More experts are casting doubt over whether the United Kingdom will actually end up leaving the European Union, as British Prime Minister Theresa May continues to reaffirm to the public that “Brexit means Brexit.”
More than two months have passed since the U.K. voted to leave the EU. Newly-appointed Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to trigger Article 50 and begin exit negotiations with the EU.
Thom Brooks, the head of law at the University of Durham and an advisor for the referendum’s Electoral Commission, doubts it will ever happen, as the process of leaving is simply “too complex.”
“The closer the government looks at what is actually involved in leaving then the less likely they are going to be jumping ship,” Brooks told the Independent Tuesday. “There is a 42 year evolving legal relationship that is not so easy to unpick. It is an absolutely massive task.”
Brooks instead believes a second referendum will take place.
“I expect May will have [Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson] and other Brexiteers submit a plan for a second referendum,” Brooks told The Independent. “This second referendum will either see Britain changing its mind on Brexit or voting for something other than a full withdrawal.”
Brooks follows several leading EU politicians and academics who have expressed similar doubts over whether Brexit will actually happen. Austrian Finance Minister Hans-Joerg Schelling said he is confident the U.K. will “still be a member” in five years.
May, who wanted the country to remain in the EU, has time and time again affirmed doubters that “Brexit means Brexit.”
“We must be clear that we are going to make a success of it – that means no second referendum, no attempts to sort of stay in the EU by the back door,” May said Wednesday. “That we are actually going to deliver on it.”
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