Feb 02

The Brexit picture is getting clearer

The Brexit picture is getting clearer


By Ingemar Pongratz


A couple of very interesting weeks have passed and we have seen a lot of activity. Lately the US based news and the presidential orders issued by President Donald Trump have dominated the news in Europe and no doubt the rest of the world as well. However there have been a number of critical developments in the Brexit question and the future of the UK and the future of the EU-UK negotiations. The Brexit Picture is getting clearer now.


The decision that the UK government would need that the UK Parliament approve the activation has been announced. It is clear that the UK had information that this was a likely outcome since the government was well prepared and has already had the first vote and approved that the process to activate article 50 should be initiated. The next step for the UK government is to present to the Parliament their plans for the negotiations. This is in fact the critical vote. Will the Parliament approve the plans for a hard Brexit without for example participation in the European common market? Or will the vote be for a softer Brexit where the UK maintains ties to the EU common market? This is a key issue for the weeks to come.


In any case, it seems clear that the UK government is preparing for a hard Brexit. This implies that the UK will not seek to join the EU common since the UK does not want to open the labor market to the rest of the European member states. It was also clear that the UK is aware of the need to negotiate with other nations regarding future trade. In fact, the UK seems prepared to enter very uncertain waters in the future.


It was also clear that the role for Scotland, Wales and northern Ireland is unclear. The recent ruling clearly stated that the regions do not have special mandate to block the Article 50 process. This creates a risk that regions like Scotland see no other alternative but to leave the UK, or at least call for a referendum on this issue. At least now the support in Scotland for leaving the UK is rather weak, but  things can change…


Other uncertainties in the UK include their future participation in different programmes such as the Horizon 2020 research and innovation scheme. The UK is a major recipient of Horizon 2020 funding and UK universities participate in large numbers of Horizon 2020 project. However, without free movement their participation is very unlikey. Clearly, this will weaken UK research and also EU research excellence in the long run.


Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. We help universities, enterprises and authorities to apply and write application for EU funding schemes such as Horizon 2020, Eureka Eurostars and other funding sources. If you need support for the writing process please contact us either through the Online Contact Form (Redirects to www.Pongratzconsulting.se) or by email:

Ingemar.Pongratz () pongratzconsulting.com

Morning in Nacka by Ingemar Pongratz

Morning in Nacka by Ingemar Pongratz

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