Acton Institute Powerblog

Potential results of a no-deal Brexit

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently scheduled to exit the European Union on 29 March 2019 at 11 pm GMT, however, no formal deal has yet been struck between the EU and Britain, leaving issues such as trade, immigration policy and border control unresolved.

Delays in drawing up a withdrawal treaty are due to a host of problems. “As in the lead-up to the referendum, gloom-and-doom is being voiced from across the political spectrum at Westminster,” writes Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg. “To say that this process has not been going well is an understatement. It’s further complicated by the fact that many government ministers and MPs from all parties, the majority of the civil service and large segments of the press opposed Brexit, have never accepted the referendum result, and resent the entire exercise.” While the withdrawal process has faced extreme challenges from the beginning, the fact that the UK is currently headed towards a no-deal Brexit may not be a bad thing — simply, it may present an opportunity for the UK to reorient itself towards increased liberty.

If anything is implied by a No-Deal Brexit, it is this: the British government would suddenly find that the prime responsibility for many policy-decisions gradually ceded to EU institutions since Britain entered the European Economic Community in 1973 unequivocally belongs to British institutions ranging from the legal systems of England and Scotland to Parliament itself.

In other words, Britain would be facing the prospect of full self-government, with all the freedom and accountability which goes along with this. A No-Deal Brexit would tell us just how many Britain’s political leaders are willing, let alone able, to fulfill this responsibility.

Read Gregg’s full piece, “A No-Deal Brexit: Probable Disaster or Potential Opportunity?”

Featured image: European Parliament from EU [CC BY 2.0]

Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.