Is Brexit still happening?


The Chequers Brexit talks just concluded. We asked Professor James Crabtree, Associate Professor in Practice, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy these questions on Brexit.

Q: Why should people in Asia care about Brexit?


Prof James Crabtree:

Here are two reasons why people in Asia should be concerned:


European Union is still the world’s largest economy and it’s probably one of the largest export market for many Asian countries. Political turmoil can have an economic effect for this part of the world.


 At a time where there is a huge political transition happening in Asia with the rise of China. What most people want is stability in the world order. People are paying attention to what is happening in this world order. What Brexit means is that one of the largest economic and political blocks is not paying much attention to anywhere else. It is focused on its own problems. Europe is looking inwards at a time when it would be better for it to look outwards and working together with other countries such as Asia and the US to try and manage this big, political transition. It’s a problem for a country in Asia because you want as stable transition from the old order to the new order without big distractions or disruptions. There is a tendency for people in this part of the world to dismiss Europe but Europe is still a big economic market and still carries a lot of political weight.


Q: Is Brexit really going to happen?


Prof James Crabtree: It will happen, sadly. The odds of it not happening were very small to begin with. They are however, getting bigger because the process is so politically complicated. But, I still think that it will happen given the fact that the referendum was widely in favour of Brexit. It’s very difficult for politicians to stop it from happening. There are scenarios where it may never happen. But, they are very unlikely.