Brexit is the exit of the UK from the European Union following a vote by the British people in June last year to leave the union and remain in the European single market. Following the EU-wide snap poll, which the UK government initially declined to take part in, a campaign was launched by Vote Leave in order to put the ‘In’ campaign into overdrive and to ensure that no second referendum was allowed. The campaign, led by a former Brussels official called Dominic Grieve, aimed to win by securing a high turnout of Remain voters as well as persuading enough Leave voters to also turn up at the polls to deliver a victory for Leave.
With the election of a Leaver MP as Prime Minister, Theresa May, who was previously an ardent supporter of staying within the UK, now faces the daunting task of negotiating a deal with the EU as to what will happen to the country’s membership. The first thing she has to do, however, is to come to terms with the fact that she will have to leave her post as Home Secretary and enter Number 10 to take on this task. As a result, there will inevitably be some form of transitional arrangement with regard to the withdrawal process. A transitional deal would include both the immediate effects of the leaving date and the future relationship between the EU and the UK. A good transitional arrangement could include the transitional period after the exit date, which would include the removal of immigration controls, continued use of the pound as well as some form of joint regulation.
In the run up to the next General Election, which is due to take place in 2020, it would seem likely that the Conservative Party would adopt a Remain position. Although the party would never have been keen on leaving the EU in the first place, and would have preferred to stay within the union, it may well feel that the more difficult negotiating position would allow it to remain within the fold whilst ensuring that a more favourable deal was achieved from within the EU than by being outside. If the government were to retain this position at the next general election, then it would allow for the most favourable possible outcome for the negotiation of a new trading agreement with the EU.