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No Brexit? Yes, Says One AFP Annual Conference Speaker

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 6/28/2016
The votes are in; the U.K. will leave the European Union, correct?

Not so fast, says Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator for the Financial Times.

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking. But Rachman, who will speak at the Executive Breakfast at AFP’s Annual Conference in October, believes the U.K. will not make good on its referendum.

He makes some good points in a recent FT column:

  • Other nations have held referendums defying the EU, including Denmark (in 1992) and Ireland (2001 and 2008). “So why, knowing this history, should anyone believe that Britain’s referendum decision is definitive,” Rachman asks.
  • Pro-Brexit British leaders have already hinted at staying—or, at least, bidding a hasty retreat. Outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would leave the formal process to his successor.
  • Some EU nations indicated they are willing to negotiate a compromise with the UK. Germany’s finance minister discussed the idea of making the UK an “associate” member of the EU, for example. “But why should Europe grant Britain any such a concession on free movement? Because, despite all the current irritations, the British are valuable members of the EU,” Rachman said.

Rachman concluded: “Like all good dramas, the Brexit story has been shocking, dramatic and upsetting. But its ending is not yet written.”

Learn more about Gideon Rachman’s upcoming session at AFP Annual Conference.
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