactly to implement the referendum to leave the EU?

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 ...
111 votes
Accepted

What are the reasons for the rise in Euroscepticism over the last few years?

Taking Benefits for Granted The last time I was to Belgium, we didn't actually stop in Belgium. We drove right through from the Netherlands to France. I'm old enough to remember having to stop at ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 111k
109 votes
Accepted

Why does the EU not seem to pursue technological independence?

The EU does pursue technological independence. For example, it has assembled its own satellite navigation system so that it does not have to rely on GPS and Glonass. The EU develops a lot of military ...
user's user avatar
  • 17.7k
108 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 ...
Communisty's user avatar
  • 1,643
91 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 77.7k
91 votes

Why do Muslim refugees seek asylum in Europe and not in rich countries in the Middle East?

The premise in your question, about Muslims preferring Europe over rich Middle-Eastern countries, is false. In fact, Syrian refugees prefer neighbouring Middle-Eastern countries over rich ones. ...
Irfan434's user avatar
  • 679
91 votes

Are there oligarchs in Western countries?

Technically speaking, an oligarch is a member of an oligarchy: a system in which political governance is given to a cadre of wealthy, propertied individuals in society. The archetypal example is the ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
91 votes

What would Ukraine gain by joining the European Union rapidly?

The simple fact is that it is not feasible. Even if everybody agreed in principle, the EU was ready to waive some of the requirements and ignore all other political considerations, it would still take ...
Relaxed's user avatar
  • 31.2k
89 votes
Accepted

Is there an EU law that prevents repair of electrical devices?

No. There is no regulation that prevents a citizen from repairing themselves any kind of electronic device. The problem is that there is also no regulation that requires electronics companies to ...
armatita's user avatar
  • 5,522
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 ...
Royal Canadian Bandit's user avatar
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 ...
Frank Hopkins's user avatar
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 ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 13.2k
82 votes

If "more guns less crime", how do gun advocates explain that the EU has less crime than the US?

The real problem with questions like this is in assuming that gun ownership is a cause rather than a symptom. I answered a similar question a year or two ago, but comparing Canada and USA, and mass ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
82 votes

Why does the US need to spy on its allies?

Everyone realistically spies on everyone else. The US spies on Germany, Germany spies on the US, every marginally powerful country spies on every other marginally powerful country. The fact that two ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 6,253
80 votes

Why is privacy a subject felt more in Europe rather than the US?

Several EU states endured surveillance by secret police in the past (for instance in Nazi Germany or Eastern Germany), making privacy a sensitive enough topic that constituents demanded strict ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
80 votes
Accepted

What would Ukraine gain by joining the European Union rapidly?

Zelensky does not actually expect that Ukraine will be able to join the EU right now. However, even starting the application process now brings benefits, even more given the expected response by the ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 13.7k
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 ...
Jontia's user avatar
  • 24.8k
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 ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 7,581
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 ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
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 ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 31.9k
70 votes

Why is Russia limiting its gas supply to the EU instead of stopping it altogether?

I am no expert on this by any means, but my thought as to why: If Russia completely cuts off the gas now, they lose leverage. That is, once the gas is completely cut off, they can no longer threaten ...
2ndQuantized's user avatar
67 votes

Is the UK not member of Schengen, Customs Union, Economic Area, Free Trade Association among others anymore now after Brexit?

I saw a similar image a while ago (December 2021) on Facebook, originally published by Statista and compiled my own diagram. My main complaints with that one, which also apply here are: It doesn’t ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 1,964
66 votes
Accepted

Why is privacy a subject felt more in Europe rather than the US?

It's not really a matter of privacy itself being taken more seriously in Europe. It's more a matter of a differing view in the proper role of government. In the U.S., at least traditionally, the ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 8,290
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....
Jontia's user avatar
  • 24.8k
66 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 ...
stuart10's user avatar
  • 1,190
66 votes
Accepted

Could European union member countries bypass the EU and make their own individual trade deal with the U.S.?

They cannot. It's an exclusive competence of the EU. So much so that the point played a major role in the Brexit negotiations. The reason there are two phases in the Brexit deal (leave first, then ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar

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