London, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland deserve a Seat at the Brexit Negotiating Table

Publication Date: 
25 October 2016
Appearing in: 
World Economic Forum

When British voters went to the polls back in June, they were asked to decide whether or not the country should leave the EU. They said yes. What they perhaps didn’t realize was that this decision would have even deeper implications, calling into question the very nature of the UK.

There are three possible outcomes for the UK’s political set-up when British Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50. In the first scenario, the UK remains in the same unitary state, minus its membership in the EU. Under the second scenario, parts of the UK, such as Scotland, secede. The third involves a change to the terms of devolution, a process put in place in the 1990s to decentralize decision-making powers.

The three scenarios differ in their likelihood, but they all have one thing in common: they would fundamentally change the nature of the UK. Such a daunting and historical decision cannot be made without the full and formal involvement of the city of London, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

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