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The Guardian view on Brexit and our partners: a letter to Europe | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

Some of you are angry. Britain was already seen as an unwilling partner, dragging our feet and demanding endless concessions. Many more now see us as a wrecker, too: gambling with a fragile European economy; imperilling an institution created to safeguard peace. Others feel pity or contempt for a nation that backed Brexit on a series of fantasies and lies, already retracted, or schadenfreude as the cost of the folly becomes evident. You may wish to punish us, or simply tell us: good riddance. Britain should not expect special treatment. Nonetheless, at this precarious moment, we ask you to pause - in all our interests.

Above all, we need time. Britain voted against membership; we did not vote for an alternative. The public has not fully confronted the choice it faces between turning its back on the single market, or accepting continued EU migration in whatever form. For sure, make it clear to Brexiters that they cannot have the rights that come with the EU without the obligations. Spelling out Britain's choices may help us to be more realistic. The country has decided against continuing down the same path, but our new route and eventual destination are unclear. There is a great deal to think through, and further decisions to make. They could involve parliament, perhaps even a general election. You hope for certainty and stability, but pressing too hard for the invocation of article 50 could force us to rush into choices that you may also regret.

This editorial has also been translated in German and in French (read what you want of it).

Sure, one can see some element of "let's punish them" and some "good riddance to bad rubbish" exasperation in many European reactions, but there's also a need to clarify Britain's relations with the EU, preferably sooner rather than later.

After all, isn't it a central tenet of the Very Serious PeopleTM that "uncertainty is bad for business"? Lingering uncertainty is not doing anybody any good.

Until negotiation get started in earnest, Britain is a full member of EU28, implementing EU directives diktats from Eurocrats and sending £350m every passing week to Brussels </snark>.

People may get impatient on the continent, but what about those who voted for leave, truly believing this would be Britain's glorious Independence Day? Will they sit idle, waiting for the Tories to make up their mind? How will this violence evolve?

Uncertainty is bad not only for business.

by Bernard on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 08:56:37 PM EST

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