Will Brexit happen?

Written by Martin Banks on 13 October 2017 in News

Former UK Europe minister Denis MacShane has predicted that Britain will not, after all, leave the EU.

Photo credit: Press Association

His forecast comes amid the latest impasse in the talks between the EU and UK.

MacShane, a former UK Europe Minister under Tony Blair wrote an earlier book in January 2015 ‘Brexit: How Britain will leave Europe'.

That book controversially predicted the outcome of the June 2015 referendum on Britain staying in the EU. His latest book, released at a news conference in Brussels, also has a controversial thesis, namely that in the end Britain will not actually leave Europe in the complete and full sense as desired by hard Brexit supporters.


Speaking at the event to this website, MacShane said, “The dogs that are not barking in the Brexit debate are the 200 plus Tory MPs who do make part in the daily circus of rent-a-quote attacks on

Barnier and Juncker or who run around BBC and Sky studios attacking Philip Hammond or anyone in government who is not a fanatical isolationist.”

He went on, “I am still unconvinced that the Tories are ready to sign up to the equivalent of an economic Dignitas clinic and commit economic and geo-political suicide for Britain in order to appease Nigel Farage.

“The real issue is that Brexit has not happened. A vote of 37 per cent of the British electorate has taken place but no one knows what Brexit will be like. MPs react to reality not to futurology.

Today’s reality is that Britain is still fully in the EU. Economic indicators are negative but not dramatic.

“Business and the City are sitting on the potty with their heads under the duvet. There is a massive gap between the political and economic actors in the Brexit saga. MP and political commentators opposed to Europe are hysterical with excitement. Economic actors are saying nothing or putting out bland press communiqués of concern via trade and industry federations.”

The former politician said, “When will economic actors get off their backside and start talking to the moderate majority in the Tory party that opposes hard Brexit and start campaigning seriously to change public opinion?” he said.

Meanwhile, German MEP Elmar Brok said there is “growing unease” in the EPP group in the European Parliament on the progress in the Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK.

He said, “I welcome the fact that further progress has been made in the fifth round of the Brexit negotiations and that the discussions took place in a good atmosphere. At the same time, I regret the fact that sufficient progress in the negotiations has not yet been achieved and that the second phase of the negotiations cannot be started in October.” 

“I feel some substantial concern about the UK government still not taking its obligation to fulfil its financial commitments seriously. If sufficient progress is not made in November, it will not be possible to start the second phase of the negotiations at the European Council meeting in December either”, the MEP said.


About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine


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