With the polls as close as they are ahead of Thursday's vote, media attention has increasingly been turning to what Brexit would actually look like. Roland Smith's brilliant EEA option has been receiving ample attention, as has our YouGov poll. The Daily Telegraph reported:
Roland Smith, an Adam Smith Institute fellow, and a proponent of a staged exit from the EU, says a move back into EFTA and the EEA would result in powers over agriculture, fishing, justice, security, and others being returned to the UK.
These alone will “be enough to be getting on with, bearing in mind that we have spent 43 years outsourcing all our capacity in these areas”, Smith says. “Actually getting experts in these areas now will be a real issue”.
Britain’s capacity for negotiating international trade deals has become severely atrophied, since for decades Brussels has done them on its behalf, and recruiting and training new negotiators would become a priority.
A clean break, which would see the UK suddenly regaining every one of its powers from the EU, would overwhelm Whitehall, Smith suggests. The issues the UK would have to deal with by stepping back into EFTA and the EEA would be “more than enough to chew on for a while”.
A large proportion of support for withdrawal is motivated by opposition to EU migration. An immediate solution that did not address those concerns could face backlash. However, polling by the Adam Smith Institute and YouGov suggests that Britons overall are willing to accept the compromise, if it was only a temporary move.
Read the full Daily Telegraph article here.