And likely to get much worse after the #EUref… Anti-Muslim incidents soar amid 'explosion of hate' in the UK https://t.co/ps1EW4nhWk #brexit— Onnik J. Krikorian (@onewmphoto) June 29, 2016
Could a U-turn be in the works?
The McBrexitfaces and the Remain campaigners are working together to effect a U-turn without disturbing their other policy positions overmuch. The tapdancing is actually fun to watch if you like cringe humour. Meanwhile, the EU is sternly wagging its finger and telling us to get a move on.
There is a need to organise the withdrawal of the UK from the EU in an orderly fashion. Article 50 TEU provides the legal basis for this process. It is up to the British government to notify the European Council of the UK's intention to withdraw from the Union. This should be done as quickly as possible. There can be no negotiations of any kind before this notification has taken place. - Informal meeting at 27 - Brussels, 29 June 2016 - Statement
That seems pretty conclusive, but there's this:
Respecting the will of the British people, we all recognized that a process of orderly exit was in everyone's, and especially, in the UK's interest. ...Leaders understand that some time is now needed to allow the dust to settle in the UK. But they also expect the intentions of the UK government to be specified as soon as possible. This was a very clear message which I believe Prime Minister Cameron will take back to London. We also considered the post-Brexit economic situation in the presence of the European Central Bank President, who reassured us about the good and constant cooperation of central banks. However, it was also made clear that Brexit means substantially lower growth in the UK, with a possible negative spillover all over the world. - Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the European Council meeting on 28 June 2016
Per British law blogger David Allen Green, these remarks are significant. Basically, Tusk has acknowledged what the British people have said and what Parliament has yet to decide. The will of the people isn't binding until documents have been signed.
Good luck with that, but...
There can be no legal Brexit until Article 50 has been invoked to get the ball rolling. Theoretically, Britain can just leave things as they are and quietly hope that everyone forgets we've had a referendum — and a nasty case of morning-after regret. Meanwhile, officially we're in limbo until Someone Does Something. What that will be remains to be seen. One thing is certain: we won't be able to have the trade cake and eat it; the Four Freedoms, including Freedom of Movement, will be the central plank of any new negotiations. Enjoy those open borders, Britain! Whatever made you think that Brexit would make that go away? Sheesh! Nigel Farage lied to you. Get over it.
Meanwhile, at the EU Commission...
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Junker is apparently having an attack of megalomania. It seems he's so anxious to rush that epic failure of a trade deal, CETA, through, he's planning to propose a simple approval procedure on 05/07/2016. This means that it will be adopted only by the European Parliament and representatives of member states, not national parliaments. Democracy? What democracy? All these groups of people who know better than the rest of us! It really is hard to tell which one of them has the best claim to superiority uber alles. The good news is that Angela Merkel, who is currently trying to save her political skin over mass immigration, is having none of it. Nor is France's Francois Hollande, who has one eye on the growing Frexit faction in his own country. The Social Democrats caucus have also got our backs. Whatever the outcome of their deliberations, we'll be relying on the EU Parliament to save our skins like they did with ACTA.
How will this affect Britain?
Our current limbo status means we have no one to speak for us but we're still in the Union. This means that if CETA does go through, TTIP will follow and we'll have no say at all in the matter. Until Article 50 has been invoked we are still bound by EU laws decided in the EU Parliament. Whoever takes over from David Cameron following the leadership contest will have to either bite the bullet or attempt to convince our colleagues in Brussels that we didn't mean it, really. Honestly. Cross our hearts and hope to die, etc. Watch this space.