Here is my guide for any country willing to get out of the EU:
- Vote to leave
It shouldn’t be harder than that.
Of course, there are many things that need to be addresses, but they can be addressed at a later stage. Remember that every single country in the world except those in the EU aren’t in the EU, and they seem to get on very well. Countries as small and far away as Singapore manage to trade with the rest of the world and don’t go around whining because they are not in the EU (or the large trade block du-jour).
The truth is the politicians in the UK don’t want to leave the EU (regardless of what was decided in the referendum) and the politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats of the EU don’t want the UK to leave, so they set out a 2 year negotiation period, now they are thinking of a further few years of transition, and keep making it more complicated than it needs to be.
It is the same as with bureaucrats. Ever wondered why there are so many law, regulations, and red tape? Elf and safety gone wild? The answer lies with the bureaucrats. People hired to do nobody-knows-what in the first place, need to keep on making up new rules to justify their existence. That in turn makes for ever more complicated laws that nobody understands, and then you have to hire lawyers to interpret them for you. There is a whole industry built around bureaucracy, and making things simple has never been in their interest.
If the UK had left the EU the day after Brexit, it would have been a shock, but most of the issues would have been sorted by now. The UK would have been trading from a position of power, sending out the message that it needs the EU far less than the EU needs it. By now they would have already struck a couple of trade deals, could have cut a few points of VAT, could have dropped corporate tax rate and attracted new businesses to its shores, made some comprehensive tax reform to retain talent from migrating. Oh, so many things that could have been done in the last 21 or so months, but instead, they are still figuring out whether they want to remain part of the customs union.
The whole point of Brexit is control: control over laws, borders, trade, migration, etc. but participation in some form of customs union will remove the ability to set different trade deals with countries that already have a trade deal with the EU. The nonsensical, visceral decisions about trying to avoid a border at all costs is ridiculous. There are many border crossings between Switzerland and Germany, yet people wander from one country to the next. Some people in the border towns cross to the neighboring country several times a day. And Switzerland is not part of the customs union. If they can do it why can’t the Irelands do it?
Brexit will bring great opportunities for Britain, they just need to be willing to seize them and pull together. Constant bickering and self belittling will spell doom in the years to come.