The causes and effects of Brexit

Daniel Korski, deputy director of the policy unit in David Cameron’s government, presents an analysis of why the Brexit vote was lost. He analyses many factors in depth, such as the stubbornness of the European Commission, the inability of the tory party to lobby in Europe, the difficulty to communicate EU membership advantages, Labour’s inability to properly campaign, and the lack of timely organization.

Jo Murkens argues that while Brexit was supposed to restore parliamentary sovereignty, it brought about the most submissive, disempowered parliament in modern history. The Great ‘Repeal’ Act will collapse the distinction between EU and national law, creating powers never expressly granted by Parliament. This, in turn, is likely to enable the government to amend primary legislation without a parliamentary vote. According to Andrè Sapir, the future of Brexit, however, is not simply a matter of hard vs. soft Brexit, but includes a variety of shades in-between, which result from a combination of ten different parameters. While this does not mean that all combinations are politically possible, it is certainly helpful to provide an analytic account of all possible deals.

Douglas Voigt observes that despite the threat of populist nationalists seizing the day in the maelstrom of Brexit, the British center-left has been remarkable in its refusal to reconsider its basic understanding of European capitalism. The antidote to populist nationalism has always been a social democracy able to recognize the injustices of capitalist class hierarchies while also seeing its benefits in terms of personal freedom and economic productivity.

Crises and answers

Enzo Traverso argues that the EU risks disintegration with the emergence of a xenophobic and populist wave. The European project needs to be completely rethought in response to the the current state of exception embodied by the Troika, in which the political sphere has become completely subordinate to the financial one. This is, in the last analysis, the “ordoliberalism” of Wolfgang Schäuble: rather than capitalism submitted to rules, financial capitalism that dictates its own rules.

An article by BBVA OpenMind argues that if a European rebirth is possible, it could only be through some idea of an European culture. While we have no obvious benchmark, unequivocal blueprint or specific definition of what it means to be European, such a definition may be key to completing the puzzle of nations, identities, cultures and sentiments that is questioning its very construct. A European cultural space is the only possible response that is truly inclusive of the complexity of the human condition, and therefore is the best approach to countering political lockdown by the economy.

The CETA deal

Amandine Crespy writes that the CETA trade deal with Canada illustrates the problem in balancing free trade with sovereignty and democracy in Europe. The Belgian region of Wallonia, a region of 2.5 million people, is vetoing a deal for the remaining 510 million Europeans, and could ultimately derail the agreement entirely should a solution not be reached. The Economist too highlights this problem, claiming that Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister, left Namur in tears, declaring that the EU is “incapable of reaching an agreement”. The whole summit provided ample evidence of the EU’s struggle in managing its members’ current mania for referendums, and highlighted the difficulties of resolving disputes at the EU level given current decision-making procedures.


This Ideas Monitor is by Carlo Burelli and Alexander Damiano Ricci


Photo Credits CC Celeb-flickr



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